Thirsty Thursday – Green Tea

Do you like green tea? I love it. Especially iced! I was happy to learn its considered “safe” for Diabetics. Though I mostly only drink water, coffee (just in the morning) and my Shakeology, I will be honest and say every once in a while I want a beverage outside of those 3. I know there are more unsafe choices than there are safe, so I try to make them count!

Green Tea has been shown to inhibit the enzyme amylase produced and secreted by the salivary glands and pancreas for the digestion of starches, which slows the rate at which the sugar contained in starches is metabolized and released into the bloodstream.  Less insulin is required to shuttle glucose because there is less glucose in the blood, thus insulin resistance is curbed.  Drinking liquids also creates a feeling of satiety.  Green Tea adds to this by relaxing the muscles of the stomach and intestines thus slowing down the physical movement of food.  In this way calorie restriction or fasting is mimicked.
Drinking Green Tea has also demonstrated the ability to prevent metabolism and absorption of triglycerides through the digestive tract.  These are the fatty substances that accumulate as adipose tissue (unsightly fat), clog up arteries, and like cholesterol can react adversely with oxygen in the bloodstream.  Components of Green Tea act like fat grabbers, passing the undesirable fats through the digestive tract and out the colon.
Additionally, antioxidants found in Green Tea scavenge the free radicals created from metabolic function as well as respiration.  These free radicals react with oxygen and other air traveling molecules and toxins causing cell damage and permutations of the DNA structure that lead to cancer, heart disease, and organ failure.  These same antioxidants inhibit the free radicals that are released when existing body fat is utilized for energy.
Because of Green Tea’s ability to stimulate metabolism, improve circulation (intercellular exchange), and boost the immune system it leaves more energy and blood for use by the brain.  Tea has been noted for centuries for its stimulating but paradoxically relaxing effects on the mind and body.  Lowered levels of stress, be they internal or external, are highly important for the Diabetic to maintain as their physiological system is already under enough strain.  Stress triggers the release of adrenaline which raises blood sugar. Green Tea also protects brain cells and neurons from damage caused by lipid peroxidation in the nervous system and oxidation of glucose.

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