This Morning: Type 2 diabetes can be 'devastating' says expert
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Type 2 diabetes can prove dangerous if blood sugar levels are left to their own devices. People with the condition have to find alternative means of countering blood sugar spikes brought on by eating as they lack a hormone called insulin that helps to keep blood glucose in check. Fortunately, one red drink could help, according to an expert.
Hibiscus tea doesn’t only offer its characteristic tart yet sweet flavour, the hot drink also has beneficial effects on your blood sugar levels.
Chemist and researcher, Dr Tim Bond from the Tea Advisory Panel, explained to Express.co.uk that the red drink can lower your blood glucose through different mechanisms.
Dr Bond said: “Various polyphenolic compounds are found in hibiscus tea.
“Ferulic acid is one such that appears to reduce blood glucose by reducing insulin resistance and levels of pro-inflammatory compounds in the blood.
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“Other polyphenols in hibiscus may inhibit the enzymes that break down carbohydrates, thus delaying the breakdown of carbohydrates to glucose and lowering blood glucose.”
Furthermore, the herbal tea can also reduce your risk of weight gain which means it could help lower your likelihood of developing diabetes as well.
What’s more, regularly drinking this tea for about a month could also be beneficial for your high blood pressure.
High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, can hike your risk of medical emergencies such as heart attacks and strokes.
The tea’s ability to keep hypertension in check is meaningful as this condition tends to crop up alongside diabetes.
Dr Bond said: “Hibiscus tea was found to help reduce blood pressure in human studies within a month.
“The impact on blood sugar may be different but it is uncertain. Hence more research is needed.”
While studies on the time it takes for a blood sugar reduction to occur are lacking, research has proven that the sweet drink can reduce insulin resistance.
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Insulin resistance refers to your cells being unable to take up glucose easily from your blood.
As this can lead to high levels of blood sugar circulating in your bloodstream, it’s crucial to reduce insulin resistance.
All of these benefits make the red drink a good choice for people who suffer from diabetes, according to Dr Bond.
The expert said: “It has health benefits around blood pressure as well as blood glucose and insulin.”
However, Dr Bond also suggested that it may be worth checking with your doctor if you start developing symptoms of low blood glucose.
From shaking to hunger, low levels of blood sugar could present in various ways.
To stay on the safe side, Dr Bond suggested starting with two to three cups of hibiscus tea a day.
He added: “Steep a tea bag or tea leaves in hot water for at least five minutes. This should allow for the release of the beneficial polyphenols.”
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