Diabetes: The golden drink that lowers blood sugar – drink ‘immediately’ after eating

This Morning: Type 2 diabetes can be 'devastating' says expert

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Type 2 diabetes sends a clear signal that your body isn’t processing insulin properly. Insulin is a hormone that’s responsible for regulating blood sugar – the main type of sugar found in blood. Stripped of this mechanism, blood sugar levels can rise to dangerous levels. Fortunately, your body has a crucial buffer: sensible dietary decisions.

Specific food and drink can counter the blood sugar spikes that follow eating.

Blood sugar levels rise in response to food being broken down into blood glucose (sugar).

Chamomile tea has been shown to have this moderating effect on blood sugar.

Chamomile tea is made from the flowers of the chamomile plant (a herb belonging to the Asteraceae family). It has long been used in traditional medicine practices.

An Iranian study, published in the journal Nutrition, found that drinking three cups of chamomile tea a day could improve control of blood glucose levels in people with type 2 diabetes.

Researchers from Tabriz University of Medical Sciences aimed to investigate how the effects of chamomile tea would affect glycaemic (a measure used to determine how much a food can affect your blood sugar levels) control and antioxidant levels in type 2 subjects.

Antioxidants are chemicals that protect or delay against cell damage.

Sixty four participants with type 2 diabetes were recruited, all of whom were aged between 30 and 60.

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They consumed chamomile tea three times per day “immediately” after meals for eight weeks, the researchers said.

A control group also followed this routine, but they drank water instead.

What did the researchers find out? The chamomile tea group had significantly reduced HbA1c and serum insulin levels, as well as significantly increased total antioxidant capacity compared to those in the control group.

HbA1c is your average blood glucose (sugar) levels for the last two to three months.

The researchers concluded: “Short-term intake of chamomile tea has beneficial effects on glycemic control and antioxidant status in patients with type 2 diabetes.”

However, the researchers noted, a larger sample population and a longer intervention period would be necessary in order to demonstrate significant clinical improvements.

General tips

To weed out the worst offenders for blood sugar spikes, you should refer to the glycaemic index (GI).

The glycaemic index (GI) is a rating system for foods containing carbohydrates.

It shows how quickly each food affects your blood sugar (glucose) level when that food is eaten on its own.

Carbohydrate foods that are broken down quickly by your body and cause a rapid increase in blood glucose have a high GI rating.

High GI foods include:

  • Sugar and sugary foods
  • Sugary soft drinks
  • White bread
  • Potatoes
  • White rice.

Do you have type 2 diabetes?

Many people have type 2 diabetes without realising. This is because symptoms do not necessarily make you feel unwell.

Symptoms include:

  • Peeing more than usual, particularly at night
  • Feeling thirsty all the time
  • Feeling very tired
  • Losing weight without trying to
  • Itching around your penis or vagina, or repeatedly getting thrush
  • Cuts or wounds taking longer to heal
  • Blurred vision.

See a GP if you have any of the symptoms of type 2 diabetes or you’re worried you may have a higher risk of getting type 2 diabetes, advises the NHS.

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