Type 2 diabetes does not intrude on your daily life in the beginning. In fact, it is so discreet, most people do not know they have it. The condition only shows its ugly side when rising blood sugar levels – caused by a dysfunction in the way the pancreas produces insulin – start to damage blood vessels in your body. The worst case scenario is that this internal rupturing leads to heart disease.
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In addition to the threat posed by high blood sugar levels, having too much insulin in your body – a problem that is caused by insulin resistance – can also lead to heart disease.
The only way to stop this harmful process is to stabilise blood sugar and insulin levels through healthy lifestyle changes.
Fortunately, diet offers a surefire way to achieve this goal.
A wealth of research has found certain dietary components essential for managing blood sugar and insulin levels.
According to a study published in the journal Nutrition, one simple yet effective solution is to drink chamomile tea daily.
An Iranian study found that drinking three cups of camomile tea a day improved 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 camomile tea would affect glycemic control and antioxidant levels in type 2 subjects.
Antioxidants are chemicals that protect or delay against cell damage.
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64 participants with type 2 diabetes were recruited, all of whom were aged between 30 and 60.
They consumed camomile tea three times per day immediately after meals for eight weeks.
A control group also followed this routine, but they drank water instead.
The camomile tea group had significantly reduced HbA1c (your average blood glucose (sugar) levels for the last two to three months) and serum insulin levels, as well as significantly increased total antioxidant capacity compared to those in the control group.
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The researchers concluded that camomile tea could be useful in reducing diabetes risk factors.
They added: “Short-term intake of chamomile tea has beneficial effects on glycemic control and antioxidant status in patients with type 2 diabetes.”
It is worth nothing that chamomile tea should be enjoyed as part of an overall diabetes-friendly diet, which involves curbing your intake of foods that rank high on the glycaemic index.
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.
Foods with a high GI ranking will send blood sugar levels soaring so are best to be avoided.
- Sugar and sugary foods.
- Sugary soft drinks.
- White bread.
- White rice.
Type 2 diabetes – how to spot it
Type 2 diabetes often goes undetected because the symptoms are often subtle or non-existent in the initial stages.
If you experience symptoms, the most common include:
- Urinating 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
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