The Chinese have brewed green tea for over 5000 years. Natural health advocates have cited the inexhaustible health benefits of green tea consumption for decades.
New studies carried out by Joshua Lambert, assistant professor of food science in agricultural sciences at Penn State, adds another beneficial reason to include green tea in your diet. Their report suggested that an antioxidant found in green tea helps reduce blood sugar spikes in mice, and scientists say it could lead to new diet strategies for people.
Their experiment involved feeding mice fed the antioxidant—epigallocatechin-3-gallate, or EGCG—and corn starch. What they noticed was, mice that fed on EGCG and corn starch had a significant reduction in increase in their blood sugar (blood glucose) levels compared to mice that were not fed the compound. Also, EGCG was most effective when the compound was fed to the mice simultaneously with corn starch.
For humans, this may mean that green tea could help them control the typical blood sugar increases that are brought on when they eat starchy foods, like breads and bagels that are often a part of typical breakfasts. The findings also indicated that the EGCG had no significant effect on blood sugar spikes in mice that were fed glucose or maltose. That may mean that adding sugar into your green tea may negate the effect that the green tea has on limiting the rise in blood glucose level.
Drinking a cup of tea well after eating a piece of toast would probably not change the blood sugar spike. However, green tea and toast together could be the ‘sugar and spice and everything nice’ you need.