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Balancing Blood Sugar with Tea

Insulin Resistance, pre-diabetes, and diabetes continue to be health concerns that are prevalent in Western society. Blood sugar dysregulation impacts many aspects of our health like fertility, energy levels, mood, mental health, hormone balance, and more. So it is no surprise that topics around balancing blood sugar have become more noteworthy in mainstream media. The use of continuous glucose monitoring has also become popular outside of the treatment of pre-diabetes or diabetes. While being aware of how balancing blood sugar is important for our health, most people who fall into the otherwise “healthy” category do not need to go as far as using a CGM. 
When talking about blood glucose levels one of the number one questions that circulates is in regards to carbohydrates. Carbohydrates directly impact and raise blood glucose levels. While we want to consume carbs as they are our body's primary fuel source we want to always make sure that our ‘carbs have friends’. This means that we should be pairing our choice of carbs with at minimum a protein source but for ideal blood sugar balance and satiety, we want to include a well-balanced snack or meal to have carbs, protein, healthy fats, and fiber! This combo ensures that our blood sugar response does not have big spikes up or big spikes down. We want to prevent a roller coaster-like effect with our blood sugar because when it does spike up our pancreas shuttles out insulin to help bring those numbers down and it can often overcorrect leading to low energy levels and even more sugar cravings. 
Some of my top tips on balancing blood sugar levels include:
  • Drink water before caffeinated beverages (particularly coffee)
  • Eat within an hour of waking up (especially if you are in your reproductive years)
  • Balance your snacks and meals to include protein, carbs, healthy fats, and fiber
  • Enjoy your favorite treats after you have had a meal
  • Go for a walk after a meal (you should still be able to comfortably do this)
Tea plays a role in a number of benefits on our health and one of them turns out to be that some forms may lower fasting blood glucose (FBG) numbers and improve insulin sensitivity. The most recent evidence-based research suggests that green teas may benefit glucose metabolism when drunk consistently. The other tea that shows promising benefits for blood sugar balance is Oolong tea. Both green and oolong tea are derived from the Camellia sinensis. While more studies need to be done in this area the results for reducing FBG are promising. 
Green tea boasts many other benefits when it comes to health including but not limited to:
  • Reducing inflammation
  • Boost brain function short term and provide support long term as we age
  • Protect against oxidative stress on the body 
Incorporating a green iced tea this summer might be just what your looking for to support yourself through travels, gatherings, and even in the quiet moments of down time. Make sure to check out Big Hearts Malawi Roasted Green Tea. It has very smooth and slightly nutty texture and pairs excellently with a blood-sugar-balanced meal like the Salmon Power Bowl!
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