Green tea has long been hailed for its health benefits, and for good reason. A promising new studyshows that this warming drink can actually reverse the signs of metabolic syndrome.
After a month of consuming green tea, participants in this study had significantly lower blood sugar levels and drastically improved gut health. This is hardly the first study showing the healing properties of green tea, with previous research showing those who drank 5 cups a day had 23% lower chance of death in women, and 12% lower for men. It also decreased the risk for stroke in women by 42%. Other studies have found that green tea bolsters the weight-loss process, particularly around the abdomen.
So, while it’s clear that green tea is a healthful drink, it’s worth noting this is one of the first studies to measure the effect of green tea on the health risks associated with metabolic syndrome.
Read on to find out what this condition entails and how green tea may negate its dangerous effects.
What is metabolic syndrome?
Metabolic syndrome describes a series of conditions that heighten your risk for conditions like diabetes and heart disease. These factors include:
- Large waistline: Having excess fat centralised around the abdomen can be a sign of metabolic syndrome. This means a waistline measuring in at least 89cm for women and 102cm for men.
- High triglyceride count: Triglycerides are a kind of fat stored in the blood, with 150mg considered a high level.
- Low levels of HDL cholesterol (the “good” kind): This is considered the “good” kind of cholesterol, and having inadequate levels of it can lead to the narrowing of the arteries, which in turn can lead to heart disease.
- High blood pressure: Also known as hypertension, this condition raises the risk for stroke, kidney disease and heart disease.
- Impaired glucose tolerance: Often referred to as pre-diabetes, this condition occurs when your blood sugar levels are above the normal level, though not yet at the point of diabetes.
The general consensus is that losing excess fat and getting regular exercise help to reduce or reverse these conditions. A healthy diet is also a vital piece of the puzzle to preventing the development of diseases like diabetes.
It helps to cut down on inflammatory foods like trans fats and sugar – the latter of which is a major offender when it comes to metabolic syndrome. Excessive consumption also leads to insulin resistance, which is the precursor to type 2 diabetes.
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The effect of green tea on metabolic syndrome.
The research shows that over a 4-week period, the anti-inflammatory properties of green tea improved cholesterol levels, lowered blood sugar levels and decreased inflammation in the gut.
Gut permeability – also known as leaky gut, where the stomach lining is compromised – is a massive contributor to the development of diabetes and heart disease, due to the fact that it increases vulnerability to bacteria and other contaminants.
The result? Chronic inflammation and a trajectory straight to insulin resistance and obesity. Promisingly, the research found that the consumption of green tea had a direct impact on reducing gut permeability and inflammation.
So, the verdict is in. Tea lovers rejoice – this beverage offers substantial benefits and while it’s not a cure-all or a magic pill, it does have some research-backed anti-inflammatory, gut-strengthening properties. Combined with a healthy diet and regular exercise, green tea is a powerful, antioxidant-packed drink to contribute to your overall health.