According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), 37.3 million Americans are living with type 2 diabetes. This chronic condition requires you to make healthy choices to achieve sound management. Therefore, you need to understand the methods a diet or exercise regimen helps you before embarking on it.
Kombucha achieves its anti-diabetic effects by reducing insulin resistance, increasing pro-biotics, and improving insulin secretion. These and other ways are why I recommend you add it to your meal plan. The rest of this article goes into more detail about these mechanisms.
Kombucha; what is it, and how do you prepare it
Kombucha is a fizzy tea that originated in China. It was initially limited to a few health stores, but a recent interest in the drink’s health benefits has made it quite popular. However, before you also buy into the hype, allow me to enlighten you on what you stand to gain from this Eastern drink.
Kombucha has a tangy-sweet taste that is often compared to apple cider vinegar. This is probably due to its acetic acid content. The drink is produced from the fermentation of sugar, yeast, tea, and good bacteria. Although black tea is the most common recipe, you can make it from green, oolong, and white tea.
The preparation is also relatively easy. You will boil non-chlorinated water and dissolve sugar in it. Proceed to dip tea leaves into the sugared water for a minute. Discard the tea leaf. Allow the sugared tea to cool down and add a culture of yeast and bacteria called Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast (SCOBY) to the water. You will allow this mixture to ferment for about a week, after which a new SCOBY would have appeared on the surface of the tea. Remove the newly formed SCOBY after the fermentation process is complete. Bottle and refrigerate your newly made Kombucha drink.
Alternatively, you can choose to buy from stores to avoid this long process. However, juices, added sugar, fruits, and other flavors often taint the commercial variants. These may alter the taste and health benefits of the drink. Ensure you check the label for any added preservatives.
Kombucha and diabetes; how does the drink help my blood sugar?
Kombucha could be a great addition to your diabetes management plan. It could serve as a substitute for those unhealthy sweetened beverages. The taste is fantastic, and it also packs that same fizziness. In addition, the biological and chemical composition of kombucha offers many health benefits. Some of the specific ways in which it can help a type 2 diabetes patient includes:
- It lowers your blood sugar levels: the lactic acid bacteria (probiotics) on kombucha have hypoglycemic capacities. They do this by modifying the composition of gut microbiota. Recent research has shown that type 2 diabetes patients have an imbalanced gut microbiome. They have an increased level of harmful bacteria and a low level of healthy ones. These harmful bacteria cause inflammation, damaging the insulin-secreting cells in your body.
How does kombucha tackle this? First, the probiotics in the drink tilt the balance in favor of the healthy bacteria. This inhibits inflammation and preserves the function of the insulin-secreting cells. Also, the polyphenol and organic acids in the tea have regulatory effects on the gut microbiota.
- Increases insulin production: Insulin resistance is a common feature in the early face of prediabetes and diabetes. It is central to the cause of the conditions. Kombucha’s probiotics improve this insulin resistance. They also increase the secretion of insulin and other gut hormones. The improved secretion and reduced resistance to insulin will help you achieve better glycemic control.
- Antimicrobial effect: As a type 2 diabetes patient, you have reduced immunity due to the effects of the condition on your immune system. Kombucha tea contains acetic acid, which has antimicrobial activities against organisms like E. coli, Salmonella, and H. pylori.
- Improves your heart function: heart disease is one of the long-term complications of type 2 diabetes. While the surge in blood glucose levels is a significant determinant of this, bad cholesterol has also been implicated. Kombucha tea may protect your heart by clearing out the bad cholesterol (LDL cholesterol) while increasing the good ones.
Other health benefits of kombucha
Kombucha also contains tons of polyphenols, organic acid, vitamin B, and C. These antioxidants boost your immune system by neutralizing free radicals. Free radicals are chemicals that attach to your cells and can destroy them. They are often by-products of inflammation. The antioxidants mop up the free radicals, therefore reducing chronic health problems.
However, despite the health benefits of Kombucha tea, it may also have some adverse effects, especially if not adequately prepared. To prevent this, you can buy your kombucha from stores. But, ensure you read the nutritional details carefully. Also, ask your physician if it’s OK to include kombucha in your diet, especially if you have pre-existing conditions like immune suppression. The side effect of drinking kombucha may include:
- Headaches and insomnia due to caffeine.
- Bacterial infections if not properly prepared.
- Worsening of your diabetes if the sugar content is too high.
Why green tea kombucha is the best choice for kombucha
Green tea Kombucha has been shown to have superior health benefits compared to black tea. Green tea contains healthy compounds such as polyphenols. The compounds in green tea have superior weight loss, immune boosting, and blood sugar lowering effects.
To wrap up
Kombucha tea is a fizzy beverage with tons of health benefits. However, the limited research on the mechanism of its anti-diabetic effect has been discouraging. This article reviewed the roles of probiotics in lowering your blood sugar, reducing insulin resistance, and improving insulin production. Armed with this knowledge, you can proceed to introduce the tea into your diabetes management plan. If you are searching for exciting ways to add this healthy drink to your diet, Klinio curates plans explicitly tailored to your needs.