Researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst discovered that red wine and black tea may regulate blood sugar in people with Type II Diabetes. Manging and regulating blood sugar and preventing major fluctuations is important to type 2 diabetes sufferers so that their illness does not contribute to or encourage other diseases, such as high blood pressure, kidney and eye problems, or heart disease.
These two beverages, according to food scientist Kalidas Shetty, “contain natural antioxidants [called polyphenolics] that may slow the passage of glucose through the small intestine … eventually into the bloodstream and prevent [a blood sugar or glucose] spike, which is an important step in managing this disease, [particularly in its early stages].”
Researchers found that red wine possesses ten times more of these polyphenolics than white wine, and black tea—versus white, oolong, or green tea—showed the best ability to inhibit the enzyme alpha-glucosidase, which causes the small intestine to absorb the glucose. Another benefit from these beverages is their ability to protect the body from other diabetes complications, because when a person suffers from Type 2 diabetes it stresses out their entire body and causes an increase in free radical production. Red wine and black tea contain antioxidants and inhibit the formation of free radicals.
Researchers also noted another benefit for type 2 diabetes sufferers. “A major drawback of medications … is the bacterial fermentation of undigested carbohydrates, especially starch, in the colon, which can lead to side effects such as flatulence, bloating and diarrhea,” says Shetty. “Tea and wine had no effect on the breakdown of starch … which could potentially help patients avoid these side effects.”
With all the good news about red wine and black tea, maybe it’s time to take a healthy sip!