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A recent study suggests that you may be able to decrease your risk of developing diabetes by drinking black tea. In addition to cutting your diabetes risk, black tea is high in antioxidants and is linked to several health benefits.

The prevalence of type 2 diabetes has been on the rise worldwide for the past 2 decades. The number of individuals with type 2 diabetes in the year 2010 was 285 million. According to the International Diabetes Federation, that number is projected to rise to 438 million by the year 2030.

There have been numerous studies conducted in the past on the effect that drinking black tea can have on one’s health. These previous studies have found that there are several possible links between regular black tea consumption and several health benefits.

A Scottish study that was published in the March 2008 edition of Aging Cell, found that current research concludes that regular consumption of black tea is linked to a possible lowered risk of developing type 2 diabetes. According to the research, the countries that have a higher percentage of the population consuming black tea also have the least amount of individuals who are suffering from diabetes. Individuals living in these countries (Ireland, United Kingdom and Turkey) consume roughly 4.4 pounds of black tea per year on average.

Although the health benefits were found to be present when consuming other types of teas, such as green tea and white tea, black tea appeared to be the only type of tea that offered a high levels of protection from diabetes. Black tea undergoes a higher fermentation rate than other types of teas, and is therefore a darker tea than white and green teas. The higher level of fermentation transforms the basic flavonoid compounds that are in their simple state (found in green tea) into more complex compounds to create black tea. It may be this fermentation process that is responsible for the decreased risk of diabetes, however, further research is necessary to confirm this theory.

Additional lifestyle choices that can help to lower your risk of developing diabetes include eating a proper diet that is chock full of healthy nutrients, as well as participating in adequate exercise regularly. Limiting unhealthy foods that put you at a higher risk for developing diabetes, such as processed foods, refined sugars and flours, and white foods (white rice, white bread, white flour, white sugar) can help to decrease your risk of developing diabetes. Replace unhealthy foods with servings of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy products. When exercising, be sure to get at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic exercise to boost cardiovascular health. Aim for a minimum of 3 times per week.

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