World Health Day may be the birthday of the organisation that eradicated smallpox, and the same one that declared India Polio-free, but the 7th of April was never about reflecting on the laurels of the World Health Organisation (WHO). Instead, every year World Health Day is dedicated to a new campaign to make our lives better. This year the World Health Day is about tackling a whole different beast; one that, here in India, almost certainly affects all of us at a very personal level
As an Indian tea-based company, we at Tea Culture of the World take pride in our nation’s heritage with tea. One of the largest producers and consumers of tea, we’re second only to China. However, there’s another statistic where India comes as a runner up to the Red Dragon, a far more insidious one. India is currently home to 62 million diabetics, the second highest number of any country in the world. The numbers are truly biblical- 33 million men and 29 million women suffer from this condition and 44 lakh Indians, aged 20 to 79, don’t even know they suffer from it.In 2011, 10 lakh people died because of diabetes in India. The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) estimates that by 2030, a mere 14 years from now, we’ll cross the 100 million mark.
So why is that we all have that one parent, relative or friend that shies away from partaking of the morning sweetmeat? Is it because India is the world’s confectionary capital, or is there a less obvious reason? According to Dr. Rajesh Shah, consulting physician and cardiologist at the Better Health Foundation, ‘The most obvious reason for the increasing number of young diabetics is their frenetic lifestyle.’ Type-II Diabetes in particular, where the body becomes resistant to its own insulin and which affects 90% of all those afflicted by this condition, is attributed to stress. As explained rather brilliantly by David Spero,Cortisol, a hormone produced while encountering danger, tells your liver and other cells to pour all their stored sugar (glucose) into your bloodstream. This is done so that your leg and arm muscles can use the glucose as fuel for running away, fighting, or maybe climbing a tree or a fire escape.
At the same time, making your other cells “insulin-resistant.” Insulin’s job is to get glucose into our cells to be used as fuel. In a crisis situation, most of your cells resist insulin, so the muscles involved in fighting or fleeing will have more energy. This reaction is called “stress.” In nature, the stress response is vital to survival. The antelope senses the lion (a threat) and runs. In running, the antelope uses up the extra sugar and restores its hormonal balance. The whole thing is over in ten minutes, and the antelope can rest. But in our society, threat isn’t usually physical. When you’re threatened with job loss or eviction or the breakup of your marriage or a child’s drug problem or the thousands of other potential threats in modern society, you can’t fight, and you can’t run. You just sit there and worry. And the stress isn’t over in ten minutes either; modern stresses often act on us 24/7, week after week. Over time, insulin resistance builds up, the cause for Type-II Diabetes.
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Um, not quite.
We all know that stress is a part of modern life. We gave up the lion for the micromanaging boss, being chased by hyenas for nagging in-laws and living rent-free in a cave for apartments with mortgages. But that doesn’t spell the end for the human race. You see, for thousands of years, we’ve been growing this one plant that can give us an elixir, regular consumption of which can reduce your chances of becoming diabetic by 33%. Enter, Camellia Sinensis. Commonly called the Green Tea plant.
Now technically, that nickname is wrong. You see, the Camellia plant doesn’t just make green tea- Oolong, White tea, Green tea, , Pu-erh tea and Black tea are all harvested from one or other of the two varieties of the plant, all varying only in their methods of processing. The first one in particular, Oolong tea, that constitutes our aforementioned elixir. Oolong tea is what you usually get in Chinese restaurants, but don’t judge it on the basis of that tea. The better oolongs are delicious. More importantly, though, consumption of Oolong tea has been found to directly reduce your chances of becoming diabetic as well as significantly help in reducing the effect of type-II diabetes
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No, it’s true. The effect of oolong tea on blood sugar has been tested in several studies. Investigators with the U.S. Agricultural Research Service (ARS) conducted a pilot study in 2001 with eight volunteers, all with type 2 diabetes. They found that by drinking six cups of oolong daily for eight weeks, the volunteers were able to lower their blood sugar levels by 15 to 20 percent.
The possibility that Oolong tea can boost fat oxidation comes from an investigation of the long-held Chinese belief that this tea can help control body weight. In 2001, ARS researchers tested four different beverages on 12 male volunteers for three consecutive days (during which the volunteers avoided other sources of caffeine). The drinks provided during the study were full-strength tea, colored water with the caffeine equivalent of full-strength tea, half-strength tea, and plain colored water. The researchers found that the energy expenditure of the volunteers was higher after drinking full-strength tea or caffeinated colored water and that their subjects burned 67 more calories per day when they drank tea instead of an equal amount of plain water. Also, the volunteers’ fat oxidation was 12 percent higher after they drank tea.
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Alright, enough numbers. Where can I get this Oolong tea? Don’t say the local Chinese restaurant.
Don’t worry. While you can get the teabag versions of Oolong tea in most large retail outlets, truly healthy whole-leaf Oolong can be bought right here at Tea Culture of the World. We have multiple blends of Oolong tea, each tailored to uniquely cater to your tastes. And in addition to their anti-diabetic properties, these teas have myriad medicinal uses such as use in anti-cancer treatments and aiding weight loss, among others. Some of our blends to aid your fight against diabetes include:
Milk Oolong Tea
Grown in the Nantou region, 4595 feet above the world,the Milk Oolong tea has a light and flowery taste and is sometimes compared to milk. This tea variety can be grown at higher altitudes, and the yield is about 20% higher compared to traditional tea varieties. These circumstances made it become one of the most popular varieties among tea farmers in Taiwan and Thailand. Among its numerous medicinal properties, the Milk Oolong tea helps prevent the onset of diabetes, aids in its treatment, assists weight loss, helps reduce bad cholesterol and has anti-cancer and anti-ageing properties.
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A Vietnamese green tea with a lingering aroma and taste of Lotus petals, this fragrant tea helps prevent the onset of diabetes, serves as a good aid to promote weight loss and has incredible digestive properties- consuming this tea after a heavy meal will leave you feeling light, making that bloated feeling nothing but a memory. The Lotus tea also helps relieve stress and insomnia, an increasingly common ailment in today’s hectic world. To add to its repertoire of medicinal qualities, the Lotus tea has anti-cancer and anti-ageing properties as well.
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Sourced from the hills of Suoi Gang, and picked from the century-old tea trees that grow there, the fresh Shan Tuyet tea buds after being processed are still big, and covered with a milky layer of “snow”, giving the tea its name. On drinking, a bitter sweet taste is followed by a persistent sweetness in the throat. With it’santi-diabetic properties, proven digestive benefits, ability to alleviate insomnia and cancer-fighting free radicals, the Snowy Shan tea is everything you need, all in a single cup.
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Tieguayin fills your cup with an appetizing honey aroma that lingers in your mouth after a few sips. This delicate finish is well-complemented by its robust health benefits, chief among them being its ability to help you lose weight. Add to that it’s anti-diabetic properties, ability to redce bad cholesterol, help in reducing the likelihood of heart attacks and strokes and proven use as a digestive aid, it’s small wonder that its believed to be the most popular oolong tea in the world.
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Oh yes. In laboratory studies, green tea has been shown to slow or completely prevent cancer development in colon, liver, breast and prostate cells. Other studies involving green tea have shown similar protective effects in tissues of the lung, skin and digestive tract. Studies that track the diets of human subjects over several years have also associated regular usage of green tea with lower risk for bladder, colon, stomach, pancreatic and esophageal cancers. In fact, one class of flavonoids called catechins has recently become the focus of widespread study for their anti-cancer potential. Tea is the best source of catechins in the human diet, and green tea contains about three times the quantity of catechins found in black tea
The fight against Cancer is far from being the only thing green tea and its sisters are good for. A few among the innumerable benefits of green tea are:
- Burns body fat, boosts metabolism and accelerates weight loss.
- Increases endurance and helps you exercise for longer.
- Helps reduce the levels of LDL – ‘Bad’ cholesterolbut raises the level of HDL – ‘Good’ cholesterol.
- Helps reduce high blood pressure.
- Green tea has been linked to reduction in the likelihood of Dementia and Alzheimer’s.
To read more about the health benefits of green tea, click here.Here
It isn’t an exaggeration that most of the problems that plague the average person in today’s day and age can be solved, mitigated or prevented entirely simply with a daily brew of this natural elixir. This year, let us help youlead yourself into a better life. In the spirit of the theme of World Health Day, 2016, this year, the fight against diabetes is green.
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