I've talked about the benefits of green tea in the past. Green tea contains compounds called catechins; the most potent of which is EGCG (for epigallocatechin gallate). Research into the effects of EGCG show that, on its own, it’s more effective than caffeine at increasing the body’s energy use throughout the day. EGCG increases thermogenesis within fat cells, boosting the amount of energy used during a day. In addition, green tea or green tea extract can be used as a weight loss aid.
On a similar note, exciting new research out of Penn State University has found that EGCG can also help control blood sugar spikes that come from eating high-glycemic starchy foods like breads, bagels, potatoes, or pastries.
Specifically, researchers administered 100 mg of EGCG to mice after feeling them a meal high in corn starch, maltose, sucrose, or glucose. They found that those mice who were fed corn starch and ECGC experienced significantly reduced post-meal glucose levels compared to the control mice. No effects were seen in the mice that consumed maltose or glucose, which suggested that EGCG more effectively modulates starchy foods that contain the enzyme α-amylase.
So, while I usually recommend avoiding very starchy high-glycemic foods like bagels and bread, I know that, at times, you're going to eat them anyway. Fortunately, if you enjoy a cup of green tea along with your starch, you may be able to avoid the extreme blood sugar spikes that usually come along with eating a high-glycemic food.
Now it's your turn: Are you a fan of green tea?