Are you looking for natural ways to lower your blood sugar intake? If yes, this informative article is for you.
High blood sugar occurs when your body can’t effectively transport sugar from the blood into cells.
When left unchecked, this can lead to diabetes.
One study from 2012 reported that 12–14% of US adults had type 2 diabetes, while 37–38% was classified as pre-diabetic.
This means that 50% of all US adults have diabetes or pre-diabetes.
How To Lower Blood Sugar Levels Naturally
1. Control Stress Levels
Stress can affect your blood sugar levels.
Hormones such as glucagon and cortisol are secreted during stress. These hormones cause blood sugar levels to go up.
One study showed that exercise, relaxation, and meditation significantly reduced stress and lowered blood sugar levels for students.
Exercises and relaxation methods like yoga and mindfulness-based stress reduction can also correct insulin secretion problems in chronic diabetes.
2. Control Your Carb Intake
Your body breaks carbs down into sugars (mostly glucose), and then insulin moves the sugars into cells.
When you eat too many carbs or have problems with insulin function, this process fails and blood glucose levels rise.
However, there are several things you can do about this.
The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends controlling carb intake by counting carbs or using a food exchange system.
Some studies find that these methods can also help you plan your meals appropriately, which may further improve blood sugar control.
Many studies also show that a low-carb diet helps reduce blood sugar levels and prevent blood sugar spikes.
What’s more, a low-carb diet can help control blood sugar levels in the long run.
3. Exercise Regularly
Regular exercise can help you lose weight and increase insulin sensitivity.
Increased insulin sensitivity means your cells are better able to use the available sugar in your bloodstream.
Exercise also helps your muscles use blood sugar for energy and muscle contraction.
If you have problems with blood sugar control, you should routinely check your levels. This will help you learn how you respond to different activities and keep your blood sugar levels from getting either too high or too low.
Good forms of exercise include weight lifting, brisk walking, running, biking, dancing, hiking, swimming and more.
4. Increase Your Fiber Intake
Fiber slows carb digestion and sugar absorption. For these reasons, it promotes a more gradual rise in blood sugar levels.
Furthermore, the type of fiber you eat may play a role.
There are two kinds of fiber: insoluble and soluble. While both are important, soluble fiber specifically has been shown to lower blood sugar levels.
Additionally, a high-fiber diet can help manage type 1 diabetes by improving blood sugar control and reducing blood sugar lows.
Foods that are high in fiber include vegetables, fruits, legumes, and whole grains.
The recommended daily intake of fiber is about 25 grams for women and 38 grams for men. That’s about 14 grams for every 1,000 calories.
5. Get Enough Quality Sleep
Getting enough sleep feels great and is necessary for good health.
Poor sleeping habits and a lack of rest also affect blood sugar levels and insulin sensitivity. They can increase appetite and promote weight gain.
Sleep deprivation decreases the release of growth hormones and increases cortisol levels. Both of these play an important role in blood sugar control.
Furthermore, good sleep is about both quantity and quality. It is best to get a sufficient amount of high-quality sleep every night.
6. Drink Water And Stay Hydrated
Drinking enough water may help you keep your blood sugar levels within healthy limits.
In addition to preventing dehydration, it helps your kidneys flush out the excess blood sugar through urine.
One observational study showed that those who drank more water had a lower risk of developing high blood sugar levels.
Drinking water regularly re-hydrates the blood, lowers blood sugar levels and reduces diabetes risk.
Keep in mind that water and other non-caloric beverages are best. Sugar-sweetened drinks raise blood glucose, drive weight gain and increase diabetes risk.
7. Monitor Your Blood Sugar Levels
“What gets measured gets managed.”
Measuring and monitoring blood glucose levels can also help you control them.
For example, keeping track helps you determine whether you need to make adjustments in meals or medications.
It will also help you find out how your body reacts to certain foods. Try measuring your levels every day, and keeping track of the numbers in a log.
8. Eat Foods Rich in Chromium and Magnesium
High blood sugar levels and diabetes have also been linked to micronutrient deficiencies.
Examples include deficiencies in the minerals chromium and magnesium.
Chromium is involved in carb and fat metabolism. It also helps control blood sugar levels, and a lack of chromium may predispose you to carb intolerance.
However, the mechanisms behind this are not completely known. Studies also report mixed findings.
Two studies of diabetes patients showed that chromium had benefits for long-term blood sugar control. However, another study showed no benefits.
Chromium-rich foods include egg yolks, whole-grain products, high-bran cereals, coffee, nuts, green beans, broccoli, and meat.
Magnesium has also been shown to benefit blood sugar levels, and magnesium deficiency has been linked to a higher risk of developing diabetes.
In one study, people with the highest magnesium intake had a 47% lower risk of becoming diabetic.
However, if you already eat plenty of magnesium-rich foods, then you probably will not benefit from supplements.
Magnesium-rich foods include dark leafy greens, whole grains, fish, dark chocolate, bananas, avocados, and beans.
9. Lose Some Weight
It’s a no-brainer that maintaining a healthy weight will improve your health and prevent future health problems.
Weight control also promotes healthy blood sugar levels and has been shown to reduce your risk of developing diabetes.
Even a 7% reduction in body weight can decrease your risk of developing diabetes by up to 58%, and it seems to work even better than medication.
What’s more, these decreased risks can be sustained over the years.
You should also be conscious of your waistline, as it is perhaps the most important weight-related factor for estimating your diabetes risk.
A measurement of 35 inches (88.9 cm) or more for women and 40 inches (101.6 cm) or more for men is associated with an increased risk of developing insulin resistance, high blood sugar levels, and type 2 diabetes.
Having a healthy waist measurement maybe even more important than your overall weight.
10. Try Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has many benefits for your health.
It promotes lower fasting blood sugar levels, possibly by decreasing its production by the liver or increasing its use by cells.
What’s more, studies show that vinegar significantly influences your body’s response to sugars and improves insulin sensitivity.
To incorporate apple cider vinegar into your diet, you can add it to salad dressings or mix 2 teaspoons in 8 ounces of water.
However, it’s important to check with your doctor before taking apple cider vinegar if you are already taking medications that lower blood sugar.
You can read more in this article on Apple Cider Vinegar: Proven Health Benefits, Uses And Dosage
Make sure to check with your doctor before making lifestyle changes or trying new supplements.
This is particularly important if you have problems with blood sugar control or if you are taking medications to lower your sugar levels.
That being said, if you are diabetic or have problems with blood sugar control, then you should start doing something about it as soon as possible.