High blood sugar occurs when your body can’t effectively transport sugar from blood into cells. When left unchecked, this can lead to diabetes.
Here are 11 easy ways to lower blood sugar levels naturally.
1. 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. Good forms of exercise include weight lifting, brisk walking, running, biking, dancing, hiking, swimming and more.
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.
Carbs are broken down into glucose, which raises blood sugar levels. Reducing carbohydrate intake can help with blood sugar control.
3. Increase Your Fiber Intake
Fiber slows carb digestion and sugar absorption. For these reasons, it promotes a more gradual rise in blood sugar levels.
There are two kinds of fiber: insoluble and soluble. While both are important, soluble fiber specifically has been shown to lower blood sugar levels. Eating plenty of fiber can help with blood sugar control, and soluble dietary fiber is the most effective.
4. 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.
5. Implement Portion Control
Portion control helps regulate calorie intake and can lead to weight loss. Consequently, controlling your weight promotes healthy blood sugar levels and has been shown to reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
The more control you have over your serving sizes the better control you will have over your blood sugar levels.
6. 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.
Controlling stress levels through exercise or relaxation methods such as yoga will help you control blood sugars.
7. 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.
Good sleep helps maintain blood sugar control and promote a healthy weight. Poor sleep can disrupt important metabolic hormones.
8. Apple Cider Vinegar
The primary compound in ACV is acetic acid and is believed to be responsible for many of its health benefits. There are many evidence-based approaches to using ACV.
Taking 2 tablespoons before bedtime can reduce your morning fasting sugar levels. Even better, 1-2 tablespoons of ACV taken with meals can decrease the glycemic load of a carbohydrate rich meal.
You can either consume ACV alone, prior to a meal or mix it into salad dressings or teas.
9. Fiber and Barley
Eating fiber decreases blood sugar and insulin concentrations. The recommended amount of fiber is around 30 grams per day. While you can take fiber supplements like Metamucil (psylium husk), the best way to reach your goal is to eat your veggies! Barley is a high-fiber, high-protein grain which has lots of data to support its role in helping improve blood sugar, insulin, cholesterol and general inflammation.
Barley does not requiring soaking and usually can cook in less than 15 minutes on the stove top with just some water and salt.
Those with diabetes are commonly found to be zinc deficient. Studies have shown zinc supplementation can reduce blood sugar and A1C, have an antioxidant effect, lower blood sugar and even help treat some of the complications related to diabetes.
Large doses of zinc can inhibit the absorption of other minerals like copper, so be sure to ask for guidance of the appropriate dosing.
11. Aloe Vera
The sap of aloe vera is known for its laxative effect. Therefore, make sure to get the juice of the gel! There is increasing evidence for use of the gel, which is the mucilaginous material inside the leaves.
Be sure that any product you buy is free of aloin or anthraquinones to avoid finding yourself in the bathroom!
Make sure to regularly check your sugar level so as to know how to control your diet for a healthy life.