Blood sugar, also called blood glucose, is the primary form of sugar in the bloodstream. Its fundamental role involves supplying energy to the cells within your body, acting as the primary fuel or source for daily activities.
Typically, a normal blood sugar range is 70-99 mg/dL while fasting and less than 140 mg/dL two hours after consuming a meal. However, individuals with diabetes strive for an ideal target range of 80-130 mg/dL fasting and less than 180 mg/dL after meals. If your blood sugar levels stay too high for long periods, it may lead to serious health complications, including stroke, kidney failure, heart disease, nerve damage, and vision loss.
While medications can aid in managing blood sugar levels, incorporating lifestyle changes and natural remedies can further enhance your ability to regulate glucose levels. Follow these seven tips to lower your blood sugar naturally.
1. Include Probiotic Foods and Supplements in Your Diet
Are you aware of the connection between probiotics and blood sugar? Studies suggest that probiotics, which are beneficial bacteria commonly found in fermented foods, may play a role in reducing insulin resistance within the body. How does this work? Probiotics stimulate the production of GLP-1, a hormone in the gut that assists in regulating insulin and glucose absorption.
Therefore, it is beneficial to incorporate more probiotic-rich foods into your diet, such as yogurt, kefir, kimchi, pickles, and miso. Alternatively, consider taking probiotic supplements to help maintain stable sugar levels.
2. Limit Your Carbohydrate Consumption
Carbohydrates are vital nutrients for optimal body function. However, excessive intake of carbohydrates can lead to spikes in blood sugar levels, especially for individuals with diabetes or prediabetes.
Reducing carbohydrate intake does not mean eliminating carbs from your diet. Instead, select healthier options such as whole-grain foods, beans, nuts, and fruits in moderation. The key is to strike a balance in your diet and make mindful choices regarding food. You can gradually achieve more stable blood sugar levels by making minor adjustments. Additionally, managing your carbohydrate intake can also contribute to effective weight management.
Managing blood sugar levels can be challenging, but including fiber-rich foods in your daily diet is one of the most effective approaches. Why? Because dietary fiber slows down the absorption of glucose in your bloodstream.
While all types of fiber offer benefits, insoluble fiber is particularly effective in preventing sudden spikes in blood sugar levels. Fiber-rich foods include oatmeal, barley, peas, lentils, apples, pears, blueberries, chia seeds, and flaxseeds. You don’t need to consume all of them; choose a few and incorporate them into your meals.
4. Stay Hydrated
Maintaining proper hydration is crucial, especially when dealing with high blood sugar levels. Elevated glucose levels prompt the body to increase urine production, leading to a rapid loss of fluids. This can result in dehydration, hindering optimal bodily function.
Moreover, dehydration can worsen symptoms commonly associated with high blood sugar, such as blurred vision and fatigue. To prevent complications, it’s important to ensure adequate water intake throughout the day.
5. Manage Stress
Stress and high blood sugar often go hand in hand, and this correlation is not coincidental. When experiencing stress, the body releases hormones that cause blood sugar levels to rise. This physiological response prepares the body to confront or flee from potential threats. However, for individuals with diabetes, this stress-induced elevation in blood sugar can pose significant challenges in management.
Finding effective ways to manage stress proactively to safeguard our health is crucial. Engaging in practices like deep breathing, meditation, or simply walking outdoors can help regulate stress levels, thereby keeping blood sugar levels in check and improving overall well-being.
6. Get Enough Sleep
Studies have shown a connection between obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and elevated blood sugar levels. OSA can disrupt hormone balance, leading to increased glucose in the bloodstream. By prioritizing quality sleep, you can mitigate this issue. Aim for a minimum of 8 hours of restful sleep each night and avoid activities that can disturb your sleep.
This includes reducing exposure to bright screens before bedtime and refraining from heavy meals close to bedtime. Establishing healthy sleep habits may require effort, but the benefits to your diabetes management and overall well-being are invaluable.
7. Exercise Regularly
Nothing beats regular physical activity. Exercise helps cells respond better to insulin, facilitating glucose absorption and potentially leading to lower blood sugar levels. Additionally, exercise aids in weight management, which is particularly beneficial for individuals managing diabetes and other metabolic disorders.
You can start with low-intensity exercises such as walking, swimming, cycling, or even yoga. Once your body is used to it, you can gradually increase the intensity of your workouts. Be mindful not to overexert yourself, and always consult your doctor before changing your exercise routine.
Achieving lower blood sugar levels doesn’t have to depend solely on medications. It’s important to remember that it’s a balancing act, and by incorporating the right combination of diet, exercise, and lifestyle adjustments, you can discover a balance that suits you. Start implementing these tips and empower yourself to take control of your health.