10 Ways To Maintain Healthy Blood Sugar Levels Effectively
By Sara Novak
In the United States a staggering 10 percent of the population, or about 34.2 million people, have been diagnosed with diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association. Another 88 million are pre-diabetic, meaning their blood sugar is elevated and could lead to diabetes later down the line.
Of those diagnosed, the majority, a whopping 32.6 million, have type 2 diabetes, which is more preventable and closely linked to diet and exercise.
Table Of Contents:
- What Is Blood Sugar?
- What Happens When Blood Sugar Spikes?
- 10 Tips To Maintain Healthy Blood Sugar Naturally
- Our Top Most Recommended Supplement To Help Maintain Healthy Blood Sugar Levels
What Is Blood Sugar?:
Blood sugar, also known as glucose, is the main source of sugar in the blood. Your body extracts sugar from the foods you eat and breaks them down, removing energy to power your body’s organs. We get most of our glucose from carbohydrates found in fruits, vegetables, grains, and dairy. The pancreas, situated snuggly below the liver, releases insulin to stabilize blood sugar after a meal and then sends the extra to the liver, where it is turned into glycogen.
What Happens When Blood Sugar Spikes?:
When the pancreas begins to have trouble releasing enough insulin to keep the body’s blood sugar stable, it creeps up. Spikes in blood sugar can cause increased thirst, frequent urination, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, shortness of breath, a very dry mouth, and a rapid heart beat.
10 Tips for Lowering Your Blood Sugar Naturally:
Exercise is one of the best ways to help maintain healthy blood sugar. It is a sort of natural miracle worker because when your heart and respiration pick up, the muscles start to use more of the glucose that is circulating in your blood. This not only helps maintain your blood sugar at a healthy level, but it also makes the insulin released by the pancreas more effective at bringing the system back into balance.
When it comes to exercise, here are some tips for getting the most bang for your buck:
- Keep it moderate - Super strenuous exercise is not helpful because it releases stress hormones into the system that can actually increase your blood sugar temporarily. A nice fast-paced walk or jog are perfect as are vinyasa yoga, biking, tennis, aerobics, and moderate weight training. You also do not want it to be so slow that your heart rate doesn’t increase. It needs to be somewhere in the middle.
- Keep it regular - To keep blood sugar spikes at bay, exercise needs to be a regular occurrence. That means at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise on most days of the week.
- Stay hydrated - Dehydration is really bad for keeping your blood sugar levels stable so make sure you always have a bottle of water on hand no matter your chosen workout.
Every time you send too much glucose into your body at once, it shocks the system, sending your blood sugar up high and making your body work hard to balance it out again. The key is to keep your blood sugar stable. Generally speaking, keep intake of white breads and white sugar to a minimum and avoid overly processed foods. All of your foods should be high quality, organic, local, or free of pesticides and herbicides. Certain foods are also particularly effective at maintaining healthy blood sugar levels including:
- Fruits (blueberries, citrus fruits, melons, bananas, apples, and cherries are particularly good)
- Humanely-raised meats
- Yams and sweet potatoes
- Sauerkraut and kimchi
- Raw cheeses
- Coconut oil
For a step by step guide on exactly how to eat to support optimal health in general make sure to check out The Thermo Diet Inside of UMZUfit!
You will notice that many of the foods listed above are loaded with fiber which isn’t an accident. Soluble fiber is an important tool for maintaining healthy blood sugar. Fiber slows carbohydrates from digesting and at the same time, slows the absorption of sugar into the blood stream which is really important for staving off any unnecessary blood sugar spikes. High fiber foods include many fruits, avocados, whole grains, and kefir.
3. Manage Stress
Find regular activities to manage the stress in your life. Taking five minutes in the morning, noon, and before dinner to practice deep breathing, meditating, practicing slower forms of yoga, reading, qigong, or listening to relaxing music are all effective at calming anxiety.
4. Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is important for overall health, but it is particularly crucial for maintaining healthy blood sugar. It falls under the label of stress management. Research has shown that if you don’t get at least seven hours of sleep each night your cells won’t have enough time to repair themselves, which is particularly helpful in boosting insulin sensitivity. Research has shown that those who got less than six hours of sleep nightly were twice as likely to have less sensitive insulin.
This means that when insulin is released from the pancreas, the body is less likely to respond to it and more excess sugar will become stored in the liver. While researchers are not completely sure why sleep is so important for lowering blood sugar, they think that it could be because it impacts the endocrine system. It seems those who do not get enough sleep produce more cortisol, which poorly interacts with insulin resistance. Those that sleep less are also more likely to exercise less and eat a poor diet filled with foods that release too much sugar into the bloodstream.
5. Keep Alcohol Consumption in Check
A word about alcohol consumption: While it’s perfectly okay to enjoy a moderate amount of alcohol, the quantity and kind of alcohol is key. Excess alcohol overworks the liver and pancreas. At the same time, it can disrupt sleep and cause anxiety, which indirectly can raise your blood sugar. If you love your booze, try and keep them as pure as possible. And avoid low quality, high sugar mixers. If you drink too much it can also over stimulate your appetite, causing you to eat too much and make poor diet choices.
6. Ceylon cinnamon
Ceylon cinnamon, or pure cinnamon, has long been praised for its benefits to our bodies. It is worth noting that not all cinnamon is created equal. Ceylon cinnamon is a spice that comes from the bark of the Cinnamomum tree, an evergreen tree native to Sri Lanka. In fact, Sri Lanka’s former name was Ceyton. Sri Lanka, along with the Seychelles and Madagascar, produce most of the world’s pure cinnamon crop. Cassia cinnamon, which is most commonly found in grocery stores, comes from the Cinnamomum cassia tree. It is lower quality and does not contain many of the effective essential oils.
Berberine is a bioactive substance found in the Berberis family of plants, including the Oregan grape, tree turmeric, and the barberry tree. It has been found in a number of studies to help maintain healthy blood sugar levels. It is not completely clear how it works, but researchers think that berberine impacts various human cells in the pancreas, liver, colon, and immune system and increases insulin sensitivity.
GlucoHelp is sourced from the leaf of a tree that is in the Crape Myrtle family and found in Southeast Asia. While it has a number of health benefits, its impact on blood sugar is most notable. A number of bioactive compounds in the leaf including corosolic acid have been shown to increase insulin sensitivity.
Chromium is an essential mineral that has also been shown to play a role in insulin balance. The mineral is tied to the action of a molecule called chromodulin, which helps insulin do its job in the body. Studies have found that chromium levels in the blood seemed to be reduced with aging and supplementing with chromium helped to keep levels intact.
You can also get chromium from your diet in foods like apples, bananas, pure grape juice, beef, and turkey. Another study, published in the journal Metabolism, found that milk that contained powdered chromium was also beneficial; after 16 weeks, subjects experienced a drop in fasting blood sugar.
Biotin is an important B vitamin used in many of the body’s metabolic processes and it is especially helpful for maintaining healthy blood sugar. It is found in a number of healthy foods, including sweet potatoes, organ meats, eggs, fish.
Our Top, Most Recommended Supplements To Help Maintain Healthy Blood Sugar Levels
A wide breadth of research has proven that supplementing Ceylon cinnamon, berberine, GlucoHelp, chromium, and biotin all help maintain healthy blood sugar levels.