Believe it or not, the mention of the term ‘blood sugar’ still sends shivers down the spine of many especially when they pay a visit to the hospital for a random checkup regardless of their age, and it’s no surprise why. The all too common followup question comes up, is it high or low?
Well, I’m guessing you already know the answer if you’re reading this and you’re searching for the safest ways to dial it down a notch. You’ve indeed come to the right place for help because we’ve put together some of the best ways to naturally keep your blood sugar in check, bringing it down to recommended levels. It’s not magic, it’s science.
If you knew that the silly choices you make daily could have drastic effects like this on your health, would you be more careful?
From binge drinking to not drinking enough water, taking your coffee without sugar, being exposed to high temperatures, down to the choice of food you eat (choosing baked potatoes which is a high sugar meal over salads or vegetables).
Consuming a few extra shots of bourbon could be damaging your health and not even know to what extent. Other reckless behavioral patterns such as taking someone else’s medication, skipping breakfast, eating food low in dietary fiber, and even getting sick.
These can all cause your blood sugar level to skyrocket, but not to worry, I have the natural remedy to all your problems. You’re about to discover some pretty interesting ways to lower your blood sugar level naturally without medication.
What Exactly Does Your Blood Sugar Level Indicate?
Your blood sugar is the amount of sugar (basically in the form of glucose) in the blood of humans and animals alike at any given time. Glucose is a type of fuel that drives other cellular activities in the body.
I can go on and on about how important it is for the blood sugar level to be at the proper range at all times, because a drastic increase or decrease beyond the actual value, could be the difference between life and death.
Take a deep breath and relax; it’s not my intention to scare but rather proffer a solution. Just stay calm and enjoy the ride with me.
Normal Blood Sugar Level.
This refers to the amount of glucose (sugar) in the blood before a meal and at the fasting state (2-3 hours after a meal). The normal blood sugar level is different for a non-diabetic, a person with diabetes and a fasting diabetic.
The blood sugar range for a non-diabetic in a fasting state is between 3.9 and 7.1mmol/L (70 to 130mg/dl) and 7.8mmol/L, that is (around 140mg/dl) two hours after eating. The blood sugar level of a non-diabetic after eating below 180mg/dl is within the normal range.
When the blood sugar level is lower than 70 mg/dl before a meal and rises above 180 mg/dl, high blood sugar is suspected. But you should know that in the case of high blood sugar, symptoms like constant thirst, frequent urination and fatigue manifests when the blood sugar level is higher than 250mg/dl.
A Takeaway: It might interest you to know that about a teaspoon of sugar in the body of a 75kg healthy adult male with about 5 liters of blood volume is equivalent to 5.5 mmol/L.
11 Ways to Lower Your Blood Sugar Levels Naturally
Hey there! Yes, I’m talking to you. There really is no point panicking over the stats of your blood sugar level. You can drastically reduce your blood sugar level and have a completely normal life without limitations if you can strictly adhere to these natural lifestyle changes.
It’s nothing tedious really, just a slight adjustment to your daily routine, and in no time you will be free as a bird and less terrified of checking your blood sugar level stats. Without further ado, below are the 11 ways to lower your blood sugar levels:
1. Eat Foods High On Fibers.
A 1991 study revealed that legumes, vegetables, fruits and whole grains which are good sources of soluble fibers are beneficial in lowering blood sugar level. I’m sure you’ve heard the proverb which says, “slow and steady wins the race.” This goes a long way in describing the action of fibers in digestion.
Fibers slow the digestion of carbohydrates, and hence it’s absorption. The sugars are therefore gradually released in the bloodstream, thereby bringing about the control of blood sugar. So if you are looking to reduce your sugar level, you might want to include more fibers in your diet but not without your dietician’s permission.
In addition to vegetables, fruits, spinach and cereals, avocados, nectarines, sweet potatoes, black beans are essential in the fight against high blood sugar. A close look at patients with diabetes in a two-year study revealed that diets rich in fibers could reduce the chances of having type two diabetes to begin with.
Physical activities like brisk walking, swimming, dancing, running, moving in circles, weight lifting, are not only vital for their weightloss advantage, but also because they improve insulin sensitivity in the blood and therefore increase the pace at which these sugars are used up. Impaired insulin function if not treated, can lead to diabetes.
The muscles require sugars for energy and contraction. So regular exercise is vital for blood sugar control and lowering the sugar level. I, for one, find it rather fascinating that you can ‘toosie slide’ with Drake, which is fun and still kicking that high sugar level in the butt.
I must emphasize that too vigorous exercise should be avoided to prevent a spike in blood sugar.
3. Run From Carbs and Starchy Food.
I am not saying you should completely eviscerate carbs and starchy foods, but control what you eat. “what is measured can be controlled”. It’s quite simple; more carbs equals spiked blood sugar levels, and vice versa. This, in the long run, will bring about the control of your blood sugar naturally.
Studies have shown participants with type 2 diabetes involved in a two years study on a strict low carb diet, had no further need for their medications. Sticking to just the daily requirements (35g of carbs for female and 40g of carbs for males) is vital in lowering blood sugar level.
Vegetables, grains, and proteins should replace the regular roast potatoes and other high carb meals.
4. Keep Your Electrolyte Level Up.
Since a spike in blood sugar level messes with your electrolytes like magnesium, potassium, chromium and phosphate, it’s important to replenish your electrolytes as soon as it’s used up. A spike in blood sugar levels result in symptoms like excessive urination, and loss of water which can result in dehydration.
Although some sugar-free drinks, low-fat milk or low-carb electrolytes can offer temporary relief and rehydrate the body, natural sources of these electrolytes which can be found in foods like bananas, nuts, and seeds are recommended. Magnesium is a very important electrolyte in the body.
A depleted magnesium balance can be restored by consuming magnesium-rich supplements or from seeds rich in minerals – pumpkin seeds. Plain yogurt, cashews, almond and spinach, are good sources of minerals.
5. Avoid Stressful Activities.
When we are stressed, we make choices that in the long run, come around to bite us in the ass, from drinking too much to making lousy mistakes. Our body is no exception. When you are stressed, hormones like glucagon and cortisol are produced in excess and they interfere with insulin secretion.
This, in turn, affects the sugars in the blood and they cannot be transported to cells where they are needed. An elevated blood sugar level at this point is inevitable.
Stress-relieving activities like yoga, meditation, deep breathing, positive mental attitude, watching a movie, crafting, etc., whatever helps you get over stress are advised to unlock insulin secretion and hence lower blood sugar level.
6. Get Enough Hours Of Sleep.
The easiest way to deal with stress is to take a nap. This tells you how important it is that you get enough sleep. Other than feeling recharged and energetic, it’s the best time for fatty acids to be cleared from the blood.
When you don’t get enough sleep, fatty acids accumulate in the blood and interfere with insulin action. We both know what happens when the activity of insulin is inhibited or affected in any way…Boom! A spike in blood sugar is imminent, and from there all kinds of hell is let loose.
A Feb. 2015 study at the University of Chicago shows that lack or inadequate sleep may result in type two (2) diabetes. Diseases such as heart disease, stroke and cancer can also be linked to a lack of sleep. So in earnest, to avoid this ugly menace of high blood sugar, at least 7 hours of sleep daily is recommended. Blood sugar control and decrease come naturally when you get enough sleep.
7. Drink Lots Of Water.
A patient once asked his doctor how soon or how fast can he lower his blood sugar level. The answer he got from the doctor stunned the patient that he left the clinic feeling angrier than he came. Yes, it’s that simple. Drink a lot of water. A 2017 study shows that high blood sugar is as a result of low daily water consumption. The body requires lots of water to constantly neutralize and flush the excess sugar formed in the body via ultrafiltration. What this means is more bathroom intervals for you.
Now there is no restriction on the amount of water one has to consume daily. Still, the United Kingdom National Health Services estimates that 1.2 liters or an equivalent of 6-8 glasses of water a day should be sufficient to keep the body hydrated. What it means, in essence, is that high water intake equals to low blood sugar and vice versa.
8. Glutamine Supplements.
Glutamine is an amino acid whose function in the body cannot be overemphasized. It maintains intestinal integrity, builds the immune system and plays other vital roles. Glutamine secretion in people with diabetes is low, and this leads to an elevated blood sugar level. A study performed by Tianjin Medical University showed that a supplement of glutamine in diets not only increases insulin activity but also lowers the blood sugar level drastically.
9. Apple Cedar Vinegar.
Apple Cedar Vinegar has been employed in a variety of health conditions ranging from weight control or weight loss to lowering high blood pressure. Though there are not enough data to support the use of apple cedar vinegar as a substitute for reducing high blood sugar in humans, it is effective in lowering the fasting blood sugar.
According to a study published in the journal of the American Association of Diabetes, 2004, ACV is effective in reducing blood sugar level. Another study suggests that it also helps in weight loss. This was published by Functional Foods.
This guy here has been rumored to be the greatest supplement so far. It is as effective in lowering blood sugar levels as oral pharmaceutical drugs like metformin (Glucophage), Glipizide and Rosiglitazone. Berberine is however not without its side-effects. But if you can get past the flatulence, diarrhea, constipation and abdominal pains, it’s action is extraordinary. It is found in a Chinese herb berberis and other plant groups. Berberine has various mechanisms for reducing blood sugar level. These include:
- Slowing the production of sugar in the liver.
- Berberine makes insulin more active by decreasing its resistance.
- It speeds up glycolysis, thereby leading to the breakdown of more sugars in cells.
- Increases the number or availability of the but bacteria and facilitates carbohydrates breakdown in the gut.
11. Bitter Lemons.
Surprise!!! I can’t deal with the taste myself, but if you can look past the horrible taste, you will find that bitter lemon is in itself a mysterious fruit. It has two components – Charantin and Polypeptide–p whose effects are similar to that of insulin. Bitter lemons are important in lowering the blood sugar level, and this has been tested in a preliminary study involving mice, and found to be effective in reducing the blood sugar level in mice.
Other factors like ingesting fenugreek seeds, maintaining a cool temperature or staying in a warm environment at all times etc. are also effective in lowering the blood sugar level.
It’s said that “prevention is better than cure” and this aged belief still holds water to this day. The best and quickest way of lowering the blood sugar level is to take measures that guarantee that you don’t get high blood sugar in the first place. It all comes down to the decisions and choices you make early in life.
Well, it’s never too late. Decide from today to eat healthier, exercise regularly, get decent hours of sleep, and stay hydrated at all times. Getting a diet regimen with abundant soluble fibers like whole grains, legumes, vegetables and fruits, avocados, spinach, beans (also known as a girl’s best friend), should be your priority.
Drinking as much water as your body can contain and topping up your electrolytes purely with natural supplements. Follow these health guide, seek medical advice, regularly check your blood sugar level, and you will be just fine.