14 Effective Tips For Naturally Lowering Blood Sugar Levels 🎊 The Scoper Media

By Kehinde KOLAWOLE

Exercising regularly, managing stress, and eating more foods high in fiber and probiotics may help lower blood sugar levels. However, these lifestyle adjustments do not replace medical treatment for diabetes or other metabolic conditions.

Your body usually manages your blood sugar levels by producing insulin, which allows your cells to use the circulating sugar in your blood. However, multiple factors can impair blood sugar management and lead to hyperglycemia (high blood sugar).

Blood sugar management is especially important for people with diabetes, as the condition may lead to limb and life threatening complications.

Here are 14 easy and evidence-backed ways to naturally lower blood sugar levels.

EXERCISE AND MOVEMENT THROUGHOUT THE DAY

Regular exercise and physical activity can help you manage your weight and increase

 insulin sensitivity. Increased insulin sensitivity means your cells can use the glucose in your bloodstream more effectively.

Exercise also helps your muscles use blood sugar for energy and muscle contraction.

If you have problems with blood sugar management, consider routinely checking your levels before and after exercising. This will help you learn how your body responds to different activities and keep your blood sugar levels from getting too high or low.

You can still benefit from shorter sessions even if you have trouble dedicating more time to exercise throughout the week. For example, try aiming for 10-minute exercise sessions 3 times a day for 5 days, with the goal of 150 minutes per week.

So-called “exercise snacks

” also help prevent the damage that sitting for prolonged periods can do. Exercise snacks mean you break up your sitting time every 30 minutes for just a few minutes throughout the day. Some recommended exercises include light walking or simple resistance exercises, like squats or leg raises.

Other useful forms of exercise include:

  • weightlifting
  • brisk walking
  • running
  • biking
  • dancing
  • hiking
  • swimming
  • jumping jacks
  • half squats

Any activity that gets you up and moving — regardless of the intensity — beats a sedentary lifestyle.

MANAGE YOUR CARB INTAKE

Your carb intake strongly influences your blood sugar levels. Your body breaks carbs down into sugars, mainly glucose. Then, insulin helps your body use and store it for energy.

This process fails when you eat too many carbs or have insulin-function problems, and blood glucose levels can rise.

That’s why the American Diabetes Association recommends that people with diabetes manage their carb intake by counting carbs and being aware of how many they need for daily activities.

Carb counting can help you plan your meals appropriately, improving

 blood sugar management.

A low carb diet helps reduce blood sugar levels and prevent

 spikes.

It’s important to note that low carb and no-carb diets are different.

When monitoring your blood sugar, you can eat (and need) some carbs. However, prioritizing carbs from whole grains and unprocessed sources provides greater nutritional value while helping decrease blood sugar levels.

EAT MORE FIBER

Fiber slows carb digestion and sugar absorption, promoting a more gradual rise in blood sugar levels.

There are two types of fiber: insoluble and soluble.

While both are important, soluble fiber has been explicitly shown

 to improve blood sugar management, while insoluble fiber hasn’t been shown to have this effect.

A high fiber diet can improve your body’s ability to regulate and minimize blood sugar levels. This could help you

 better manage type 1 diabetes.

Foods high in fiber include:

  • vegetables
  • fruits
  • legumes
  • whole grains

The recommended daily intake of fiber

 is about 25 grams for females and 35 grams for males. That’s about 14 grams for every 1,000 calories.

DRINK WATER

Drinking enough water could help you keep your blood sugar levels within healthy ranges. In addition to preventing dehydration, it helps your kidneys flush out excess sugar through urine.

One 2021 review

 of observational studies found that people who drank more water had a lower risk of developing high blood sugar levels.

Drinking water regularly may rehydrate the blood, lower blood sugar levels, and reduce diabetes risk.

Keep in mind that water and other zero-calorie drinks are better for hydration. Avoiding sugar-sweetened options is ideal, as these can raise blood glucose, drive unwanted weight gain, and increase

 diabetes risk.

IMPLEMENT PORTION MANAGEMENT

Managing how much you eat can help you regulate your calorie intake and maintain a moderate weight.

Consequently, weight management promotes

 healthy blood sugar levels and has been shown to reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Monitoring your serving sizes also helps prevent blood sugar spikes.

You may manage portion sizes by:

  • eating slowly
  • measuring and weighing your food
  • using smaller plates
  • avoiding all-you-can-eat restaurants or those that serve large portions
  • reading food labels and checking the serving sizes of each item
  • keeping a food journal
  • using a food-tracking phone app

CHOOSE LOW GLYCEMIC FOODS

The glycemic index (GI) measures how quickly carbs break down during digestion and how rapidly your body absorbs them. This affects how quickly your blood sugar levels rise.

The GI divides foods into low, medium, and high GI scores and ranks them on a scale of 0 to 100. Low GI foods have a ranking of 55 or lower

. Consistently eating low GI foods may reduce blood sugar levels in people with diabetes.

Some examples of foods with a low to moderate GI include:

  • bulgur
  • barley
  • unsweetened Greek yogurt
  • oats
  • beans
  • lentils
  • legumes
  • whole wheat pasta
  • non-starchy vegetables

Furthermore, adding protein or healthy fats to your plate helps minimize blood sugar spikes after a meal.

Focusing on the overall quality of the food is a better approach than eliminating or adding specific food groups.

MANAGE YOUR STRESS LEVELS

Stress can affect your blood sugar levels. When stressed, your body secretes hormones called glucagon and cortisol, which cause blood sugar levels to rise.

Stress management strategies may include:

  • exercise
  • meditation
  • mindfulness
  • deep breathing
  • journaling
  • arts and crafts
  • psychotherapy
  • your favorite hobbies

EXERCISES AND RELAXATION METHODS, like yoga

 and mindfulness-based stress reduction

, may also help correct insulin secretion problems among people with chronic diabetes receiving medical treatment.

Monitoring blood glucose levels can help you better manage

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 them. You can do so at home using a portable blood glucose meter, known as a glucometer. You can discuss this option with a doctor.

Keeping track lets you determine whether to adjust your meals or medications. It also helps you learn how your body reacts to certain foods.

Try measuring your daily levels and keeping track of the numbers in a log. It may also be more helpful to track your blood sugar in pairs. For example, before and after exercise or before and 2 hours after a meal.

This can show you whether you need to make small changes to a meal if it spikes your blood sugar rather than avoiding your favorite meals altogether.

Some adjustments include swapping a starchy side for non-starchy veggies or limiting them to a handful.

GET ENOUGH QUALITY SLEEP

Less than optimal sleeping habits and a lack of rest can affect

 blood sugar levels and insulin sensitivity, increasing the chance of developing type 2 diabetes. They can also increase appetite and promote weight gain.

Sleep deprivation also raises

 levels of cortisol, which plays an essential role in blood sugar management.

Adequate sleep is about both quantity and quality. Adults are advised to get 7 to 8 hours

 of high quality sleep per night.

To improve the quality of your sleep, try to:

  • follow a consistent sleep schedule
  • avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed
  • get physical activity throughout the day
  • cut down on screen time before bed
  • keep your bedroom cool and comfortable
  • limit your naps during the day
  • use soothing scents, such as lavender
  • avoid working or studying in your bedroom if possible
  • take a warm bath or shower before bed
  • try meditation or guided imagery

EAT FOODS RICH IN CHROMIUM AND MAGNESIUM

High blood sugar levels and diabetes have been linked

 to micronutrient deficiencies, including chromium and magnesium.

Chromium is involved in carb and fat metabolism. It may enhance insulin’s action, thus aiding blood sugar regulation.

Chromium-rich foods include:

  • beef, chicken, and turkey
  • whole grains, such as barley
  • fruits and vegetables, like green beans and apples
  • almonds

However, the mechanisms behind this proposed connection are not entirely known. More research is needed.

Magnesium also benefits blood sugar level regulation. Diets rich in magnesium are associated

 with a significantly reduced risk of diabetes.

In contrast, low magnesium levels may lead to insulin resistance and decreased glucose tolerance in people with diabetes.

You likely won’t benefit from magnesium supplements if you already eat plenty of magnesium-rich foods and have adequate blood magnesium levels.

Magnesium-rich foods include:

  • dark leafy greens
  • squash and pumpkin seeds
  • tuna
  • whole grains
  • dark chocolate
  • bananas
  • avocados
  • beans

BE CAREFUL WITH FOODS MARKETED AS ‘MEDICINAL’

Multiple foods and plants are known to have medicinal properties. However, the quality of evidence on these ingredients is low due to insufficient human studies or small sample sizes. Therefore, no conclusive recommendations

 can be made regarding their use.

Some of the foods touted to have anti-diabetes effects include:

  • Apple cider vinegar: According to a 2014 article
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  • , this ingredient may reduce blood sugar levels by delaying the emptying of your stomach after a meal. A 2020 study
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  •  in rats also found that apple cider vinegar reduced blood sugar spikes. The authors concluded that the use of apple vinegar could help prevent metabolic disorders, like diabetes, in individuals eating a high calorie diet.
  • Cinnamon: This spice is said to improve
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  •  blood sugar levels by enhancing insulin sensitivity and slowing the breakdown of carbs in your digestive tract. This moderates the rise in blood sugar after a meal. Nevertheless, more research is needed.
  • Berberine: Research
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  •  suggests this compound lowers blood sugar by stimulating enzymes’ breakdown of glucose, promoting your tissue’s use of sugar and increasing insulin production. More studies are needed.
  • Fenugreek seeds: Like the other foods on this list, more high quality studies in humans are needed, but there is some evidence
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  •  that fenugreek may help support blood sugar management.

It’s essential to talk with your doctor before adding any of these foods to your diet if you’re already taking diabetes medications, as some herbal supplements may negatively interact with them.

Finally, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate supplements like it regulates prescription medications. Purchasing supplements that an independent lab has tested for purity and ingredient content is important.

MANAGE YOUR WEIGHT

Maintaining your doctor’s recommended weight range for your age and height promotes healthy blood sugar levels and reduces your risk of developing diabetes.

If you have overweight or obesity, research shows that even a 5%

 reduction in body weight can improve your blood sugar regulation and reduce the need for diabetes medication.

For example, if a person weighs 200 pounds (91 kilograms) and loses 10 to 14 pounds (4.5 to 6 kilograms), they may see significant improvements in their blood sugar levels.

What’s more, losing more than 5% of your initial weight may benefit your HbA1c readings. These are used as indicators of your blood sugar levels over the past 3 months.

EAT HEALTHY SNACKS MORE FREQUENTLY

Spreading your meals and snacks throughout the day may help you avoid high and low blood sugar levels. Snacking between meals may also reduce

 your risk of type 2 diabetes.

Smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day could improve

 insulin sensitivity and lower blood sugar levels. In addition, eating smaller meals and healthy snacks throughout the day may lower HbA1c readings, indicating improvements in blood sugar levels over the previous 3 months.

EAT PROBIOTIC-RICH FOODS

Probiotics are friendly bacteria with numerous health benefits, including improved blood sugar regulation. Probiotics may lower fasting blood sugar, HbA1c, and insulin resistance in people with type 2 diabetes.

Interestingly, a 2016 study found that improvements in blood sugar levels are more significant in people who consume multiple species of probiotics for at least 8 weeks.

Probiotic-rich foods include fermented foods, such as:

  • yogurt, as long as the label states that it contains live active cultures
  • kefir
  • tempeh
  • sauerkraut
  • kimchi

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What are the three signs of hyperglycemia?

Hyperglycemia symptoms include excessive thirst, frequent urination, blurry vision, tiredness, and sores that don’t heal.

What are the 3 P’s of diabetes hyperglycemia?

The 3 P’s of diabetes hyperglycemia are polydipsia, polyuria, and polyphagia. These are defined as excessive thirst, urination, and appetite, respectively.

Is type 2 diabetes hypo or hyper?

Type 2 diabetes can cause hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) because your insulin isn’t allowing glucose to be used in your body the way it’s supposed to.

The bottom line

Managing blood sugar levels involves certain lifestyle strategies, such as managing weight, stress levels, and sleep quality as well as prioritizing physical activity and hydration. That said, some of the most significant improvements involve dietary choices

Source: Healthline