High blood sugar happens when the body is incapable of converting sugar in the blood to energy. It’s most common among people with diabetes and those at risk for the said disease. A study reported that about 12-14% of adults in the US have or had type 2 diabetes and 37-38% of Americans are categorized as pre-diabetic. In total, about 50% of American adults are either diabetic or pre-diabetic.
There are several causes for high blood sugar level. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention stated that lack of sleep, skipping breakfast, dehydrations, and drinking too much coffee are common causes for the increase of blood sugar. Most times, having a healthy diet works to control or lower down blood sugar but for some others, this may not be enough.
Keep reading for the natural, effective and best ways to lower glucose levels.
Let go of stress
Stress greatly affects a person’s disposition and influences a person’s food choices and physical activities. It’s also found that increased stress levels directly impacts blood sugar. When stressed, hormones like cortisol increase the blood sugar and impedes the body’s ability to use insulin.
Meditating is a great way to reduce one’s stress. From 2012-2017, the number of people practicing meditation in the US have tripled. This practice goes way back, it can be traced back to the olden days of countries such as India, China, and Japan. According to a study, meditation and mindfulness decreases anxiety level. Take the time to clear the mind and practice deep breathing exercises to relax the body.
Quick Guide to Meditation
- Look for a quiet space - Set a time and space where you won’t be disturbed. Turn off your phone before you start meditating.
- Sit comfortably - Regardless of where you sit down, sit upright and don’t tense up. Let your body feel relaxed.
- Breathe deeply and slowly - exercise deep breathing and focusing your mind into the inhaling and exhaling process.
Aside from meditation, yoga is also an effective way to reduce stress and decrease blood sugar level.
Exercising is a great way to lose weight and increase the body’s insulin sensitivity which allows the cells to also increase its ability to use the sugar in the bloodstream. Exercise also helps the muscle for contraction. The National Diabetes Prevention Program is designed to help people lower their sugar level. One of the things encouraged in the program is losing at least 7% of their body weight and to exercise for 150 minutes weekly. A clinical trial of the program revealed that this regime reduced the risk for Type 2 diabetes for about 58% in the span of three years.
Drinking lots of water helps regulate the blood sugar level in the body. Dr. Lina Velikova studies autoimmune diseases and she said that drinking enough water helps the kidneys flush out excess sugar in the body. Also, the Diabetes Care journal found out that people who drink at least a liter a day will less likely have high blood sugar as opposed to those who drink half a liter a day by up to 28%. You must, however, exercise caution when drinking water and ensure to drink the suggested amount only. Too much water may cause water intoxication and leads to death.
Reduce/control carb intake
Carbs are broken down into sugar and the insulin takes this sugar into the cells. Too much carbs may cause function overload and the insulin may not work properly. This is especially true for people with diabetes or prone to it. It’s beneficial to check your carb intake and limit it to at least 45% of your daily caloric intake.
Eat more fiber
Fruits and vegetables are foods high in fiber. These are known to help lower your blood sugar level. The Advances in Obesity Weight Management and Control journal revealed the results of their study on eating fiber-rich foods and it showed that bananas, berries, and broccoli reduce body weight and decrease blood sugar. Other fruits best to lower blood sugar are avocado, apple, and orange.
Eat foods with low GI index
Glycemic Index is a way to assess the body’s blood sugar response to carb foods. Eat foods with a GI index of 55 less. You can ask your healthcare provider or by checking the internet for the list of GI indexes of foods you eat. The next time you do your grocery, pick foods that your body can absorb slowly, some of which are sweet potatoes, oatmeals, and the like.
It is important to check in with your doctor before making any changes to your diet and lifestyle. Inform your doctor for any supplements that you plan on taking as well. Lifestyle changes and other natural ways to lower blood sugar are effective but only to some degrees. It is still most important to stick to your medication like insulin and metformin if you want to lower your blood sugar.
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