By Damilola Faustino
High blood sugar occurs when your body can’t effectively transport sugar from the blood into cells. When left unchecked, this can lead to diabetes. Here are easy ways to lower blood sugar levels naturally:
Regular exercise can help you lose weight and increase insulin sensitivity. Increased insulin sensitivity means your cells are better able to use the available sugar in your bloodstream. Exercise also helps your muscles use blood sugar for energy and muscle contraction.
Control your carb intake
Your body breaks carbs down into sugars (mostly glucose), and then insulin moves the sugars into cells. When you eat too many carbs or have problems with insulin function, this process fails and blood glucose levels rise. However, there are several things you can do about this. You can control carb intake by counting carbs or using a food exchange system.
Increase your fiber intake
Fiber slows carb digestion and sugar absorption. For these reasons, it promotes a more gradual rise in blood sugar levels. Furthermore, the type of fiber you eat may play a role. There are two kinds of fiber: insoluble and soluble. While both are important, soluble fiber specifically has been shown to lower blood sugar levels. Foods that are high in fiber include vegetables, fruits, legumes, and whole grains.
Drink water and stay hydrated
Drinking enough water may help you keep your blood sugar levels within healthy limits. In addition to preventing dehydration, it helps your kidneys flush out the excess blood sugar through urine. Drinking water regularly re-hydrates the blood, lowers blood sugar levels and reduces diabetes risk. Keep in mind that water and other non-caloric beverages are best.
Control stress levels
Stress can affect your blood sugar levels. Hormones such as glucagon and cortisol are secreted during stress. These hormones cause blood sugar levels to go up. One study showed that exercise, relaxation and meditation significantly reduced stress and lowered blood sugar levels.
Monitor your blood sugar levels
Measuring and monitoring blood glucose levels can also help you control them. For example, keeping track helps you determine whether you need to make adjustments in meals or medications. It will also help you find out how your body reacts to certain foods. Try measuring your levels every day, and keeping track of the numbers in a log.
Get enough quality sleep
Getting enough sleep feels great and is necessary for good health. Poor sleeping habits and a lack of rest also affect blood sugar levels and insulin sensitivity. They can increase appetite and promote weight gain. Sleep deprivation decreases the release of growth hormones and increases cortisol levels. Both of these play an important role in blood sugar control.
Lose Some Weight
It’s a no-brainer that maintaining a healthy weight will improve your health and prevent future health problems. Weight control also promotes healthy blood sugar levels and has been shown to reduce your risk of developing diabetes.
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