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. One study reported that 12–14% of US adults had type 2 diabetes, while 37–38% were classified as pre-diabetic. This means that 50% of all US adults have diabetes or pre-diabetes. Here are easy ways to lower blood sugar levels naturally:
1. 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.
Checking your sugars and maintaining a log every day will help you adjust foods and medications to decrease your sugar levels.
2. 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.
Furthermore, good sleep is about both quantity and quality. It is best to get a sufficient amount of high-quality sleep every night.
Good sleep helps maintain blood sugar control and promote a healthy weight. Poor sleep can disrupt important metabolic hormones.
3. Eat Foods Rich in Chromium and Magnesium
High blood sugar levels and diabetes have also been linked to micronutrient deficiencies. Examples include deficiencies in the mineral’s chromium and magnesium. Chromium is involved in carb and fat metabolism. It also helps control blood sugar levels, and a lack of chromium may predispose you to carb intolerance. However, the mechanisms behind this are not completely known. Studies also report mixed findings.
In one study, people with the highest magnesium intake had a 47% lower risk of becoming diabetic. However, if you already eat plenty of magnesium-rich foods, then you probably will not benefit from supplements. Magnesium-rich foods include dark leafy greens, whole grains, fish, dark chocolate, bananas, avocados, and beans.
Eating foods rich in chromium and magnesium on a regular basis can help prevent deficiencies and reduce blood sugar problems.
4. Try Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has many benefits for your health. It promotes lower fasting blood sugar levels, possibly by decreasing its production by the liver or increasing its use by cells. What’s more, studies show that vinegar significantly influences your body’s response to sugars and improves insulin sensitivity. To incorporate apple cider vinegar into your diet, you can add it to salad dressings or mix 2 teaspoons in 8 ounces of water. However, it’s important to check with your doctor before taking apple cider vinegar if you are already taking medications that lower blood sugar.
Adding apple cider vinegar to your diet can help your body in many ways, including reducing blood sugar levels.
5. Experiment with Cinnamon Extract
Cinnamon is known to have many health benefits. For one, it has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity by decreasing insulin resistance at the cellular level. Studies show cinnamon can also lower blood sugar levels by up to 29%. It slows the breakdown of carbs in the digestive tract, which moderates the rise in blood sugar after a meal. Cinnamon also acts in a similar way as insulin, although at a much slower rate. An effective dose is 1–6 grams of cinnamon per day, or about 0.5–2 teaspoons.
However, definitely, don’t take more than that since too much cinnamon can be harmful. If you would like to try it, Amazon has a good selection available.
Cinnamon has been shown to reduce fasting blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity.
6. Try Berberine
Berberine is the active component of a Chinese herb that’s been used to treat diabetes for thousands of years. Berberine has been shown to help lower blood sugar and enhance the breakdown of carbs for energy. What’s more, berberine may be as effective as some blood-sugar-lowering drugs. This makes it one of the most effective supplements for those with diabetes or pre-diabetes.
However, many of the mechanisms behind its effects are still unknown. Additionally, it may have some side effects. Diarrhea, constipation, flatulence and abdominal pain have been reported.
Berberine works well for lowering blood sugar levels and can help manage diabetes. However, it may have some digestive side effects.
7. Eat Fenugreek Seeds
Fenugreek seeds are a great source of soluble fiber, which can help control blood sugar levels. Many studies have shown that fenugreek can effectively lower blood sugar in diabetics. It also helps reduce fasting glucose and improve glucose tolerance.
Although not that popular, fenugreek can easily be added to baked goods to help treat diabetes. You can also make fenugreek flour or brew it into tea. Fenugreek seeds are also considered one of the safest herbs for diabetes. The recommended dose of fenugreek seeds is 2–5 grams per day. If you’d like to try it, Amazon has a large selection available.
Consider giving fenugreek seeds a try. They are easy to add to your diet and can help regulate blood glucose levels.
8. 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. Even a 7% reduction in body weight can decrease your risk of developing diabetes by up to 58%, and it seems to work even better than medication. What’s more, these decreased risks can be sustained over the years. You should also be conscious of your waistline, as it is perhaps the most important weight-related factor for estimating your diabetes risk.
A measurement of 35 inches (88.9 cm) or more for women and 40 inches (101.6 cm) or more for men is associated with an increased risk of developing insulin resistance, high blood sugar levels, and type 2 diabetes. Having a healthy waist measurement maybe even more important than your overall weight.
Keeping a healthy weight and waistline will help you maintain normal blood sugar levels and decrease your risk of developing diabetes.