What is high blood sugar? This is a situation where your body struggles to move sugar from the blood into the cells. If this anomaly is left untreated, you may be exposed to mild, and possibly, chronic illnesses.
High sugar levels in the blood results when the body does not produce enough insulin (type 1 diabetes) or when the insulin produced does not work properly (type 2 diabetes). Insulin is the hormone that helps to transfer the sugar in the blood to our cells.
As much as the body needs sugar (in the form of glucose) to work, it is important to maintain a healthy level.
How do you keep your sugar level in check? Better yet, how do you lower it? There are different ways to control the level of sugar in your blood. In this post, I have highlighted 10 natural ways to do this.
10 Natural Ways To Lower Your Blood Sugar
1. Eat fewer carbohydrates
Reducing your carbohydrate intake is a great way to keep your sugar level in check. Carbs are broken down by your body into glucose which is transported to your cells. However, if you take too much carbohydrate, the level of sugar in your blood increases significantly.
Asides from lowering the sugar in the blood, eating fewer carbs is effective for weight loss. According to research, reducing carb intake also reduces appetite, which leads to weight loss.
2. Eat more fibre
There are two types of fibre: soluble and insoluble. The soluble fibre contained in foods like beans and oats and fruits like apples and avocadoes does not require insulin to get digested. This makes it less likely for foods rich in fibre to cause blood sugar spikes.
Fibre helps to slow down the digestion of carbohydrates and the absorption of sugar. This helps to make sure the sugar level is kept as low as possible.
Eating fibre-rich foods is a great way to take in carbohydrates without risking high blood sugar.
3. Don’t skip meals
It is totally fine to skip meals a few times. Well, except you have diabetes. Recent studies have shown that people with type 2 diabetes experience blood sugar spikes when they miss breakfast.
Skipping meals can distort the balance between food and medication. It alters the equilibrium and reduces insulin function. So, make it a habit to eat nutritional meals when you should.
4. Stay hydrated
Drinking lots of water is another way to lower sugar levels naturally. When you drink enough water, it helps your kidney to wash out surplus sugar through urine.
Water helps to keep you hydrated, maintain a healthy sugar level, and reduce the risk of diabetes.
This is one of the best practices on how to lower your sugar level. Exercising helps to limit blood sugar spikes as your muscles use the excess sugar for energy.
When you exercise regularly, it helps to cut down bodyweight and increase the sensitivity of insulin in your body. An increase in insulin sensitivity helps your body to properly utilize the available sugar in the blood. This helps to ensure a balance in the amount of sugar in the blood.
Activities that can be carried out as exercise include taking an energetic walk, running, swimming, dancing, riding a bike, weight lifting among others.
6. Avoid alcohol
The consumption of alcohol, even in moderate amounts interferes with the hormones required to keep a steady sugar level in the blood. It prevents the liver from functioning optimally.
Taking alcohol can increase or decrease the level of sugar in your blood. Because of the sugar in alcohol, drinking in moderate amounts will cause an increase in the amount of sugar in the blood. Excessive consumption, on the other hand, can bring the sugar in the blood to dangerously low levels, especially for people with type 1 diabetes.
Over time, too much alcohol intake can lead to a reduction in the overall effectiveness of insulin.
7. Reduce stress levels
When you’re stressed out, your body releases hormones such as cortisol and glucagon which causes the amount of sugar in the blood to go up.
Also, your body creates a lot of stored energy when you’re stressed. This is so that this energy can be utilized by the cells. However, this energy does not get to the cells in people with diabetes. Instead, the glucose stays in the blood, leading to an increase in sugar level.
Activities like yoga, taichi, and meditation can help reduce stress. Other stress-reducing habits include exercising, taking deep breaths, and keeping a positive attitude.
8. Get quality sleep
Quality sleep is very important for healthy living. Poor sleeping habits affect body chemistry and can lead to increased sugar levels.
Lack of sleep can affect the ability of your body to process glucose. It leads to a decrease in insulin sensitivity and increased production of cortisol.
If you’re looking to reduce high sugar levels, you need to get adequate amounts of high-quality sleep. Experts recommend at least 7 to 8 hours of good night rest.
9. Stay cool
Hydration is a very important factor to consider when trying to balance the level of sugar in your blood. High temperatures lead to blood sugar spikes.
When there’s too much heat, you tend to sweat profusely, which gets you dehydrated and increases your sugar level. Thereafter, this leads to frequent urination which causes further dehydration and a further increase in the sugar level. And the cycle continues.
To make sure you’re always cool, wear loose-fitting, light-coloured clothing, drink plenty of water, wear a hat when you’re outside, and use an air conditioner or stay in an air-conditioned room.
10. Monitor your sugar level
Of course, this has to be the first step on how to lower your sugar level. You need to be aware of what you want to control.
Carry out daily measurements and note the figures. This will help you to keep track and help you decide if you need to make changes to your food or medication. It also helps you to monitor the way your body reacts to certain kinds of food.
Never guess. It is only when you’re sure of your sugar level that you can find ways to make sure it stays within healthy limits.
There you go – 10 simple, natural tips on how to lower your blood sugar. The steps are quite easy to follow and can be fused into your daily routine.
Hyperglycemia can lead to short term problems such as weight loss, numbness, and constant urination as well as long term complications like stroke, kidney failure, or loss of vision.
Take steps to maintain your sugar level and soon, you won’t have to get jittery when you want to check the figures. Start now, and you’ll be very glad you did.