Natural remedies for high blood sugar

Managing diabetes effectively often requires a holistic approach that includes not only medical treatment but also lifestyle adjustments.

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Embracing a healthy lifestyle can significantly impact blood sugar levels, making it easier to manage diabetes on a daily basis.

Natural remedies for diabetes

Natural remedies for high blood sugar are an integral part of this approach, offering safe and supportive options for maintaining balanced glucose levels.

In this post, we will discuss how adopting natural remedies and making positive lifestyle changes can aid in managing diabetes, and enhancing your overall health and well-being.

When your body can’t make or use insulin well, you might have high blood sugar.

According to the WHO, 422 million people worldwide live with diabetes. About 13% of all Americans and 25% of those 65 and older have high blood sugar.

The hazards of uncontrolled blood sugars are many including heart disease, stroke, loss of limbs, eyesight, and kidney injury to name just a few.

Natural remedies for diabetes 1

Whether you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes mellitus, keeping blood sugar under control is important.

That means keeping up with your medications as well as lifestyle choices that help to lower blood sugar.

If you have type 1 diabetes, you do need insulin to manage your blood sugar but adopting some positive lifestyle changes will help reduce sugar spikes.

However, it’s important to use these methods alongside your medications as prescribed by your doctor.

How to Lower Blood Sugar Naturally

Manage your carb intake

Of course, every diabetic knows that eating too many carbs can affect your blood sugar levels.

Your body turns carbs into glucose.

The American Diabetes Association advises managing carb intake. This means knowing how many carbs you need each day.

Avoiding simple carbs and focusing on whole grains can lower your blood sugar. But even complex carbs are still carbs so eat in moderation.

Plus, choosing unprocessed sources is better for your overall nutrition. This is good for keeping blood sugar levels steady.

  • Practice carb counting to manage your intake
  • Focus on complex carbs from whole, unprocessed foods
  • Monitor your blood sugar closely
Natural remedies for high blood sugar

If you watch what carbs you eat, you can help control your blood sugar. This is key for managing your blood sugar and staying healthy.

Eat less carbs and opt for complex carbs

Carbs can affect your blood sugar a lot. Too many processed carbs can cause your blood sugar to spike.

Eating complex carbohydrates plays a crucial role in managing blood sugar levels.

Unlike simple carbohydrates, which are quickly broken down into glucose and can cause rapid spikes in blood sugar, complex carbs are digested more slowly.

This slower digestion helps to maintain a steadier release of glucose into the bloodstream, preventing sudden spikes and crashes.

Complex carbohydrates are found in whole grains, legumes, vegetables, and fruits.

These foods not only provide a more gradual increase in blood sugar but also come packed with essential nutrients, including fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

Fiber, in particular, is beneficial as it further slows down the absorption of glucose, promotes satiety, and supports digestive health.

Incorporating foods like brown rice, quinoa, oats, beans, lentils, and a variety of colorful vegetables into your diet can help in maintaining stable blood sugar levels.

Additionally, these foods can contribute to overall health by reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and supporting weight management, both of which are important factors in diabetes care.

Opt for These Complex Carb Sources

  • Whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, and oats
  • Fruits like berries, apples, and pears
  • Vegetables such as leafy greens, broccoli, and sweet potatoes
  • Legumes including lentils, chickpeas, and black beans

These foods are rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. They are good for your blood sugar and overall health.

Choosing complex carbs over simple carbs is a big step in blood sugar management.

complex carbs

The right amount of carbs differs for each person with diabetes or prediabetes.

Factors like age, weight, and activity level play a role.

Talking with your doctor is a good way to figure out the best carb plan for you.

Exercise

Adding exercise to your day can boost how your body handles blood sugar. It helps your cells use glucose better by making them more responsive to insulin.

The American Diabetes Association suggests starting with 30 minutes of cardio thrice weekly.

You should aim to go up to five times to really help your blood sugar.

By moving, your muscles start to pull in blood sugar for energy and to move. It’s wise to check your blood sugar before and after exercise to see the effects.

Short, 10-minute sessions, several times a day, or “exercise snacks” during sit-down times, can be beneficial.

Good choices for handling blood sugar through activity are:

  • Weightlifting
  • Brisk walking
  • Running
  • Biking
  • Dancing
  • Hiking
  • Swimming

Keeping active can significantly boost how well your body manages blood sugar.

According to the American Diabetes Association exercise can affect blood sugar up to 24 hours later.

Find a mix of activities that you enjoy. This way, sticking to it will be easier and more fun.

Monitor blood sugar

Keeping an eye on your blood sugar is important when you have diabetes.

It helps you see how your body gets along with different foods and activities. This way, you can learn what works best for you to stay healthy.

A portable blood glucose meter, also known as a glucometer, makes this easy. With this device, you can check your sugar levels at home anytime.

It’s good to keep a record of your daily levels, especially before and after you eat or do something active. A simple notebook can do or purchase a log such as this one.

Knowing these levels well can lead you to tweak your daily habits.

If a meal bumps up your sugar too much, you might try swapping some of its parts with healthier options.

The same goes for exercise – checking your levels then can help you adjust your workout routine.

Regular checks are a powerful strategy against diabetes.

They let you and your healthcare team make smarter choices about your treatment and daily habits.

This teamwork can help you keep your sugar in check and avoid health issues down the line.

It’s about finding a smart balance that fits your life.

By checking your sugar often and making small tweaks, you can stay healthy and in control. Remember, it’s all about living your best life.

Eat more fiber

Fiber is key for keeping your blood sugar steady. It slows how fast your body turns carbs into sugar.

Soluble and insoluble fiber are the main types. Soluble fiber is best for sugar control. It’s found in oats, beans, and some fruits.

It slows how quickly sugar gets into your blood.

Insoluble fiber, like in whole grains and certain fruits and veggies, supports your gut.

A diet high in fiber, especially the soluble kind, can help you deal with sugar spikes.

Here are some great fiber sources:

  • Whole grains like whole wheat bread, brown rice, oats, and quinoa
  • Vegetables such as broccoli, carrots, and leafy greens
  • Fruits like berries, apples, and pears
  • Legumes such as beans, lentils, and peas

Typically, women need to aim for 25 grams of fiber a day, while men should get 35 grams.

Adding more fiber foods to your daily meals can keep your blood sugar in check. This is important for those with type 1 diabetes.

Ensure optimal vitamin D levels

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin important for many bodily functions including diabetes prevention.

Vitamin D is important for how well your body uses insulin and processes glucose. A 2017 study in Endocrinology found that vitamin D 2 has a role in pancreatic beta cell function and regulation of insulin secretion.

The study found that vitamin D deficiency impaired beta deficiency impairs glucose-mediated insulin secretion and vitamin D supplementation restored insulin secretion.

Furthermore, the same study found that vitamin D enhances insulin sensitivity in peripheral tissues.

In addition, the study states that inflammation is associated with diabetes type 2 pathogenesis (development), mostly by promoting insulin resistance.

So if your vitamin D levels are low, you might have a greater chance of getting type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Remember that type 1 diabetes is associated with immune dysfunction and inflammation plays a role in immune dysfunction. Vitamin D.

According to the study above, vitamin D protects the pancreatic B cells by modulating the expression and activity of cytokines such as tumor necrosis factor alfa and other mediators.

Through this and other pathways, vitamin prevents pancreatic beta-cell death.

Vitamin D deficiency is also associated with elevated inflammatory markers, and inflammation, with diabetes.

Studies show that getting enough vitamin D can help control blood sugar and lower inflammation.

It also boosts markers for good metabolism in diabetes patients.

Vitamin D which is a prohormone is important for overall health. However, there is a global vitamin D deficiency issue:

  • One 1 billion people of the globe have vitamin D deficiency while 50% of the world population have a vitamin D insufficiency.
  • 35% of adults in the US have a vitamin D deficiency according to Cleveland Health.
  • The recommended daily vitamin D intake is 400-800 IUs depending on age per NIH. However, the dose should be adjusted depending on other factors such as melanin, obesity, season, latitude, and sun exposure.
  • But, the U.S. Endocrine Society says 1,500–2,000 IU daily might be better.

So, how do you get enough vitamin D into your system? Here are a few tips:

  1. Get outside in the sunlight often. It’s nature’s main way of giving you vitamin D.
  2. Eat foods that are rich in vitamin D, like fatty fish, seafood, mushrooms, and fortified dairy.
  3. Talk to your doctor to see if taking a vitamin D supplement is a good idea. This can help keep your vitamin D levels between 20-50 ng/ml.

Ensuring you have enough vitamin D, can help you better control your blood sugar.

And you can even lower your odds of getting diabetes.

But be sure to always speak with your doctor to find out how much vitamin D is best for you. Too much vitamin D is toxic so you dont want to take too much.

Consume low-glycemic foods

The glycemic index (GI) is a good way to control blood sugar levels. The glycemic index shows how fast carbs turn into sugar in our blood.

Choosing foods with a low GI can help you manage your diabetes better because these foods affect blood sugar slowly and make spikes less likely.

Here are some foods with a low to medium GI:

  • Bulgur
  • Barley
  • Unsweetened Greek yogurt
  • Oats
  • Beans
  • Lentils
  • Legumes
  • Whole wheat pasta
  • Non-starchy vegetables

Eating foods with a low GI can keep your blood sugar steady and prevent spikes.

Eating a mix of nutrient-rich foods on a low GI diet is important. This ensures you get good nutrition from what you eat.

Add protein and healthy fats to your meals.

Adding protein and healthy fats to meals can lower blood sugar spikes. That is because these nutrients slow carb absorption.

Fats and protein are slow to digest unlike carbs alone. So eating them together with carbs keeps blood sugar steady.

This slow release of blood sugar leads to a gentler increase in blood sugar levels.

Drink more water

Drinking enough water is a simple way to help control blood sugar. Studies show more water helps to lower high blood sugar risk.

When your blood sugar is high you void more. So having more water available helps the kidneys to eliminate some of the excess sugar out of the blood.

In 2021, a review found a link between water and lower blood sugar risk. It’s thought that water helps the kidneys remove sugar in the urine.

This could keep your blood sugar steady.

Avoid drinks with sugar as they can make blood sugar spike. Water is always your best choice.

However, drinks including green tea, coffee, and plant-based milk might also help lower blood sugar levels. A meta-analysis study found that green tea consumption significantly reduced fasting glucose and hemoglobin A1C.

Staying hydrated with water and other healthy drinks is key for healthy blood sugar.

Consume fewer sugar substitutes

Sugar substitutes might seem like a better choice than sugar. But, experts still don’t fully understand their effects on health over time.

Some research shows they could lead to weight gain and up the risk of diabetes.

Instead of using sugar substitutes, it’s best to eat whole, natural foods. This can help keep blood sugar levels in check. It’s smart to lower your sugar substitute intake.

Artificial sweeteners, 200 to 700 times sweeter than sugar, are checked by the FDA.

A few examples are Acesulfame potassium (Ace-K), Advantame, and Aspartame. They have been deemed safe by the FDA.

Erythritol, Isomalt, and other sugar alcohols can sweeten foods without spiking blood sugar.

But, they might upset your stomach. For some people, issues can include bloating, gas, and diarrhea.

Studies show that artificial sweeteners may lead to gut dysbiosis, and cause inflammation if used chronically.

To keep blood sugar levels healthy and avoid risks like diabetes, watch your sugar substitute use.

According to the Mayo Clinic sugar substitutes may not be as beneficial as once thought especially if consumed in large amounts.

Sugar alcohols such as sorbitol, mannitol, and xylitol, can increase blood sugar levels and may also cause diarrhea in some people(source).

Focus on eating foods that are good for you. It’s also a good idea to get advice from a health professional or a diet expert.

Sugar substitutes may in the long run lead to insulin resistance according to studies.

This may be due to their association with inflammation, so it’s wise not to use them often. h your blood sugar?

It’s true. When you feel stressed, your body starts to produce hormones that raise your blood sugar.

This might lead to problems with how your body uses insulin. Furthermore, this 2019 study found that chronic high stress affects the way your brain responds to high-calorie foods.
In high stress, the emotional areas of the brain get elevated while the reasoning areas(prefrontal cortex gets shut off.

In that way, you are more likely to emotionally eat and be unable to resist high-calorie foods.

And of course, eventually, that leads to obesity and insulin resistance.

So find ways to manage stress and stay calm such as:

  • Engage in regular exercise, such as brisk walking, swimming, or cycling, to help lower cortisol levels and improve insulin sensitivity.
  • Practice mindfulness techniques like meditation and deep breathing to reduce stress and support healthy blood sugar management.
  • Explore relaxation techniques like journaling, listening to calming music, or engaging in hobbies you enjoy to activate the body’s relaxation response.
  • Having good friends is also very important in stress management. Talking to friends, and socializing can help you to feel good and happy. Good friends are some kind of therapy so make your friendships a priority.
  • sleeping well lowers stress. It helps you think clearly, and feel good and better equipped to handle stressors.
  • Using your time wisely is important in lowering stress as well. This way you are not doing this in a stressed manner but methodically and calmly keeping your stress levels low.

Eat foods rich in magnesium and chromium

Natural remedies for diabetes 4

Maintaining healthy blood sugar levels is key for diabetes management and risk reduction.

Research shows that low magnesium intake and low magnesium blood levels are associated with type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, elevated c-reactive protein( a marker of inflammation), hypertension, atherosclerotic vascular disease, sudden cardiac death, osteoporosis, migraine headaches asthma, and colon cancer.

Whew! That’s a lot. But magnesium does so much in the body as it is involved in over 300 enzymatic reactions.

According to research published by the American Diabetes Association, hypomagnesia has been strongly associated with type 2 diabetes.

Per the referenced study, diabetic patients with low magnesium showed reduced pancreatic B cell activity and more insulin resistance.

Magnesium supplementation improved glucose metabolism and insulin resistance, the same study found.

Aim for about 400 milligrams of magnesium every day to keep in top health.

According to a study published by NIH, chromium might play a role in carbohydrate, lipid, and protein metabolism by protecting insulin action making insulin work better to control blood sugar.

A systemic review of randomized studies on chromium supplementation found that chromium supplementation significantly improved glycemia among patients with diabetes.

But while studies are not quite conclusive, you can easily ensure adequate chromium intake by consuming foods rich in chromium.

These foods include beef, chicken, turkey, whole grains, and many fruits and veggies all good sources of chromium.

Remember, you should not have more than 200 micrograms of chromium a day from supplements without a doctor’s advice because too much can be toxic in supplement form.

Herbal remedies

Many of these herbal remedies have been used traditionally to control blood sugar.

Do keep in mind that most research on these supplements is mixed and further studies are needed.

The best herbal remedies for blood sugar control include:

  • Bitter melon. Bitter melon is a plant of Asian origin said to control blood sugar. Studies show a decrease in fasting glucose after eating bitter melon and other studies show a decrease in diabetes-related complications such as renal, neuropathy, and eye complications.
  • Fenugreek. Fenugreek has a long history of use as a spice and for treatment of type 2 diabetes.
  • Cinnamon. While the studies are inconclusive, one study showed that consuming cinnamon lowered blood sugar. Study subjects were given 1-6 gms of cinnamon daily for 40 days. The result was a reduction in fasting glucose, triglycerides, and cholesterol. And the bigger the dose of cinnamon was the bigger the effect on blood sugar.
  • Alpha linoleic acid: Alpha is a natural compound with antioxidant properties which according a study in Nutrients has effect on insulin secretion and insulin sensitivity. Additionally it helps with nerve pain and diabetic neuropathy.

Read more about supplements for diabetes in this article.

FAQ

How can I manage my carb intake to lower blood sugar?

The American Diabetes Association advises folks with diabetes to watch their carb intake.

Start by counting carbs. Knowing this helps balance them with your daily activities.

Eating fewer carbs can lower blood sugar and avoid spikes. Focus on carbs from whole grains and unprocessed foods to get better nutrition.

What types of carbs should I focus on to help control blood sugar?

Avoiding too many processed carbs is wise to stop blood sugar spikes.

Eat complex carbs from whole grains, fruits, and vegetables instead. These take longer to digest, keeping blood sugar steady.

Changing processed carbs for complex ones helps balance your diet and manage sugar levels.

How can exercise help manage my blood sugar levels?

Getting regular exercise can keep your weight in check and make your cells more sensitive to insulin.

This lets cells use blood sugar better. Exercise helps your muscles use blood sugar for energy, too.

Checking your blood sugar before and after exercise helps you see how different activities affect you.

Short, frequent exercise can be as good as longer sessions.

Break up sitting times with small exercise breaks throughout the day.

Why is it important to monitor my blood glucose levels?

Checking your blood sugar levels lets you manage them more effectively. Use a portable blood glucose meter at home to keep track.

This helps you know when to change your meals or meds. It also shows your body’s reaction to certain foods.

A daily log can help, especially noting levels before and after meals and exercise. This way, you can adjust your food without giving up your favorites. 

How can fiber help manage my blood sugar levels?

Fiber slows down the digestion of carbs and the absorption of sugar. This makes blood sugar rise more slowly.

Soluble fiber is particularly good at managing blood sugar, while insoluble fiber doesn’t have the same effect.

Eating plenty of fiber from foods like vegetables, fruits, and whole grains can improve your blood sugar control.

Why is vitamin D important for blood sugar control?

Vitamin D is key for managing blood sugar and insulin sensitivity. Low levels of it can raise your diabetes risk.

Getting enough vitamin D from sunlight or supplements might help manage your blood sugar better.

Talk to your doctor about how you can maintain the right vitamin D levels.

What is the glycemic index and how can it help manage blood sugar?

The glycemic index measures how fast carbs turn into sugar and get into your blood. Choosing low-GI foods helps keep your blood sugar in check.

Some examples are bulgur, barley, and non-starchy vegetables. Including protein and healthy fats in your meals also slows down sugar absorption.

How can drinking more water help manage my blood sugar?

Staying hydrated with water can help keep your blood sugar in a healthy range. It also helps your kidneys remove extra sugar.

Studies show a link between drinking more water and lower blood sugar risk. Water keeps your blood hydrated, reducing high sugar levels.

Avoid sugary drinks, as they can increase sugar levels and the risk of diabetes.

Should I avoid sugar substitutes to help manage my blood sugar?

It’s not clear if sugar substitutes are truly better than sugar for managing blood sugar over time.

There’s some concern they could lead to weight gain and higher diabetes risk. Instead of relying on sugar substitutes, focus on whole, unprocessed foods for better blood sugar control.

How can stress affect my blood sugar levels?

Stress spikes your blood sugar.

Hormones like glucagon and cortisol make this happen. Handling stress with activities like exercise and meditation can improve insulin function.

This can help with blood sugar control, especially for those with chronic diabetes under care.

What micronutrients are important for blood sugar management?

Not getting enough chromium and magnesium could lead to high blood sugar and diabetes.

Chromium is key for using carbs and fats, boosting insulin function. Magnesium also helps regulate blood sugar and lower diabetes risk.

Talk to your doctor about taking these nutrients if your diet falls short.

Natural remedies for high blood sugar

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