The chance of getting several health issues rises with modern lifestyle and dietary habits. Blood sugar imbalances, especially increased blood sugar levels, are becoming reasonably prevalent. Let’s learn more about blood sugar along with several scientifically proven methods to balance your blood sugar naturally in this post. Let's start!
What is blood sugar?
The glucose molecules in your blood are referred to as blood sugar. These are primarily produced after you digest the carbohydrates you eat. If required, your body can also make glucose from protein and fat. The primary energy source for your body is these glucose molecules. After digestion, your blood absorbs glucose from the small intestine and transports it to all of your body’s cells for use as fuel.
Why is blood sugar considered harmful?
Well, blood sugar is one of the most crucial components of our bodies and is not dangerous at normal amounts. However, when blood glucose levels are out of balance, the problem occurs. 140 mg/dL of blood sugar is considered normal. Anything noticeably out of the normal suggests a concern. When the blood sugar is less than normal, it indicates a physiological condition known as hypoglycemia, and when the blood glucose levels are higher than normal, it indicates hyperglycemia. Maintaining normal blood sugar levels is crucial because both hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia are dangerous conditions that can lead to a number of medical issues.
Hyperglycemia and Diabetes mellitus
37.3 million Americans, or 11.3% of the population, had diabetes, according to data collected in 2019. 28.7 million of the 37.3 million adults with diabetes had it diagnosed, while 8.5 million cases went undiagnosed. Hyperglycemia is the characteristic symptom of type 2 diabetes.
What happens here is that when you eat food, it’s digested in your gut and is broken down into several simpler, absorbable molecules, including glucose, fatty acids, amino acids, and others. Here, let’s consider glucose. After digestion, it’s absorbed into the bloodstream, which causes a spike in blood sugar levels.
At this point, our body releases insulin produced by the pancreas. Insulin is the one that helps every cell in our body to uptake this circulating glucose to use it for energy production. This brings the blood glucose levels back to normal and balances your blood sugar naturally. In the case of diabetes, insulin production is impaired, and thus the cells do not use the glucose efficiently, keeping blood sugar levels elevated. This is a harmful disorder.
In addition to macrovascular consequences, including coronary artery disease, cerebrovascular disease, and peripheral vascular disease, prolonged hyperglycemia can cause many microvascular issues such as retinopathy, nephropathy, and neuropathy. According to recent studies, hyperglycemic patients are more likely to experience depression than people without it. Let’s now discuss some great ways to keep your blood glucose levels normal.
5 Ways to lower blood sugar naturally
1. Manage carbohydrate intake
Aim for around half of your calories to come from carbohydrates on average if you have diabetes or hyperglycemia. So, if you typically consume 1,800 calories daily to maintain a healthy weight, 800 to 900 calories may come from carbohydrates. 200–225 grams of carbohydrates a day is good to go. The amount of restricted carbs can be further increased according to the severity of the condition.
To maintain a consistent level of blood sugar throughout the day, try to consume roughly the same quantity of carbohydrates at each meal. Consume complex carbohydrates like cereals, legumes, fruits, and vegetables rather than simple ones from processed foods and beverages. Pick low glycemic index foods which will not have a quick blood sugar rising effect and will help you balance your blood sugar naturally.
2. Include fiber-rich foods
By increasing the consumption of dietary fiber, people with diabetes mellitus may experience significant benefits. Soluble dietary fibers can reduce blood sugar levels and insulin needs while lowering triglyceride and cholesterol levels in the blood. There is reduced postprandial (after meal) hyperglycemia due to dietary fiber delaying the absorption of glucose molecules. This lowers your sugar level in the blood.
High-fiber meals may be helpful in the management of diabetes mellitus because they lower plasma glucose concentrations and reduce glycosuria when consumed. Insoluble fiber will add bulk to the diet and help you feel fuller quickly. It will also help the beneficial gut bacteria to grow well. All these factors help in balancing blood sugar.
3. Hydration matters
It is proven that staying hydrated can help with diabetes. There are several known reasons explaining the advantages that drinking water offers. First, drinking more water changes blood volume, which triggers the release of arginine, a vasodilator. In addition to controlling blood pressure, this antidiuretic hormone promotes glucose homeostasis.
Additionally, it alters cellular metabolism, which may result in insulin resistance. Drinking water with meals can lessen the glycemic load of food. Also, it has been shown by research that switching from high-energy drinks to plain water may result in weight loss, which is linked to a reduction in adiposity, a risk factor for diabetes.
4. Sleep well
For optimum health, getting a good night's sleep is crucial. Lack of sleep has been linked to insulin resistance, poor glucose tolerance, excess weight, and diabetes. At the same time, data from the research shows that both short sleep duration (6 hours or less) and long sleep duration (9 hours or more) are linked to an increased prevalence of diabetes and high fasting plasma glucose. A study involving 1139 men found that subjects who slept for a short duration (5–6 hours) were twice as likely to develop diabetes than those who slept for 6–8 hours. Those who reported long sleep duration (8 hours) were thrice more likely to develop diabetes in the long run.
5. Be physically active
Due to the enhanced use of glucose as fuel during workouts and the up-regulation of glucose transport into working muscles, blood sugar levels can dramatically decline during and after physical activity. Daily exercise has long-term benefits that are especially beneficial for type 2 diabetic individuals. Regular aerobic exercise improves insulin sensitivity, glucose and blood pressure control, and lipid profile and lowers the risk of heart disease. It also reduces body weight and visceral fat mass without reducing lean body mass, which helps indirectly to lower your sugar level in the blood.
Long-term, light, frequent jogging enhances insulin’s function in carbohydrate metabolism. Also, it slows down the development of type 2 diabetes from impaired glucose tolerance. The average daily step count and insulin sensitivity are significantly correlated.
That’s it. A good lifestyle, including all the abovementioned habits, will help you balance your blood sugar effectively. Are you going to adopt these habits? Comment below!