Stable blood sugar is very important for our overall health and wellbeing. Blood sugar levels with frequent swings high and low can lead to various health complications, including diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease. While in extreme cases medical interventions are necessary, there are also natural ways to help regulate blood sugar levels.
But first – what is blood sugar and why is it important to keep it balanced?
Blood sugar, or glucose, is the primary source of energy for our bodies. When we consume carbohydrates, our digestive system breaks them down into glucose, which enters the bloodstream. Insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas, helps regulate blood sugar levels by facilitating the uptake of glucose into our cells. If insulin production or sensitivity is impaired, blood sugar levels can rise or fall abnormally.
Keeping blood sugar balanced is essential for several reasons:
- It promotes stable energy levels throughout the day, preventing energy crashes.
- Balanced blood sugar helps to moderate appetite and cravings, supporting healthy eating habits and weight management.
- Imbalances can contribute to the development of chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease.
The good news is: keeping your blood sugar levels healthy is quite achievable with a few simple, consistent dietary and lifestyle adjustments:
- Balanced Diet: Eating a balanced diet rich in whole foods is essential for blood sugar regulation. Focus on consuming nutrient-dense foods such as fruits (berries are the best choice), non-starchy vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Avoid processed foods, refined sugars, and simple carbohydrates, as they can cause rapid spikes in blood sugar levels.
- Fiber-Rich Foods: High-fiber foods like legumes, whole grains, vegetables, and fruits can help regulate blood sugar levels. Fiber helps slow down the absorption of glucose, preventing rapid blood sugar spikes.
- Regular Physical Activity: Regular exercise not only improves insulin sensitivity but also helps control blood sugar levels. It helps muscles utilize glucose for energy, leading to better blood sugar regulation. Whether you prefer going for walks, a calming yoga class, hitting the gym, or dancing to your favorite song - just get moving!
- Stress Management: Did you know that chronic stress can disrupt blood sugar regulation? Meditation, deep breathing exercises, yoga, and relaxing hobbies are just a few ways to manage stress. Don’t forget to prioritize self-care and set healthy boundaries at work and with loved ones to reduce stress levels and promote overall well-being.
- Sufficient Sleep: Lack of sleep can impact insulin sensitivity and disrupt blood sugar regulation. Strive for 7-8 hours of quality sleep each night. A healthy bedtime routine and a sleep-friendly environment can do wonders to ensure a good night's sleep.
- Hydration: Proper hydration supports optimal blood circulation and metabolism. Water is the best choice, but herbal teas and infused water (adding cucumber and mint, ginger and orange slices, turmeric root and lemon slices) can also provide hydration without added sugars or artificial sweeteners. Learn more about healthy hydration!
Several natural supplements and herbs have been very effective in supporting blood sugar regulation. Here is a highlight of a few popular choices I often recommend:
- Cinnamon: Studies suggest that cinnamon helps improve insulin sensitivity and lowers fasting blood sugar levels.
- Chromium: This mineral plays a role in carbohydrate metabolism and insulin function. It may help enhance insulin sensitivity and regulate blood sugar levels.
- Berberine: Derived from various plants, berberine has been found to have glucose-lowering effects and can improve insulin sensitivity.
- Gymnema sylvestre: supports blood sugar regulation by inhibiting sugar absorption, enhancing insulin production, and improving insulin sensitivity.
- Alpha lipoic acid: It has been shown to enhance insulin sensitivity and improve glucose uptake by cells, leading to improved blood sugar control.
Available on our website, you can find the following supplements that feature one or a combination of the nutrients mentioned above:
Ortho Molecular Products – Diaxinol is a formula that promotes healthy glucose metabolism by providing targeted doses of key ingredients. It features alpha lipoic acid (ALA), chromium, cinnamon in addition to biotin and vanadium for added support.
Cyto-matrix Berber – Each vegetarian capsule contains 500mg of pure Berberis aquifolium, standardized to 97% berberine content protecting against blood sugar regulation issues and insulin resistance.
NFH Gluco Sap is a synergistic formulation containing evidence-based botanicals and minerals that support healthy glucose metabolism. It features chromium, cinnamon, Gymnema sylvestre, alpha lipoic acid and more, as one of the most comprehensive blood sugar support formulas.
Xymogen Alamax CR – features 600 mg of alpha lipoic acid* providing antioxidant support while also supporting metabolic health and maintaining blood sugar levels.
Genestra GTF Chromium is a chromium nicotinate formula that provides support for healthy glucose metabolism and helps the body to metabolize carbohydrates and fats.
Keep in mind that by adopting a healthy lifestyle that includes a balanced diet, regular physical activity, stress management, and sufficient sleep, you can naturally regulate blood sugar levels.
*Disclaimer: The information provided in this blog is for educational purposes only and should not be considered as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the guidance of a qualified healthcare provider regarding any medical condition, dietary changes, or supplementation.