Hyperglycemia refers to high glucose levels in the body. The body needs glucose for proper functioning. Body cells rely on glucose for energy. It is a defining characteristic of diabetes when blood glucose level is extremely high as the body isn’t properly using or not synthesizing, insulin.
Why is insulin important?
The body gets glucose from the food you eat. Carbohydrates are the biggest source of glucose in a diet. The body breaks down carbohydrates into glucose, which is then transported to the cells through the bloodstream. Now here is where the role of insulin starts. In order to use the glucose, the body needs insulin as it helps transport the said glucose into the cells. When the body is unable to produce insulin, the blood sugar level begins to rise thus resulting in people suffering from diabetes. To make up for the lack of insulin, it has to be injected into the body.
But, Do not fret! You can still keep your blood sugar level under check with some natural remedies that are so easily available to you.
The blue wonders from heaven! Not only do they taste amazing, but their nutrient content makes them the to go to food. A daily dose of blueberries increases insulin sensitivity which basically means increasing the body’s ability to draw the sugar from the blood and put it to use as energy. Add blueberries to your morning cereal or toss them in the blender with sugar-free yogurt for some yummy smoothie. Not only is it filling, the berries actually facilitate weight loss.
That is good enough reason to invest in blueberries and see a positive drop in blood sugar levels.
2. Chia seeds
Small but Oh-so effective. Chia seeds are gluten-free and help stabilize blood sugar, improve insulin sensitivity, balances cholesterol level, high blood pressure and reduces blood sugar spike after meals. They are also rich in magnesium, fiber, iron, folic acid and calcium. Chia seeds can be added as a condiment to your morning breakfast cereals. Mix them in your sandwich spread for a pleasant nutty taste. You could also powder them and add it to your roti flour. Make extra in case you want to use it regularly.
No wonder why having a “cherry on top” is such a good thing. Apart from their amazing taste, cherries are great to lower blood sugar levels. They contain naturally occurring chemicals called anthocyanins, which actually help lower blood sugar levels in diabetics.
Add cut cherries to your oats, or make fresh jams and marmalades. Make fresh cherry smoothies or just eat them during snack time. Cheer the cherry!
4. Flavored water
Well, sodas too are flavored water, but we are not talking about them! We are talking about the flavored water that you can make in the comfort of your house. What flavor you ask? Well, anything that you want!
Water infusions with cut fruits and vegetables are the new healthy trend. The mild fruity flavor is refreshing, but it is also extremely healthy and capable of reducing blood sugar levels. Cut a lemon and infuse it in your water, or freeze some orange or berry pulp and add it to your glass. Not only will it taste amazing, but the goodness of the fruits will keep you hydrated and reduce hunger cravings.
Remember Popeye the Sailorman? Remember his love for spinach?
There is more to spinach than giving you instant strength and popping biceps. One cup of Spinach contains 40% of the daily value of magnesium which is responsible for lowering blood sugar levels. The low carbohydrate content in spinach leaves makes it an ideal addition to a healthy diet especially of someone who has a history of high blood sugar level. Spinach is also rich in fiber and iron which make it a “super food”.
Alright now! Live your childhood dream of becoming Popeye!
Cabbage is a vegetable that likes to maintain a low profile, despite the fact that it is packed with nutrients. It is a source of complex carbohydrates that allow a very slow release of sugar into the bloodstream during the digestion process. This prevents potentially harmful blood sugar spikes. It also contains potassium which lowers blood pressure.
You can add cabbage to your soups and salads. Remember to properly boil the cabbage. Eating raw cabbage is not advisable.
Cinnamon smells like magic, it tastes like magic, and what it does to your blood sugar level is no less than magic. Half a teaspoon of cinnamon daily can make cells more sensitive to insulin. The cells convert blood sugar into energy, thus lower the sugar concentration in blood. Regular consumption not only lowers blood sugar level, it also is beneficial for the heart. Best thing? You can sprinkle cinnamon on ANYTHING! Mix half a teaspoon in warm water and mix some honey and lemon in it.
9. Fenugreek seeds
They are called “Methi” in Hindi if the name fenugreek sounds unfamiliar. Fenugreek seeds are the healthiest spice that you can add to your diet. They are a great source of soluble fiber which controls blood sugar levels. It improves glucose tolerance and reduces fasting glucose. The recommended safe dose of fenugreek seeds is 2-5 grams every day. You can immerse one tablespoon of fenugreek seeds in drinking water overnight, and drink it the next morning. Make the fenugreek water a ritual and see your blood sugar level go down with regular consumption.
10. Olive Oil
Olive oil is rich in monosaturated fats which prevent both belly fat accumulation and insulin resistance. It also encourages the release of leptin, the appétit suppressing hormone. Cooking in olive oil is thus considered the best option for a healthy lifestyle.
Apart from some changes in your diet, you have to make major lifestyle changes too. You cannot just expect your blood sugar level to miraculously drop if you regularly eat spinach or cinnamon or cherries.
Oatmeal is full of goodness. It can help to effectively regulate and maintain blood sugar levels, thanks to the high fiber and low glycemic index. Oatmeal also helps in lowering down cholesterol levels. Research shows that if consumed regularly, It may actually reduce the need for insulin injections, or the amount of external insulin needed.
12. Green Tea
Drinking Green Tea regularly helps in maintaining healthy sugar levels in your blood. EGCG (also known as epigallocatechin gallete, one of the catechin polyphenols) helps in better management of glucose in our body. Green Tea will lower down your Blood sugar levels effectively. Add lemon to your green tea for maximum health benefits.
Freshly Squeezed lemon juice is highly effective in lowering down the blood sugar levels, especially postprandial blood sugar (after lunch/dinner). Research shows that drinking Lemon water after meal lowers blood sugar by 10-15%.
14. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is full of health benefits! One of it is lowering blood sugar levels. Research shows that consuming 2 tablespoons of Apple cider vinegar before sleep helps to reduce Fasting Blood sugar by 5%.
You can argue that nuts have carbohydrates which will spike blood sugar. But You are wrong! Nuts (Almonds, Cashews, Walnuts etc.) are packed with Monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) and other important micronutrients which actually helps in maintaining healthy blood sugar levels.
Here are SIX Lifestyle changes that you should implement to see an improvement not only in your blood sugar levels but also your overall health.
1. Stay Hydrated
It’s old but it’s gold. Your body needs water. PERIOD. Adequate hydration is required for the healthy functioning of the body. Apart from preventing dehydration, water assists the kidneys to flush out the excess blood sugar through urine.
Other non-calorific drinks are also great for controlling blood sugar. Aerated drinks contain artificial sweeteners which elevate blood sugar levels and weight.
Drink 8-10 glasses of water every day.
2. Keep relaxed and don’t stress
The fast-paced world has forced us to stress out to insane levels. The workplace stress has even percolated to the house. Not only does it spoil personal relationships, it adversely affects your mind, body, and soul. When you are stressed, the body releases hormones such as cortisol and glucagon. These are responsible for the elevation of blood sugar levels.
Try to keep calm and relaxed even at times of despair. Meditate to relax your mind, and exercise to relax the body. Your body and mind need the tender love, care, and affection.
Exercising every day is a must. NO EXCUSES. Exercising every day not only helps you get your weight under control, it also reduces blood sugar levels. Here’s how it works. Exercising raises your heart rate and makes you breathe harder. The muscles in your body use more glucose, which is the sugar in your bloodstream for energy. This reduces your blood sugar level over time. On the plus side, it also makes your insulin work better. Overdoing your workout isn’t a great idea. Stick to light or moderate exercises like walking and bicycle.
4. Sleep well
Sleep is important. It is unavoidable because your body needs rest. An 8-hour sleep at night is very important for good healthy. Poor sleep schedules affect blood sugar weight gain. Well, that late night snacking had to show somewhere, right?
Sleep deprivation increases cortisol levels in the body. Cortisol is a hormone which is released when the body stresses out. This results in elevated blood sugar level.
5. Monitor your blood sugar regularly
If you are suffering from high blood sugar levels, it is best to regularly monitor and check them. Keep track of your blood sugar and take insulin injections whenever required. Maintain a log or a diary recording your blood sugar levels on a daily basis. It will act as a scale on how much you have improved and how much more is needed.
6. Bye-bye alcohol and smoking
If getting your blood sugar to a healthy level is your aim, then you have got to say bye to your favorite alcohol and quit smoking. Alcohol contains sugar that will definitely increase your blood sugar levels. Smoking too raises blood sugar and weakens the body’s ability to respond to insulin. Well, smoking or drinking never did any good anyway!
There are some things that are under our control, and blood sugar is one of them. Lead a healthy lifestyle, eat healthy and see the amazing difference in your body!