If you have type two diabetes or have recently been diagnosed as prediabetic, you are probably curious about natural ways to lower your blood sugar. It is normal to feel a little overwhelmed. The CDC reports that almost 50% of adults in the U.S. are either prediabetic or suffer from type two diabetes, so you are not alone.
Luckily with a few simple lifestyle adjustments, you can move forward in your life and possibly even reverse your diagnosis naturally. Consider implementing these six natural remedies to lower blood sugar in your daily routine.
Berberine benefits your body’s ability to manage blood sugar levels. It is a natural alkaloid used in Ayurvedic plant medicine since ancient times but has only recently gained popularity in Western medicine.
While berberine provides many positive effects on the body, including lowering cholesterol and improving heart health, it shines in its ability to improve insulin sensitivity. It triggers AMPK, an enzyme that helps your cells regulate your metabolism. Increased levels of AMPK reduce the liver’s production of glucose while also helping your cells move actively and turn glucose into energy.
Combining berberine supplements with healthy lifestyle changes could be what you need to regain control of your life and blood sugar. Fourteen randomized clinical trials found it as effective as prescription drugs in lowering blood sugar. So it’s certainly worth discussing with your doctor if berberine could help you live a more balanced life.
2. Drink More Water
Staying hydrated is essential to a healthy lifestyle and can help lower blood sugar levels. Drinking eight glasses of water daily can help your kidneys flush excess sugar out of your system. If you struggle to drink water and find yourself reaching for soda or other sweetened beverages, try changing up your hydration routine with zero-calorie flavored sparkling water.
3. Make Small Dietary Changes
Hyperglycemia, or high blood sugar, occurs when your body either cannot use insulin or doesn’t create enough, resulting in a buildup of sugars in the bloodstream. Focusing on fibrous foods with a low glycemic index can help prevent your blood sugar from spiking throughout the day.
Some examples of easy switches you can make to your diet include:
- Choose yams or sweet potatoes over traditional white potatoes.
- Make your sandwich with whole grain wheat bread rather than classic white.
- Snack fresh fruits like apples, apricots, and berries rather than dried fruit.
- Start your day with rolled oats instead of a store-bought cereal bar.
Dieticians who help people who struggle with their blood sugar also recommend limiting your carb intake. This can look different for everyone, but health professionals recommend that carbs contribute to about half of your daily caloric intake.
You’ll also want to eat smaller meals all day rather than saving up all your calories or carbs for one big meal at the end of the day. Eat in moderation and avoid skipping meals to help maintain blood sugar levels and prevent dips or spikes.
4. Get Your Heart Rate Up
Most ailments, from stress to heart disease, can be averted by daily exercise. Type two diabetes is no different. Moving your body will take the glucose in your bloodstream and use it as energy for your muscles, lowering your blood sugar.
Monitor blood sugar levels before and after a workout to ensure your blood sugar doesn’t get too high or too low. This will help you see what works best to help you lower your blood sugar. Discuss with your doctor what type of exercise routine may be right for you.
You don’t have to run an eight-minute mile or lift heavy weights to reap the benefits. If working out feels overwhelming, take it slow. Try doing three ten-minute movement sessions throughout your day. Then get up, take a dance break, and walk around the block at lunch. Find what feels good.
5. Shed a Few Pounds
You’ll naturally lose weight if you implement the listed diet suggestions and find a way to get more movement each day. However, you don’t need to completely change your body for weight loss to impact blood sugar levels positively. The American Journal of Preventative Medicine found that losing just five to ten pounds can improve your insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance.
6. Nothing Beats A Goodnight’s Rest
Sleep deprivation increases cortisol, which is the hormone commonly associated with stress. High cortisol levels can negatively impact your body’s ability to regulate blood sugar levels. Getting a good night’s rest is essential to any healthy lifestyle. A good night’s rest can do more than prevent type two diabetes. It can lower stress levels and prevent more severe conditions like heart disease and strokes.