Balance Blood Sugar Naturally
When we balance blood sugar levels naturally, we look and feel our best. Balancing blood sugar levels helps keep our brain healthy, our energy levels stable and our mood balanced. However, when disrupted, our blood sugar can lead to increased sugar cravings, irritability, poor sleep, brain fog, anxiety, low energy and weight gain, and in the longer term, diabetes.
What is blood sugar?
Blood sugar, or glucose, is the main sugar found in the blood. It comes from the food we eat, and is the body’s main source of energy. The blood carries glucose to all of the body’s cells to use for energy.
The basics of balancing blood sugar
The goal is to keep your blood sugar levels stable throughout the day. It is natural for them to raise after eating a meal, however we are looking to avoid peaks and troughs. A spike in a blood sugar level will cause a ‘crash’ later on, leading to low mood, fatigue and more. Eating a snack or meal with more sugar or carbohydrates will increase blood sugar levels more than eating a meal with fewer carbs and more protein or fat.
Signs your blood sugar is out of whack
Below are signs that your blood sugar levels might resemble a roller coaster instead of the lazy river throughout the day.
- That ‘hangry’ mood
- Fatigue or an afternoon slump
- Sugar and carb cravings
- Weight gain, especially around the middle
- Trouble concentrating
- Mood swings
- Excessive thirst
- Frequent urination
The good news is that with the right lifestyle and diet changes, maintaining balanced blood sugar levels are easier than you might think.
10 ways to balance blood sugar levels naturally
- Reduce processed foods such as sweets, juice and starchy foods like crisps and crackers. These foods tend to have less protein and fibre, which are helpful in stabilising blood sugar levels.
- Eat high quality protein and healthy fats with carbohydrates (potatoes, grains, rice, etc).
- Pay attention to the order of food you eat. Vegetables should be eaten first, then protein and starches and sugar last. Fibre, protein and fat reduce glucose response. Eating your meal in that order means fewer glucose spikes. And that means fewer energy dips, mood swings, better hormonal balance etc.
- Taking 1 tablespoon of vinegar in a small amount of water, before meals helps aid glucose receptors in the cells. Apple cider vinegar with the mother (the cloudy sediment) is preferable, but any vinegar will work.
- Change your breakfast. Making the change from sweet to savoury helps blood sugar levels dramatically.
- In the morning our bodies have better glycaemic control. This means we have a lower blood sugar response compared to consuming the same thing later in the day. So if you are going to have that donut, eat it in the morning rather than later in the afternoon.
- Go for a 10-15 minute walk after meals. Glucose is the body’s main source of energy so use your muscles after a meal to help reduce those blood sugar levels. Walk, dance, vigorously clean, repeat, etc…
- Try food combining. Add fat, fibre and protein to carbohydrates to lower blood glucose levels. For example, add peanut butter or grass-fed butter to toast. Add nuts and seeds to porridge. Add vegetables to rice.
- Sprinkle on some cinnamon. Some studies suggest that cinnamon increases insulin sensitivity, so it’s worth adding ground cinnamon to your porridge, granola or breakfast smoothie.
- Stress less and sleep more. Both stress and poor sleep can cause elevated levels of the hormone cortisol, which raises blood sugar. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep each night, and prioritise stress-relieving activities such as yoga or spending time in nature.
The bottom line
There’s not just one supplement, food or lifestyle hack that will balance your blood sugar. Taking a whole body approach and making small tweaks to your current diet, meals, nutrient intake, exercise and lifestyle (stress and sleep) will have the biggest impact on balancing your blood sugar levels for sustained energy and a stable mood throughout the day.
These are my top hacks for balancing blood sugar levels naturally, accessible to all, that can transform your health for the better. Give them a try for a week and let me know how you get on!
If you like this post you may also be interested in the following articles :