According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 29 million Americans have type II diabetes. Furthermore, one in four of the 29 million are unaware they have the disease. Since it’s such a prevalent endemic, people ask us how to lower blood sugar all the time. We believe anyone can lower blood sugar naturally. It’s a matter of making doable lifestyle changes.
What Is Blood Sugar?
Before we get into the “how,” let’s talk a bit about how blood sugar works in the body. The term simply refers to the amount of glucose in your bloodstream at any given moment. Of course, the concentrations fluctuate throughout the day and especially after a meal.
Lowering blood sugar is important because high levels can make you ill. Levels that are too low is equally unhealthy. Thanks to the modern western diet, though, most people need to reduce blood sugar, not raise it.
Aside from diabetes, unstable blood sugar levels also cause chronic fatigue, anxiety, and mood swings.
For healthy individuals, their body produces insulin, an invaluable hormone that ferries glucose out of the blood and into the cells where they’re expended for energy. However, when you consume too much artificial sugar and processed simple carbs, the body eventually develops a resistance to insulin, hence the onset of diabetes.
How to Reduce Blood Sugar Level
Lowering blood sugar doesn’t require some wonder drug or a doctor’s prescription. You can reduce blood sugar and keep it within a safe range by making healthy decisions. Yes, some of these do include dietary modifications and exercise. Committed changes here and there will pay dividends and boost insulin sensitivity.
As a fitness site, we are big advocates of low-volume resistance training. However, this is by no means necessary if your only goal is to reduce blood sugar. Even a simple activity like walking constitutes exercise. Feel free to lift weights, do HIIT training, play a sport, or even take a casually stroll in your neighborhood. Whatever physical activity you choose, just be consistent and make it a part of your lifestyle. Studies, in fact, show a simple 10-minute walk after a meal can reduce blood sugar by 22%.
2. Eat More Fruits
People who want to know how to lower blood sugar fast are under the assumption that they need to cut out fruits from their diet. After all, they do contain sugar. If anything, you should be consuming more whole fruits due to their rich vitamin and antioxidant content. Most fruits are also on the low to medium scale in the glycemic index, so they don’t cause a sharp incline in blood sugar.
For comparison, a single piece of fruit has about 15-20g of carbohydrates from natural fructose, whereas a can of sugary soda has 35-40g from high-fructose syrup.
With this in mind, we do suggest avoiding fruit juices, even if they’re 100% natural with no added ingredients. Fruit juices have the fiber removed, and the vitamins are often destroyed in the pasteurization process.
3. Use Apple Cider Vinegar
We have raved about apple cider vinegar more than once in past posts. This wonder condiment does the body good in so many ways. We actually did an ACV benefits post a while back that we suggest you check out.
One of its benefits is that it stabilizes blood sugar. Studies show consuming ACV with a meal prevents blood sugar spikes.
For maximum benefits, we recommend unfiltered ACV containing the probiotic known as “the mother.” You’ll reap valuable digestive benefits this way.
4. Get More Sleep
When people ask us how to lower blood sugar quickly, they are dumbfounded when we tell them to go to bed. Sleeping is immensely underrated. Not getting enough Zs not only raises stress hormones and lowers testosterone, but it also reduces insulin sensitivity.
The National Sleep Foundation has cited sleep deprivation as a cause for elevated blood sugar and consequently, type II diabetes. The American Diabetes Association echoed the same sentiment, citing a Japanese study in which lack of sleep caused blood sugar level increase even when all other factors (such as physical activity) are accounted for.
Sleeping between four to six hours a night is believed to cause cortisol spikes, which interferes with insulin response.
5. Stop Stressing Out
Okay, we know this is easier said than done given our often-hectic work and family life. However, stress releases hormones like cortisol and glucagon. These have been shown in studies to cause blood sugar increase in diabetic men.
It’s easy to let external circumstances affect our mood. However, do whatever you can to keep stress to a minimum. We recommend setting aside some “me time” every day to do something that you enjoy. This could be meditation, deep breathing, yoga, listening to classical music, or even playing Call of Duty. Do what works for you to take the stress off your mind and body. One study from the Obesity Journal actually showed that simple mindfulness was enough to reduce blood sugar.
6. Use Cinnamon as a Spice
Try adding pure ground cinnamon to your morning coffee or other beverage or food. In a study, subjects that consumed cinnamon for 40 days benefited from reduced blood sugar and lower LDL cholesterol levels. The effects lingered for an additional 20 days after subjects discontinued use.
We actually included cinnamon as one of our active ingredients in Sensolin. This is an all-natural supplement that keeps blood sugars in check without harmful side effects.
7. Take a Hot Bath
You already shower and bathe every day, don’t you? Soaking in a hot bath is also one of the best methods if you want to know how to lower your blood sugar. While there doesn’t seem to be a correlation on the surface, a research cited in the Telegraph revealed that relaxing in a tub was actually 10% more effective at lowering blood sugar than one hour of cycling. The researchers suspect that the hot water causes the body to release heat shock proteins, which improves insulin-controlled glucose uptake.
Be Mindful of Your Levels
Knowing how to lower blood sugar becomes ever more important as you get older. You can’t get away with a slouch-off lifestyle like you did in your peak 20s. As you age, your body demands more of your attention. Start taking care of it by following the above methods and/or using a natural supplement like Sensolin.