High blood sugar refers to a lack of insulin or ineffective use of insulin. This hormone regulates blood glucose levels and helps you get energy from it.
Diabetes is commonly associated with hyperglycemia (high blood sugar).
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 13% Americans are living with diabetes and that 34.5% of those adults have prediabetes ( 1Trusted source).
This means that nearly half of U.S. adults are affected by diabetes or prediabetes.
Here are 15 natural ways to lower blood sugar naturally
1. Exercise regularly
Regular exercise can help you reach and maintain a moderate body weight and improve insulin sensitivity.
Your cells will be more able to use sugar in your bloodstream if you have a higher insulin sensitivity.
Exercise helps you use blood sugar for energy, and also aids in muscle contraction.
You should regularly check your blood sugar levels if you have issues with blood sugar management. This will enable you to understand how you react to different activities, and prevent your blood sugar from becoming too high or low
You can use weightlifting, running, biking and swimming as forms of exercise.
SUMMARYExercise can increase insulin sensitivity, and help your muscles use glucose more effectively. This can result in lower blood sugar levels.
2. Take control of your carbohydrate intake
Your body breaks down carbs into sugars (mostly glucose), then insulin aids in the storage and use of sugar for energy.
If you consume too much carb or have problems with insulin-function, your blood glucose levels may rise.
There are many things you can accomplish to make this happen.
American Diabetes Association (ADA), suggests that carb intake be controlled by counting carbs and being aware how many you require ( 3 ).
Studies have shown that these methods can also help with meal planning, improving blood sugar management (5Trusted Source, 4Trusted Source).
Studies have shown that a low-carb diet can help reduce blood sugar levels, and even prevent spikes (Trusted Source 7, 7). “>8TrustedSource, 9TrustedSource”
Furthermore, a low-carb diet can help you manage your blood sugar over time (10Trusted Source).
Read more about Healthy Low Carb Eating with Diabetes.
SUMMARYCarbohydrates are converted into glucose, which increases blood sugar levels. A reduction in carbohydrate intake can improve blood sugar control.
3. Increase your fiber intake
Fiber slows carb digestion, and sugar absorption. Fiber promotes a slower rise in blood sugar.
The type of fiber your eat could also be a factor.
There are two types:
Both are important, but soluble fibre has been specifically shown to improve blood glucose management (11TrustedSource 12, 12TrustedSource and 13TrustedSource).
High fiber diets can be helpful in managing type 1 diabetes. They improve the body’s ability to regulate blood glucose and reduce blood sugar lows (13Trusted Source).
High fiber foods include:
- Whole grains
Women should consume approximately 25 grams of fiber daily, while men should consume 38 grams. It’s approximately 14g per 1,000 calories
SUMMARYA diet high in fiber can help you manage your blood sugar. The most effective dietary fiber is soluble.
4. Keep hydrated by drinking water
You may find that drinking enough water can help to maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
This helps prevent dehydration as well as flushing out excess sugar via urine.
One observational study revealed that high blood sugar is less common in those who drink more water ( 16TrustedSource).
Drinking water every day can help to hydrate the blood and lower blood sugar levels. It could also reduce your risk of developing diabetes (16Trusted source, 17Trusted source, 18Trusted source, 19Trustedsource).
Remember that water and non-caloric beverages are better than sugary drinks. Sugar-sweetened drinks increase blood glucose, cause weight gain, and increase the risk of developing diabetes (20TrustedSource, 21TrustedSource).
SUMMARYStaying hydrated will help reduce your risk of developing diabetes and blood sugar levels. Water is the best drink.
Portion control is a way to reduce calories and maintain a moderate weight (22TrustedSource. 23TrustedSource. 24TrustedSource).
Therefore, weight management has been proven to lower the risk of developing type-2 diabetes.
Watching what you eat can also help to reduce your calorie intake ( 31TrustedSource).
Here are some useful tips for controlling portion sizes
- You can measure and weigh each portion.
- Use smaller plates
- Avoid all-you can eat restaurants
- Check the food labels for serving sizes.
- Keep a food log.
- Eat slowly.
SUMMARYYou can manage your blood sugar better by paying attention to your portion sizes.
The glycemic Index measures how food is digested and absorbed. It also affects the rate of blood sugar rise (32Trusted Source).
How a food’s carbohydrate content affects blood sugar levels will depend on its type and amount (33TrustedSource,34TrustedSource).
It has been proven that people with diabetes can lower their blood sugar levels by eating low-glycemic foods ( 35Trusted source).
While the glycemic value of food is important, it’s also important to consider the carbohydrate content ( 33TrustedSource).
The following foods are low- to moderately glycemic:
- Gluten-free pasta made from wheat
- Vegetables that are not starchy
SUMMARYIt’s important to choose foods with low glycemic levels and monitor your overall carb intake.
Blood sugar levels can be affected if you are stressed ( 36).
Stress causes hormones like glucagon to be released. These hormones cause blood sugar to rise (36,37Trusted Source).
One study revealed that meditation, relaxation, exercise and yoga significantly reduced stress levels in students ( 38Trusted Source).
Regular exercise and relaxation techniques, such as yoga or mindfulness-based stress relief, can help with insulin secretion problems in diabetes.
SUMMARYYou may be able to reduce stress levels by engaging in exercise or relaxing methods like yoga.
“What gets weighed gets managed.”
Monitoring and measuring blood glucose levels can help you to better manage your levels.
To illustrate, keeping track can help you determine if you need to make changes in your diet or medications ( 31Trusted Source).
It can also be used to help you determine your body’s reaction to certain foods (42Trusted Source, 43Trusted Source).
You can measure your levels every day by keeping track of the numbers in an Excel spreadsheet.
SUMMARYMonitoring your blood glucose level and keeping a log daily will allow you to adjust food and medication if necessary to lower it.
Sleeping well is good for your health. (44TrustedSource).
Poor sleeping habits, lack of sleep and poor sleep hygiene can all affect blood sugar levels. They can promote weight gain and increase appetite (45Trusted Source,46Trusted Source).
Sleep deprivation reduces growth hormone release and increases cortisol levels. These hormones are essential for blood sugar management (44Trusted source, 45Trusted source, 46Trusted source).
Quality and quantity are both important factors in adequate sleep. It is important to get sufficient quality sleep every night ( 47Trusted source).
SUMMARYGood sleep can help maintain blood sugar levels and promote healthy weight. Insufficient sleep can lead to disruptions of critical metabolic hormones.
Diabetes and high blood sugar levels have been linked to micronutrient deficiency (48,49, 56Trusted Source).
You can also find deficiencies in magnesium and chromium.
Chromium is involved with carb and fat metabolism. It helps regulate blood sugar levels. Insufficient chromium could lead to intolerance to carbs (48, 49 and 50Trusted Source).
But, it is not clear what the mechanism behind this is. There are mixed results from studies.
A number of studies involving people with diabetes have shown that chromium can help long-term blood sugar management. But, there is an alternative (51TrustedSource 52TrustedSource 53TrustedSource 53TrustedSource 54TrustedSource).
The following foods are rich in chromium:
- Whole grain products
Magnesium is also known to increase blood sugar levels. While magnesium deficiency has been linked with an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes (48, 55TrustedSource, 56TrustedSource).
Studies have shown that individuals who consume more magnesium have a lower chance of developing type II diabetes by as much as 47% ( 57).
Supplements will not be beneficial if you already eat a lot of magnesium-rich foods (58TrustedSource).
Magnesium-rich food include:
- Dark leafy greens
- Pumpkin seeds and squash
- Whole grains
- Dark chocolate
SUMMARYConsuming foods rich in magnesium and chromium regularly can help to prevent deficiency and lower the risk of developing diabetes.
Apple Cider Vinegar has many health advantages.
It can promote lower fasting blood sugar levels (59TrustedSource 60TrustedSource 61).
Research has shown vinegar to have a significant impact on insulin sensitivity and sugar response in the body (61, 62Trusted source, 63Trusted source, 64Trusted source, 65Trustedsource, 66Trusted source).
You may mix it with a few ounces (67,68Trusted source) of water.
It is important to speak with your doctor before you start taking apple cider vinegar, especially if you take medications that lower your blood sugar.
SUMMARYApple cider vinegar is a good addition to any diet. It can also help lower blood sugar.