There are some natural and quick ways to lower blood sugar without taking any medicine. Even, doctors also recommend lifestyle changes and dietary modifications to bring blood sugar levels down before starting medications. So, here are fifteen easy ways to lower blood sugar levels naturally.
Table of Contents
- Blood Glucose Level Ranges:
- How to Lower Blood Sugar Levels Naturally?
- 1. Take the low-carb diet
- 2. Increase your dietary fiber
- 3. Choose foods with a low glycemic index
- 4. Implement portion control and serving size
- 5. Regular physical exercise
- 6. Lose weight
- 7. Keep yourself hydrated
- 8. Control stress levels
- 9. Get enough quality sleep
- 10. Monitor blood sugar levels
- 11. Eat foods rich in chromium and magnesium
- 12. Take apple cider vinegar
- 13. Cinnamon extracts:
- 14. Try berberine
- 15. Fenugreek Seeds
Blood Glucose Level Ranges:
What are the normal levels of blood sugar? Generally, American diabetic association recommends the following blood sugar levels:
- Adults with diabetes before a meal: Between 80 and 130 mg/dL (4.4 and 7.2 mmol/L)
- Two hours after meals: Below 180 mg/dL (10.0 mmol/L)
- HbA1C: less than 7%
How to Lower Blood Sugar Levels Naturally?
1. Take the low-carb diet
Decreasing the intake of carbohydrates can help with blood sugar control. American diabetic association (ADA) recommends proper diet planning by the food exchange system or counting the carbs in your food (1).
These methods can help plan your meals and prevent sudden spikes of blood sugar levels after eating.
Most of the carbohydrates you eat are broken down into sugars (glucose), which raises the blood glucose level.
Taking a low carbohydrate diet is very helpful in the long term control of blood sugar levels in diabetes patients and also prevents complications of the disease (2, 3, 4, 5).
2. Increase your dietary fiber
Dietary fibers in your food help control your blood sugar levels in several ways. They decrease the speed of digestion and absorption of sugars so that it rises slowly in your blood instead in spikes. Particularly in type 1 diabetes, they are beneficial to control blood sugar (6, 7).
Dietary fiber is a component of your food composed of complex carbohydrates that are not absorbed. High fiber foods include vegetables, fruits, legumes, and whole grains.
It has two types; soluble fiber and insoluble. Studies indicate that soluble fibers are more effective in lowering blood sugar levels (8, 9, 10). The daily recommended intake of fiber is about 38 grams for men and 25 grams for women. It is about 14 grams for every 1,000 calories (11).
3. Choose foods with a low glycemic index
The Glycemic index of food means how much your blood sugar level rises after eating a particular food. It depends on the type of food and quantity of readily absorbable refined carbohydrates in it (12).
Eating foods with low glycemic indices is very beneficial to reduce long-term blood sugar levels in type 1 and type 2 diabetics.
Foods with a lower glycemic index include seafood, meat, eggs, beans, oats, barley, legumes lentils, sweet potatoes, yams, yams, most fruits, and non-starchy vegetables.
4. Implement portion control and serving size
A critical strategy in the diet for people with diabetes is portion control of foods. You should make your chart for a daily diet which includes smaller portions of various foods rather than having a single big meal dish.
Portion control and serving size not only fulfill your dietary requirements but also restricts calorie intake, which in the long run, helps control obesity. It also helps control your blood sugar levels and control weight (13, 14, 15, 16).
Know your calories requirement and make serving sizes. You can seek professional help from a dietician to make a plan. Some general tips are:
- Measure and weigh portions.
- Check the food labels and serving sizes.
- Use smaller plates.
- Avoid all-you-can-eat restaurants.
- Keep a food journal.
- Eat slowly.
5. Regular physical exercise
Exercise is beneficial as it increases insulin sensitivity and helps your muscles pick up sugars from the blood. It can lead to decreased blood sugar levels. Exercise also reduces weight, which also increases the efficiency of insulin.
If you have a problem controlling high blood sugar, check the sugar level often and see which activity suits you to achieve better control. Suitable forms of exercise include weight lifting, brisk walking, running, biking, dancing, hiking, swimming, and more.
Note that you should not exercise when your sugar level goes beyond 240 mg/dl. Check for ketones and immediately consult to doctor if you have ketones positive. Exercising in this condition may make your blood sugar level go even higher.
6. Lose weight
Weight control helps to control blood sugar levels and reduces your risk of developing diabetes. Losing weight has been proven more effective than medications to decrees blood sugar levels and increasing insulin sensitivity.
Start physical activity and exercises, along with diet modification, to lose weight (17, 18, 19). More importantly, you should be conscious of central obesity that is your waistline.
A measurement of more than 35 inches (88.9 cm) in women and 40 inches (101.6 cm) or more for men increases the risk of developing insulin resistance. It promotes high blood sugar levels and thus the risk of type 2 diabetes (20).
7. Keep yourself hydrated
Drinking water maintains the hydration status of the body and helps maintain blood sugar levels within normal limits.
It also re-hydrates the blood, lowers blood sugar levels, and helps your kidneys flush out the excess blood sugar through urine (21, 22).
However, it should be remembered drinking non-sugar fluids, or plain water is helpful. Sugar-containing drinks increase blood glucose, trigger weight gain, and promote diabetes risk (23, 24).
8. Control stress levels
When you are mentally stressed, your blood sugar level goes up. Some hormones like cortisol and glucagon are released in stress, which increases the supply of glucose to cope up with the situation.
To cope up with stress, you can try relaxation exercises, yoga, or meditation. Several studies have indicated that managing stress decreases blood sugar levels and also corrects insulin secretion problems in chronic diabetes (25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30).
9. Get enough quality sleep
Good sleep has a role in blood sugar control. It also promotes a healthy weight. If you are deprived of sleep or have poor sleeping habits, your metabolic hormones get disrupted.
Growth hormones are decreased, and cortisol is increased, which also affects blood sugar levels. Poor sleep and lack of rest also effects on insulin sensitivity and promotes weight gain.
Get enough sleep of good quality every night to maintain your good health in general and control blood sugar (31, 32, 33).
10. Monitor blood sugar levels
What gets measured gets managed. Create a log of your blood sugar levels with time, date, and associated activity.
It will help you understand how your body reacts after different exercises and foods and manage accordingly. Measuring your blood glucose level helps you control blood glucose (34).
11. Eat foods rich in chromium and magnesium
Chromium and magnesium play an essential role in carbohydrate and fat metabolism. So their deficiency is linked to carbohydrate intolerance and impaired blood glucose levels. Chromium also has long term blood sugar control (35, 36, 37, 38).
You can try chromium-rich foods, which include egg yolks, whole-grain products, high-bran cereals, coffee, nuts, green beans, broccoli, and meat. Magnesium-rich foods include whole grains, fruits like bananas, dark leafy greens, fish, avocados, and seeds.
However, if you are already taking enough, the suppleness of these minerals may not benefit anymore (39).
12. Take apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar helps lower your fasting sugar level in addition to other health benefits. It works by decreasing glucose production by liver or increasing insulin sensitivity thereby decreasing glucose level (40, 41, 42, 43).
You can use vinegar on salad dressing. Be conscious if you want to add in your diet if you are already taking sugar-lowering medications. Talk to your doctor first.
13. Cinnamon extracts:
Cinnamon can benefit you lowering blood sugar levels as it works on several levels. It slows down the glucose absorption from your digestive tract, increases insulin sensitivity, and can act similarly as insulin (44, 45, 46).
So, cinnamon can be the best food for people with diabetes. However, taking too much can be harmful. The typical dose is 1-6 gram per day which is half to two teaspoons (47).
14. Try berberine
Berberine can lower blood sugar levels so it helps in managing diabetes. However, it may have digestive side effects such as diarrhea, constipation, flatulence, and abdominal pain.
It is the active component of a Chinese herb that’s been used to treat diabetes for thousands of years. It has shown to help lower blood sugar and enhance the breakdown of carbs for energy (48, 49, 50).
15. Fenugreek Seeds
Fenugreek seeds provide soluble fiber, that can help control blood sugar levels. They can effectively lower blood sugar in people with diabetes. It reduces fasting glucose and improves glucose tolerance.
Fenugreek can easily be added to baked goods to help treat diabetes. You can also make fenugreek flour or brew it into tea (51, 52, 53).
These symptoms can indicate a more severe complication of hyperglycemia, such as diabetic ketoacidosis or a hyperosmolar hyperglycemic state, and you may need to be looked after in the hospital.
Diet, exercise, and adequate sleep are the best ways for blood sugar control. Stay hydrated, eat fiber and whole grains, and get regular exercise. These lifestyle modifications will help lower your blood sugar in the short term and keep your glucose balanced overall.
Always consult your dietician or doctor before taking supplements or making any primary diet. Monitor symptoms that may require urgent medical attention.