Lower Your Blood Sugar, the Natural Way

lower blood sugar naturally

Many adults experience high blood sugar, also called hyperglycemia. Your blood sugar is considered to be too high if your blood glucose levels while fasting are greater than 125 mg/dl. Whether these levels are the result of insulin ineffectiveness, insufficient insulin production, steroid use, overconsumption of carbohydrates, or a health condition such as pancreatic disease, Cushing Syndrome, or acute trauma—it is possible to naturally lower blood sugar with lifestyle and dietary changes.  Ideally, your fasting blood sugar level should be between 70-100 mg/dl. 

Blood sugar is responsible for the regulation of so many areas and systems within our bodies. Our bodies need glucose, or sugar, in order to produce the energy required for everyday functioning. Insulin is the hormone that regulates the amount of sugar in our blood by instructing specific proteins in our cells to move to the surface so they can transport the glucose into the cells. When a body becomes insulin resistant, it is no longer able to respond to insulin and, therefore, unable to convert glucose (sugar) into energy.

A report from 2020 shows that 34.5% of U.S. adults have prediabetes, and 13% of U.S. adults have diabetes. Even more startling are the numbers for children and adolescents in the U.S., with diabetes diagnoses for 210,000 youths under the age of 20. If you fall into these numbers, the great news is that your naturopathic doctor (ND) has a plan to correct this. Wherever you are along your path to better health, changes are within your control.  

Here are some natural solutions your Naturopathic Doctor (ND) may incorporate into a plan to boost your insulin sensitivity, and some lifestyle choices you can make in accordance with this plan:

Change your diet

Begin with portion control; eat from a smaller plate and cut your portion sizes in half. Eat slowly. Your brain needs twenty minutes to realize your stomach is full. Probiotic-rich foods like kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, yogurt, and tempeh, will help you to become more insulin-sensitive and less insulin-resistant. Prebiotics, or fiber-soluble fibers, like those found in beans, broccoli, apples, and chia seeds, feed the probiotics and optimize your gut health. Fiber also slows the absorption of sugar and digestion of carbs, thus bringing up blood sugar levels more gradually. Of course, limit your sugar intake, including alcohol and processed foods. 


And when I say “exercise,” I mean you should be working up quite a sweat. For patients with pre-diabetes, I recommend 30 minutes of exercise, five days a week, some cardio and weights. I tell them to strap on a heart rate monitor and make sure they’re at 60-80% of their maximum heart rate while they’re exercising. This won’t be a (literal) walk in the park. Challenge yourself.

Get some sleep

Adequate sleep means more balanced blood sugar levels because lack of sleep triggers the body’s stress response and bumps up cortisol levels. Getting enough sleep will decrease those cortisol levels, thus reducing your body’s craving for carbs and simple sugars. Turn off your devices at least two hours before bedtime and start going about your nighttime relaxation routine.

Become familiar with foods that are low on the Glycemic Index

The Glycemic Index, or GI, is a ranking system for foods based on the effect they have on blood sugar levels. Aim to consume more lower-ranking foods, as they lessen the insulin demand on your body. Raw vegetables, cooked vegetables, legumes, fish, and even fruits like apples, peaches, oranges, grapes, and grapefruit are all considered to have Low GI (less than 55).

Supplement your diet

Chromium and magnesium deficiencies account for impaired glucose tolerance and increased risk for diabetes. Small amounts of chromium are found in green beans, lettuce, grapes, oranges, whole wheat, beef, turkey, tomatoes, and apples. And the best dietary sources of magnesium are green leafy vegetables, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, beans, oats, almonds, and sunflower seeds. Your ND may prescribe fenugreek, herbs concentrated in berberine, and have you add more cinnamon to your diet, all three of which have been shown to naturally reduce blood sugar.

As with any change in diet, lifestyle, and routine, your ND will encourage you to adopt new habits slowly, one or two at a time. As you begin to feel healthier and happier, you may become increasingly excited about the positive changes you are making for your health.

Build Health. Live Well.

April 15, 2023

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