As a society, we love our carbs, flavorings, processed foods, and sugars. Due the these habits we see a great increase result, metabolic disorders are prominent and heart disease remains the number one killer in the US and Europe. This style of eating throws off our ability to have stable blood sugar levels which drives up inflammation, throws off hormones, and reduces our health and vitality. Attracts and feeds candida.
Taking steps to balance blood sugar is one of the first things I focus on when working with people to improve their health.
This strategy alone has a tremendous impact on overall health and certain foods are fantastic for this purpose. Incorporating the foods and herbs into your daily nutrition diet plan.
Coconut is an all-around super-food and one of the best things to make a staple in your diet. There’s coconut oil, butter, flakes, milk, and even flour. Each of these provide unique benefits and uses for helping to balance blood sugar.
First of all, coconut is an excellent source of healthy fats, particularly medium chain triglycerides (MCT). MCTs are types of fat that your body easily converts into a source of energy called ketones. When you burn ketones for energy instead of sugar, you naturally stabilize blood sugar and improve fat burning. These fats are found in most coconut products but are more prominent in coconut-based oil, butter, and milk.
You could also try supplementing your diet with MCT oil which is a more potent extraction from coconut oil.
Coconut also contains healthy fiber which is excellent for stabilizing blood sugar when combined with other sources of carbs (1, 2). Coconut flour, butter (or manna), and coconut flakes are all excellent for this. Coconut flour is also extremely low in carbs, making it an excellent alternative for baking (just try this coconut flour pizza crust).
Turmeric amazes me in its benefits. I especially love turmeric for blood sugar stability as I detailed in this article. In fact, I believe turmeric should be a staple for balancing blood sugar in a healthy diet.
The compounds in turmeric have been shown to improve insulin sensitivity which allows the body to deliver glucose to cells more effectively and prevent massive fluctuations in the blood.
Additionally, turmeric has been shown to act on the liver to regulate epigenetic (activation of genes) and enzymatic factors that all work together to stabilize blood sugar and triglyceride levels in people with diabetes.
Finally, turmeric is excellent for targeting and lowering inflammation throughout the body. Chronic inflammation can be a contributor to blood sugar imbalances as it can stimulate cortisol release and spike blood sugar. All around, turmeric is an excellent addition to stabilize blood sugar whether you use it in cooking or simply use it in supplemental form.
Considered more precious than gold at some points in our history, cinnamon is currently an underrated super-food. Not only is it one of the most antioxidant-rich foods on the planet, but it tastes amazing and is excellent for stabilizing blood sugar. Cinnamon may also be helpful for fighting candida, which can be another consequence of a high sugar intake .
Similar to turmeric, cinnamon improves insulin sensitivity and allows glucose to be transported from the blood and into the cells much more efficiently. This effect reduces the need for as much insulin to be released and creates a more stable rise and fall in blood sugar that is not as detrimental to health as the rapid rise and fall found with high-sugar diets or those with diabetes.
There are generally two types of cinnamon that can be found in stores; cassia and Ceylon. Ceylon is considered to be more effective for stabilizing blood sugar. Additionally, Ceylon contains drastically lower amounts of a compound called coumarin, which is suspected to have undesirable effects on the liver when consumed in large amounts on a regular basis.
I bet you never would have guessed that chocolate can help to stabilize your blood sugar. In, fact chocolate in its raw form is one of the most nutritious foods on the planet. It is packed with antioxidants, minerals like magnesium and chromium, and can even be a decent source of vitamin C.
Many people don’t know this but chromium is a powerful mineral that most of us simply do not get enough of. Chromium helps to improve the function of insulin to stabilize blood sugar and can also help reduce sugar cravings.
Raw chocolate is also a decent source of dietary zinc which can help to improve blood sugar stability as well.
The key here is to only buy raw chocolate or “cacao” as it would be written on the label. This is to ensure the highest nutrient density and therefore greatest potential for beneficial effects.
Carbohydrates break down into glucose in the small intestine which is then absorbed into the bloodstream. Spices like Cayenne pepper stimulate glucose absorption from the small intestine, according to a Hungarian study published in the March 18, 2006 issue of the “European Journal of Pharmacology”. Add a bit to cayenne pepper to your home-cooked meals to stabilize your blood sugar levels naturally. The entire pepper family – including bell peppers, chilli peppers, and cayenne are known to help fight inflammation. That is why they are prized in several Asian culinary traditions. Use Cayenne wisely to get its anti-inflammatory benefits as well.
An aromatic herb that is used commonly to add flavor and aroma to meats and soups, Rosemary also helps normalize blood sugar levels naturally. It promotes weight loss as well, which is a double boon for many diabetics who struggle with weight issues. A research conducted in Jordan to study the effects of rosemary on lipid profile in diabetic rats proved that rosemary has no significant influence on serum glucose level and lipid profile of normal rats. But when rosemary extract was administered to diabetic rats for 4 weeks, their blood sugar levels reduced by 20%, cholesterol levels by 22%, triglyceride levels by 24%, and LDL by 27% while HDL increased by 18% respectively. The study was published in African Journal of Plant Science Vol. 6 in 2012.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a cheap way of balancing blood sugar that can be used in many ways. It contains acetic acid which helps to control fluctuations in blood sugar when combined with meals. Additionally, using apple cider vinegar may improve fat burning, improve digestion, and reduce carbohydrate cravings.
I will often recommend that people either consume a small amount of apple cider vinegar before meals or find ways to incorporate it into meals.
For example, I follow a cyclic ketogenic diet where I will consume higher carbohydrate meals once a week. Sometimes I will make a rice dish that incorporates coconut oil, grass-fed butter, turmeric, black pepper, and a slash of apple cider vinegar. This combination decreases the glycemic load of the meal drastically.
Lemons and Limes
Similar to apple cider vinegar, lemons and limes provide a blood sugar stabilizing effect due to their naturally occurring citric acid. Citric acid behaves similarly to acetic acid by helping to lower the glycemic load of meals.
Many people simply prefer the citrus taste above the taste of vinegar in their meals and I will recommend using whichever you prefer.
Lemon juice can be squeezed fresh or bought bottled from an organic source. Simply sprinkle this on your foods or sip on lemon water throughout the day to acquire these benefits.
Another popular ingredient in the Indian spice rack, curry leaves help to stabilize blood glucose levels and impact carbohydrate metabolism. An Indian study published in International Journal of Development Research studied in detail the effects curry leaves have on diabetes type 2. According to the research data, curry leaves contain a phytochemical that can help control blood sugar level in patients with Diabetes type 2 by reducing fasting and postprandial blood sugar level. Diabetic rats given a dose of about 12gm /day for a month revealed that curry leaves may treat diabetes by influencing carbohydrate metabolism and improving liver and kidney function. Also, the amazing antioxidant properties of curry leaves can boost pancreatic cell production, thereby improving insulin function.
Olives & Olive Oil
Many of the side effects associated with poor blood sugar imbalance are due to chronic inflammation. Sources of antioxidants will help to mitigate these side effects by protecting tissues from inflammation.
Olives and olive oil are an underestimated source of antioxidants that have been shown to protect the body from the damaging effects of diabetes such as neuropathy and heart disease.
Additionally, olive oil contains oleocanthal which is a powerful anti-inflammatory that acts on the COX enzyme system that has been associated with helping to reduce cancer risk, heart disease, and many other chronic diseases (7).
Cloves protect the heart, liver and lens of the eye of diabetic rats, according to studies. This spice contains 30% of the antioxidant phenol in dry weight, along with antioxidants anthocyanins and quercetin. As a result, cloves have antiseptic as well as germicidal properties. It also offers anti-inflammatory, analgesic and digestive health benefits for diabetics.
Another study done with 36 participants with T2D divided into four groups wherein they were given 0, 1, 2 or 3 g of cloves/day for 30 days followed by a 10-day washout period had the following results.
- Serum glucose decreased from 225 ± 67 to 150 ± 46 mg/dL
- Triglycerides decreased from 235 ± 63 mg/dL to 203 ± 86 mg/dL
- Serum total cholesterol decreased from 273 ± 78 mg/dL to 239 ± 47 mg/dL
- LDL decreased from 175 ± 73 mg/dL to 145 ± 44 mg/dL
is fast gaining a reputation as a so-called ‘superfood’ for people with or at risk of diabetes or cancer.
Commonly referred to as ladyfingers, or by its biological names Abelmoschus esculentus and Hibiscus esculentus, okra is known to have a positive effect on blood sugar control, among many other health benefits.
What is okra?
Okra is a tall-growing vegetable that traces its origin from ancient Ethiopia (Abyssinia) through to Eastern Mediterranean, India, the Americas and the Caribbean.
Blood sugar control is vital for overall health. Although, a ketogenic or low-carb diet is one of the most powerful strategies for improving blood sugar, these 12 foods have their own powerful benefits.
Begin incorporating these foods into your life and see the benefits they provide. If you are interested in beginning a ketogenic diet to take these benefits to the next level, check out this article here: How to Follow a Cyclic Ketogenic Diet.
Despite BILLIONS of dollars spent on pharmaceutical research, diabetes rates continue to rise.
Plus, there are MORE THAN 70 diabetes drugs being prescribed in the U.S. alone — NONE that address the root causes or stops the progression of the disease.
What we’re doing now must change, because it isn’t working. With the right education and action, it’s ABSOLUTELY possible to change and save the lives of those on a path toward diabetes.
Add Herbs To Your Diet to Lower Blood Sugar
It’s not just easy, but also tasty to add spices and herbs that lower blood sugar to your diet. Most of these can be used in everyday recipes.
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