Glucose, or blood sugar, provides fuel that keeps your body and brain functioning properly. Consuming simple carbohydrates, such as sugary sodas and refined and processed foods, however, can cause glucose fluctuations. Simple carbohydrates are broken down and absorbed quickly into your bloodstream, causing your blood sugar level to rise. Your pancreas then releases insulin, which alerts your body's cells to absorb excess glucose from your bloodstream and store it for future use. The result: Your blood sugar level drops, leaving you feeling tired, weak and spaced-out. By following a few guidelines, you can help keep insulin functioning properly and maintain naturally stable blood sugar levels.
Get moving. Exercise results in heightened sensitivity to insulin by causing your cells to absorb more glucose, resulting in less glucose circulating in your bloodstream. Although exercise is an excellent way to bring down your blood glucose quickly, regular physical activity should be part of your healthful lifestyle, writes diabetes educator Christy L. Parkin. Participate in moderately intense types of exercise -- such as brisk walking, biking or swimming -- for 30 minutes a day to not only help lower your blood sugar naturally but aid in weight management.
Lose excess weight. Reaching and maintaining a healthy weight helps achieve normal blood glucose levels, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Excess weight contributes your risk for type-2 diabetes, a condition characterized by abnormally high blood sugar and insulin's inability to properly function. Follow a portion-controlled diet rich in whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, beans, fish, lean meats and poultry, low-fat dairy and unsaturated fats. Contact a registered dietitian or your doctor to set up a personalized weight-reduction plan.
Eat more fiber-rich foods. Although fiber is a type of carbohydrate, it cannot be digested or absorbed by your body like sugars and starches. Because of this, fiber not only doesn't raise your blood glucose levels, but a high-fiber diet is credited with lowering blood glucose and helping to maintain stable blood sugar levels. The American Heart Association suggests getting at least 25 grams of fiber each day from fruits and vegetables, beans and whole grains like oats, brown rice and whole wheat.
Add some cinnamon to your diet to naturally lower your blood sugar level. According to Pennington Biomedical Research Center, results from one of its studies using mice suggest that cinnamon extract plays a regulatory role in blood glucose levels. Cinnamon may also help improve insulin sensitivity by slowing absorption of carbohydrates in the small intestine.
- Diabetes Forcast: How Do I Quickly Bring Down My Blood Glucose?
- University of Illinois Extension: Your Guide to Diet and Diabetes: Eating for Target Blood Glucose Levels
- American Heart Association: Whole Grains and Fiber
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Diabetes Diet
- University of Idaho: Cinnamon May Be an Answer for Controlling Blood Glucose Levels
- Pennington Biomedical Research Center: Cinnamon and Type 2 Diabetes
- The Franklin Institute: The Human Brain: Nourish - Carbohydrates Fuel Your Brain