How to Balance Your Blood Sugar!
If you feel as if you are on a caffeine roller coaster, you are not alone. You are not to blame for your body’s lack of energy, but your blood sugar probably is; that was certainly the case for me. Our bodies are not designed to handle the amount of sugar in today’s modern diet. The high glycemic index foods that pervade our diets tend to send our blood sugar through the roof, prompting our pancreas to produce a surge of insulin. This insulin is necessary for removing glucose from the blood into the cells, reducing the blood sugar level.
Our systems are meant to metabolize small, occasional amounts of sugar, much like our ancestors. However, when our breakfast starts with a fruit smoothie or a bagel, our systems get overloaded and insulin is constantly being pumped into the bloodstream to keep the blood sugar under control. As a result, cells become desensitized to insulin and it is no longer effective; this insulin resistance is often a precursor to type 2 diabetes.
Fortunately for many people—myself included—insulin resistance and blood sugar imbalance can be kept at bay, and maybe even reversed, with a few simple lifestyle changes. In my experience, I switched my diet to one consisting of natural foods low in sugar and high in nutrients. I incorporated organic vegetables, quality protein sources, nuts, healthy fats, seeds, and organic fruits, and I avoided all types of processed and packaged foods, factory farmed animal products, and commercial dairy products. I also added the following spices, which helped me balance my blood sugar.
One of the best spices for balancing blood sugar, cinnamon contains compounds that promote proper insulin function and help cells metabolize glucose more effectively. It also helps to slow the rate of gastric emptying, which is helpful in lowering the glycemic load consumed. Try adding some to your coffee or tea.
This bright yellow spice contains curcumin, which has been shown to be helpful in weight loss. Turmeric helps increase body heat, which results in a higher metabolism. The spice may also help in the prevention of diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease and has been shown effective in balancing women’s hormones during menstruation. You can add turmeric to stews, curries, and soups or sprinkle it over nuts and veggies.
Cumin is an amazingly versatile spice that, when added to your daily diet, may help your body burn more fat while stabilizing your blood sugar and possibly even reversing diabetes. Add it to stews, curries, soups, marinades, or rubs, and in a variety of savory baked goods.
Fenugreek seeds and leaves may help support your natural blood sugar control mechanisms and have shown some possible effectiveness in reversing diabetes. Studies have shown that it may also help restore proper hormonal balances. Try roasting the seeds to add to salads or stir-fry, and use the leaves to make a tea.
Healthy eating habits are a big part of managing your blood sugar and overall health. These common, versatile spices are an easy way to help make your diet even more effective at maintaining your health.
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