High blood sugar is the most common and dangerous symptom of diabetes. It is a leading cause of nerve damage, blindness, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, kidney damage, brain dysfunction, etc.
Blood sugar is the measure of sugar levels in your blood at any time and it does fluctuate across the day.
Our body cells need sugar for energy and maintenance but when we have a poor diet and lifestyle, we tend to continuously ingest foods with excess sugars that make it difficult for the body to digest high amounts of sugar well.
After some years, the body will be unable to contain the excess sugars because the insulin that the body produces for the absorption of sugar into the blood will not be enough or it will lose its sensitivity to it. Typically, one will be diagnosed with diabetes at this point.
Prevention is always better than cure especially in the case of diabetes, but once it is unfortunately confirmed, you need to be very conscious of your diet and lifestyle.
Even before we are compelled to manage our blood sugar because of our health, we should do our best to eat and live in healthy moderation to be able to live life to the fullest
The following is a brief guide on how to maintain healthy blood sugar levels:
Foods that spike Blood sugar
A healthy diet and daily exercise are the major remedies for successfully managing blood sugar levels in the body. It is commonly known that foods that contain sugars both natural and otherwise spike blood sugar levels such as:
- Starches e.g white rice, potatoes, yams, white flour, etc.
- Saturated fats e.g lard, margarine, etc.
- All high sugar foods e.g sodas and other beverages, desserts, pasteries, sweetened foods e.g yogurts, etc.
- Fruit smoothies
- Deep fried foods e.g fries, fried chicken, etc.
- Cow milk
Foods that lower blood sugar
A healthy diet aimed at managing blood sugar should almost always comprise of the following:
- Beans and lentils
- Vegetables e.g avocado, broccoli, green beans, leafy vegetables, etc.
- Healthy fats e.g olive oil, coconut oil, greek yoghurt, etc.
- Some fruits e.g berries, watermelon, apples, pears, kiwi, etc.
- Seeds and nuts e.g pumpkin seeds, almonds, chia seeds, cashew nuts, coconut, etc.
- Fish more than lean meat e.g salmon, sardines, mackerel etc.
- Shellfish e.g clamps, shrimps, crabs, etc.
- Whole grains e.g wheat, barley, teff, etc.
- Plant milk e.g. soy milk , almond milk, coconut milk, etc.
Habits that will reduce your blood sugar
- Reduce/stop alcohol consumption
- Stay within a healthy weight – This is very important
- Always eat breakfast else going hundry in the morning will spike your blood sugar
- Smokers are at 50% risk of developing diabetes. Stop smoking please
- Monitor your blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol levels at least twice a day
- Every meal you eat need to include nutritious fiber because it slows down the absorbtion of sugar from your meal thereby stopping a spike in blood sugar e.g beans, whole grains, oats, flaxseeds, apples, pears, etc.
- Eat fruits in moderation because of its sugar content
- Vitamin D positively manages insulin production in the body. So spend sometime everyday in the morning or evening sun
- Stay well hydrated all the time
- Get adequate sleep and manage your stress well
How to lower blood sugar quickly
Once you realize your blood sugar has spiked, you should do one of the following quickly to normalise it.
Cinnamon is commonly used to reduce blood sugar levels quickly because it lowers insulin resistance and aids its sensitivity. It is also used in reducing cholesterol and blood pressure.
You can sprinkle about a teaspoon on your food or add it to your tea. Either way, it helps in slowing down the emptying of the stomach hence, reducing chances of a blood sugar spike.
Moringa is a very powerful plant. It is eaten as a salad and vegetable commonly in Africa and some parts of Asia. For blood sugar, its phytochemicals improve the production of sugar and its release into the bloodstream.
Those that often eat this vegetable, rarely face emergency blood sugar spikes in my experience.
You can make a salad, add it to your greens, take it as a supplement in capsules or powder, sprinkle it on your food etc. Its taste is very mild. About a teaspoon in a day is enough for an adult.
Onion oil is probably the most effective remedy for blood sugar spikes. Its effectiveness is scientifically proven and is even administered in some hospitals.
Onion oil reduces high glucose in the body and normalizes it. It is also effective in improving the overall management of sugar in the body.
About a teaspoon to a tablespoon in a day is enough for an adult. If you prefer, you can also add lots of raw onion to your diet but it might not be the most pleasant experience.
Hydration with brisk walking
Drinking 1-2 glasses of water followed by 20-30 minutes of quick brisk walking helps in quickly reducing blood sugar levels. The water dilutes while burning energy makes the body require more sugar hence, your blood sugar will normalize itself quickly
Fenugreek helps slow the emptying of the stomach and improves the absorption of sugar by the cells. It also improves how the body uses sugar.
Though some are allergic to it, it is generally a safe spice, herb, and medicine. You can add it to soups like the Indians and Arabs or take it as a supplement in capsules.
Bitter gourd leaf
Also called bitter melon, it is a natural insulin that helps in moderating blood sugar in the body. It also stops the body from producing excess sugar that is beyond its capacity. Many studies have confirmed its effectiveness for managing blood sugar.
This plant is a vegetable that is often added to soups in Asian and African cuisines. It is a safe plant when taken in moderation. A teaspoon of the leaf powder in a day should be enough for an adult. It can be added to soups or sprinkled on food.
I will advise that you don’t just use the remedies in the case of emergency but add them to your management plan because most of them are helpful in the overall regulation of blood sugar in the body
In managing your blood sugar, stress management, exercise, a healthy low sugar diet and weight are very important in maintaining your health. Stress especially causes a significant increase in blood sugar levels.
By managing your diet and lifestyle, you can live a healthy life without always living in fear of your health or the exhausting constant monitoring of your health.
The remedies described above have a fast effect on lowering blood sugar in the body while the diet and healthy lifestyle will help you maintain it all the time.
Thank you for reading and have a nice day!