How to Maintain Healthy Blood Sugar Naturally

Maintaining healthy blood sugar is crucial for healthy weight, and long-term health. Keeping the blood sugar in a healthy range can reduce the risk of serious health issues like heart disease, kidney problems and vision loss. 

Although it is easy to assume only people with diabetes need to pay attention to their blood sugar, irrespective of health conditions, it is crucial for everyone. Given our present lifestyle and eating habits, maintaining healthy blood sugar is the cornerstone of good health. Maintaining a healthy blood sugar range helps to keep you energized all day long, helps ward off fatigue, and prevents excess weight gain.

Maintaining healthy blood sugar is simple and fairly easy if you are ready to tweak your diet, exercise and daily routine. This blog shares some simple tips that naturally help maintain healthy blood sugar levels.

Regular exercise: Adopting a regular exercise habit is a proven remedy for keeping blood sugar healthy. Exercise improves insulin sensitivity which is the most crucial reason exercise works. Improved insulin sensitivity means your body can use the available sugar in the bloodstream efficiently . Study after study shows that regular exercise is a simple yet powerful tool for maintaining a balanced blood sugar level. Exercising on a regular basis favors fat breakdown and regulates glucose production in the liver, which is crucial in the management of type 2 diabetes.

Lower stress: Although it is hard to connect the dots, stress is a significant cause of blood sugar spikes. During stress, your body goes into “flight or fight” mode. It causes the release of hormones - glucagon and cortisol which increases the blood sugar level . Several studies have confirmed the correlation between stress and increased blood sugar levels ; hence healthcare professionals recommend stress-lowering activities such as relaxing breathing techniques, meditation, pursuing a hobby etc. A recent 2021 study found that mindfulness meditation improved the blood sugar and quality of life in Type 1 diabetes patients.

Eat plenty of fiber: Dietary fiber slows the digestion of carbohydrates,  which helps to reduce the rate at which sugar is released in the blood. Because the fiber is not easily digested by the body, a fiber-rich diet doesn’t cause the sugar spike that happens when eating simple carbohydrates like sugars found in processed food, cakes, juices etc. Fiber also helps build gut-friendly bacteria, promoting healthy blood sugar balance, and improving overall health.

Avoid processed foods: By simply avoiding refined foods and simple sugars in your diet, you can avoid sugar spikes and protect your pancreas. In place of processed foods, choose a meal packed with protein, healthy fats and enough fiber. The combination protein, fat, and fiber in a meal slows down the absorption of sugar and helps manage your appetite and promotes better digestion.

Include nutrient-rich foods & natural herbs: Eat foods rich in B vitamins, chromium, and magnesium. A diet that falls short of minerals and micronutrients like chromium is linked to diabetes and high blood sugar levels . Chromium is a trace mineral that is crucial for insulin activity . Besides these nutrients, spices like fenugreek and cinnamon have been used in Ayurveda and other naturopathic system of medicine to improve blood sugar levels. Including healthy fats like omega-3-rich sources helps reduce inflammation, helps maintain blood sugar, and benefits the heart too. Besides these nutrients, regular intake of blood-sugar friendly vegetables like bitter melon, and herbs like bilberry, Gymnema, prickly pear, Holy basil, Ginseng and cinnamon bark can help with improving blood sugar levels. Here is a quick summary of the phytochemicals present in each of these nutrients and their effect on blood sugar.

Fenugreek: Studies show that fenugreek contains many bio-active compounds like trigonelline and diosgenin which exert anti-diabetic and weight loss effects . These compounds in fenugreek were found to improve insulin sensitivity in individuals and promote better blood sugar balance. 

Cinnamon bark: Cinnamon bark contains potent antioxidant compounds like catechins and procyanidins and resinous compounds including cinnamaldehyde, cinnamate, cinnamic acid, and essential oils, which contribute to its many health benefits .  A 2016 study found that taking 1 gram of cinnamon for 12 weeks reduced fasting blood glucose and improved oxidative stress markers in patients with poorly controlled type 2 diabetes. The researchers found that this indicated the beneficial effect of cinnamon as an adjuvant therapy to control diabetes along with conventional medications.

Gymnema: Saponins, terpenoids, flavonins, tannins, and alkaloids are some of the phytochemicals found in Gymnema. These natural compounds were found to contain anti-inflammatory, and antidiabetic effects, mainly the terpenoids that play a role in reducing blood sugar level . A 2017 study revealed that 200- 400 mg of gymnemic acid (a type of plant chemical in gymnema) reduces the intestinal absorption of glucose.

Holy Basil: Studies show that the leaf extracts of Holy Basil have been shown to increase insulin secretion, thereby reducing elevated blood sugar levels. It is highly recommended as one of the most potent traditional herbs to manage diabetes . The polyphenolic compounds caffeic acid, p-coumaric acid were found to show powerful anti-diabetic effects. 

If you are interested in adding natural herbs and blood-sugar friendly nutrients to your diet, below are our recommendations for high-quality dietary supplements. If you have diabetes or take medications for other health conditions it is important to check with your doctor before adding dietary supplements to maintain blood sugar levels.

ProOmega Blood Sugar by Nordic Naturals: The supplement offers the three crucial nutrients that work in maintaining healthy blood sugar. ProOmega blood sugar offers omega-3, chromium and alpha-lipoic acid. These three nutrients are known to help with insulin action. The product contains 300 mg of alpha-lipoic acid, 200 microgram of chromium and 896 mg of total omega-3s that includes EPA (455 mg of eicosapentaenoic acid, 315 mg of Docosahexanoic acid, and 126 mg of other omega-3s). The chromium is presented in a chelate form as a blend of chromium, glycine and niacin (vitamin B3). This chelate form is considered a safe and efficient form of delivering chromium. ProOmega Blood Sugar is in a natural triglyceride form which is 70% more absorbable than the ethyl ester form found in other fish oils. The product has no fishy smell, taste, or aftertaste. Nordic Naturals’ patented “nitrogen processing” ensures that ProOmega Blood Sugar is 100% pure and fresh. Besides supporting healthy blood sugar levels, it may also promote fat metabolism. The supplement is third-party tested for safety and efficacy to meet international quality standards. The product is available in 60 softgels. The recommended dosage is to take two soft gels daily with food or as directed by your health care professional.

Premium Blend Blood Sugar Manager by Nature’s Way: This six-herb blend blood sugar supplement helps support healthy sugar metabolism. This supplement provides a combination of herbs, vitamin A and cinnamon to support healthy blood sugar metabolism. The herbs include Gymnema, Prickly pear, Bitter melon, fenugreek and Bilberry. Gymnema is an herb that is widely used in Ayurvedic treatments to improve blood sugar metabolism. Bilberry  is another herb that is known for its rich antioxidant levels (polyphenols), which exert anti-inflammatory, and anti-diabetic effects. Bitter melon is a popular plant that is frequently used to treat diabetes-related conditions in Asia, East Africa, and South America. The supplement is free of artificial coloring, flavorings, dairy products, preservatives, salt, soy, sugar, and yeast. The suggested dosage is to take 3 capsules twice daily, preferably with food or as advised by your healthcare provider.

Blood Sugar Support by Vital Nutrients: Vital Nutrient’s Blood Sugar Support dietary supplement uses nutrients like biotin, vanadium, chromium along with herbs like Holy Basil extract, and Ginseng root. A combination of five herbs and three nutrients provides a synergistic blend to support optimal pancreatic function. The supplement helps promote lean body mass, maintain healthy cortisol levels, and improve blood sugar levels. Vital Nutrient’s Blood Sugar Support contains a combination of chromium and vanadium, which may work to enhance blood sugar balance in the body. In addition, the combination of American Ginseng which regulates cortisol (the stress hormone), and Holy Basil extract (improves the function of pancreas) work to lower high blood sugar levels. Besides these two herbs, the product contains fenugreek seed fibers, Gymnema slyvestre leaf extract, and cinnamon bark to give a powerful combination of herbs that work to maintain healthy blood sugar levels. The product is available in 120 vegetarian capsules. The recommended dosage is to take two vegetarian capsules per day along with meals or as directed by your physician.

Blood Sugar Manager by Nature’s Way: Nature’s Way Blood sugar Manager provides B vitamins, essential to energy conversion and Botanics including Bitter Melon, Gymnema, cinnamon, Bilberry and Bayberry for maintaining healthy blood sugar levels. Besides these herbs, Blood Sugar Manager also contains B vitamins including folate in the form of Quatrefolic(R) Brand (6S)-5-Methultetrahydrofolate. Other crucial nutrients include magnesium, choline, zinc, copper and Alpha-lipoic acid. The recommended dosage is two capsules per day, best when taken alongside a high carbohydrate meal.

As always consult with your health care provider before starting off with new dietary supplement to maximize your health benefits and reduce risks.