Improve Insulin Sensitivity, Naturally

January 9th, 2018

Improve Insulin Sensitivity – Naturally

Written December 28 2017; Published January 9 2018

by Miranda Murray


Improving insulin sensitivity is important for individuals with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes, but anyone can benefit from having an improved ability to regulate your blood sugar.  Prolonged levels of high blood sugar can cause damage to your organs, nerves, and blood vessels.  How do you regulate blood sugar?  Insulin, made in your pancreas, is released into your body to help bring sugar from your blood to your cells – to store it for energy to use up later.  All of the following tips have been proven to help improve insulin sensitivity and reduce insulin resistance by supporting your body in regulating blood sugar.


By doing…

  • Get enough sleep.
    • Inadequate amounts of sleep can increase your risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and infections.  Luckily, if you’ve been lacking in the sleep department, catching up on sleep can help to reverse the effects of insufficient sleep.
  • Lose weight.
    • Extra body fat, like visceral fat (deep-set belly fat,) heightens your risk of type 2 diabetes and reduces insulin sensitivity – among other risk factors like obesity and heart disease.  The good news is, though, that the risk of developing these disorders lessens by losing access weight.
  • Exercise.
    • To continue in the light of my previous point, exercise is one of the greatest ways to improve insulin sensitivity.  It can even promote insulin sensitivity for up to 48 hours after your workout is completed!  The most effective workout routines include both aerobic and resistance training.
  • Lower Stress.
    • High stress levels promote the release of hormones cortisol and glucagon; both of which effects your body’s ability to regulate blood sugar.  Take some time to wind down and relax to help your body to control these hormones.

By eating…

  • Fruits and vegetables.
    • I could talk about the nutritional benefits of fruits and vegetables for days…but for the sake of your sanity I’ll elaborate quickly.  The plant compounds found in fruits and vegetables have powerful antioxidant properties.  A diet rich in vegetables and fruits has been proven to improve insulin sensitivity.  The best way to consume them is to eat them raw, but if you prefer to cook your veggies before you eat them, it’s recommended to lightly steam them; this ensures that you don’t “cook out” all of the nutrients found in raw vegetables.  Don’t over indulge on fruits, though, because they tend to have high amounts of sugar.
  • Herbs and spices.
    • Long before they were used in flavorful cooking, herbs and spices were used for their medicinal properties.  The most highly recommended herbs and spices used for improving insulin sensitivity include garlic, ginger, fenugreek seeds, cinnamon, and turmeric.  The best part?  They’re delicious!  And there are countless ways to incorporate them into your diet, such as in your cooking, smoothies and juices, or supplements.
  • Soluble Fiber.
    • Eating foods high in soluble fiber like oatmeal, flaxseeds, legumes, oranges, and brussels sprouts, to name a few, has been linked to lower your levels of insulin resistance by helping to feed the “good” bacteria in your gut.


By drinking…

  • Apple cider vinegar.
    • Apple cider vinegar (ACV) has swept through the health community like a storm!  As a powerful anti-inflammatory food, many swear by the benefits of including ACV into their daily routines.  By aiding in reducing blood sugar and improving the effectiveness of insulin within your body, it’s an ideal addition to your natural healing process.  It’s been shown to delay the release of food from the stomach to the intestines, giving your body more time to adequately adsorb sugar into the blood stream.  Take ACV before a high-carb meal to improve insulin sensitivity.  Most people “take” apple cider vinegar by simply swallowing a tablespoon or two.
  • Green tea.
    • The impressive antioxidant qualities of green tea have been found to increase insulin sensitivity, reduce blood sugar, and improve your over-all health!

By avoiding…

  • Trans fats.
    • Trans fats have zero health benefits and they increase the risk of a great deal of diseases.  It’s highly recommended to completely avoid trans fats – which can be found in food and drinks like pop, candy, doughnuts, fried fast food, etc.  In 2015, The US Food and Drug Administration declared trans fats unsafe to eat and gave food manufacturers 3 years to remove trans fats from their products or require special approval to include them.
  • Simple carbohydrates.
    • Simple carbs lead to spikes in blood sugar, thus putting a strain on your pancreas to release insulin.  Always try to include complex carbs with a low-glycemic index and try to eat your carbohydrates evenly throughout the day.  Opt for brown rice, sweet potatoes, and quinoa instead of breads, noodles, and cereals.
  • Added sugars.
    • Added sugars, like the ones in highly processed foods, have been linked to higher levels of insulin resistance in those who are diabetic.  Abstain from eating or drinking high fructose products like pop, cakes, cookies, candy, etc.

Improving your insulin sensitivity is an important action to take, especially with those who are type 2 diabetic or prediabetic.  Take control of your blood sugars today!  And always remember to follow your doctor’s orders.

-Miranda

*I am not a doctor, nutritionist or scientist but I have spent the past 4 years soaking up information I’ve gathered through various websites, by attending numerous informational meetings and working with nutritionists and fitness trainers. 

Sources: Authority Nutrition 

 

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