The hormone that controls your blood sugar levels is insulin. When your blood sugar is high, your pancreas produces insulin which removes the sugar from the blood and sends it into the cells for storage. When your body is sensitive to insulin, your blood sugar remains high, and your pancreas has to produce more insulin to overcome the resistance. Over time, your pancreas becomes more and more ineffective as its insulin-producing cells start to deplete. The excessive blood sugar also leads to organ and nerve damage. Being overweight or obese or having a family history of type 2 diabetes increases your risk of being resistant to insulin. Here are a few natural ways to make your cells more responsive to insulin.
Exercising regularly is a great way to improve your insulin sensitivity. When you exercise, the sugar from your blood is moved to your muscles for storage and you will experience an immediate rise in insulin sensitivity, which lasts for 2 to 48 hours. Cardio and strength training are effective forms of exercise when it comes to increasing your insulin sensitivity. So, you should incorporate both into your training regime.
2. Sleep Well
When you do not get enough sleep, your risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes increases. It also makes you more resistant to insulin and affects your body’s ability to regulate blood sugar. You should make it a point to get at least 7 to 9 hours pf sleep each night. If your work schedule is hectic and you do not get to sleep so may hours each night, the good news is, catching up on lost sleep over the weekend reverses the effects of poor sleep.
When you are stressed, your body produces the stress hormones like glucagon and cortisol. These hormones increase your blood sugar levels by breaking down glycogen, which is a form of sugar stored in your cells. This quick breakdown of glycogen is beneficial when you need a quick burst of energy but in the long run, it makes your body resistant to insulin. In order to prevent this from happening, you need to relax your mind and reduce your stress. Whenever you are stressed, you can practice deep breathing techniques or yoga.
4. Drink Green Tea
Green tea is an excellent beverage for healthy people as well as those with type 2 diabetes. It contains an antioxidant called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) which has been found to increase insulin sensitivity. So, instead of reaching for sugar-laden beverages, reach for a refreshing cup of green tea instead.
5. Consume Soluble Fiber
There are mainly 2 types of fiber – soluble and insoluble. Insoluble fiber aids your bowel movements, while soluble fiber reduces your appetite, lowers cholesterol, and increases insulin sensitivity. Soluble fiber acts as food for the good bacteria in your gut, which helps increase your insulin sensitivity. Flaxseeds, oatmeal, legumes, vegetables, and oranges are some foods that are rich in soluble fiber.
6. Have Some Cinnamon
Cinnamon should be added to your food and should be used to sweeten your beverages. It increases the availability of the glucose receptors on your muscle cells, increasing the transport of sugar into the cells. It also mimics the action of insulin and acts on the cells directly.
7. Drink Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar delays the release of food from the stomach into the small intestine, which slows down the release of blood into the bloodstream. This helps reduce blood sugar levels. It also improves the effectiveness of insulin.
When you are trying to improve your insulin sensitivity, also make sure to cut down on carbs, trans fats, and added sugars. Living a healthy lifestyle is very important if you want to keep diseases and disorders at bay.