All the food we eat is broken down into glucose and converted to glycogen with the help of a hormone called insulin. Glycogen is the source of our energy at a cellular level. All our bodily functions need healthy sugar levels to perform efficiently. Eating a properly balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, carbohydrates, and proteins, along with exercise and proper sleep, maintains a healthy sugar level. There are a lot of natural supplements that can further help in keeping our blood sugar levels in a healthy range, a few of which are listed below.
Chromium is an essential trace metal that aids in glucose metabolism, regulation of insulin levels, and also maintaining healthy blood levels of cholesterol and other lipids. Chromium forms a part of a compound in the body known as glucose tolerance factor (GTF), which is involved in the regulation of the action of insulin in maintaining blood sugar levels. Foods that are rich in chromium include broccoli, whole grain cereals, prunes, mushrooms, beer, and brewer’s yeast.1
Turmeric has many active ingredients including curcumin. It can generally be used while cooking or taken as an extract or a capsule. Studies show that taking 500 to 1000 milligrams once or twice a day can lower blood sugar and improve insulin sensitivity.2
A commonly used spice found in every spice rack, cinnamon is a powerful antioxidant that lowers blood sugar by decreasing insulin resistance. It makes your cells use insulin more efficiently, thereby increasing sugar metabolism.3
4. Gymnema Sylvestre
A woody climbing plant that grows commonly in India and is used in treating diabetes by holistic physicians for nearly 2000 years, it is also known as cow plant and by various vernacular names. It is a very powerful herb that lowers sugar and is said to offer some support for the pancreas as well. This herb also neutralizes the taste of sugar in the mouth, curbing sweet and carb cravings.4
The seeds of this aromatic plant support and balance blood sugar levels by slowing digestion and carbohydrate absorption. Fenugreek has an abundance of amino acids, which stimulates insulin production. In one study, 3 years of fenugreek supplementation prevented blood sugar issues completely.5
Nearly 300 enzymatic reactions in our body require magnesium and it plays very important roles in energy production, protein synthesis, blood glucose control, and blood pressure regulation. Good sources of magnesium include nuts, seeds, and leafy greens. Specifically, magnesium has a significant role to play in improving insulin sensitivity.6
7. Vitamin D
Research data suggest that vitamin D plays a role in blood sugar levels. It has been shown that people with diabetes have lower vitamin D levels and people with lower vitamin D levels have poor control of blood sugar. Whether vitamin D deficiency is the cause of blood-sugar elevations or whether blood-sugar elevation somehow results in lower vitamin D levels remains unclear. But, treating vitamin D deficiency clearly reduces the rate of diabetes progression and improves glucose control.7
Blood sugar is extremely vital for everything our body does. It is very important to follow a proper food, exercise, sleep routine and, if need be, to provide our body with the required supplements to maintain healthy levels of blood sugar.
|↑1, ↑5, ↑6||Shawn M. Talbott, Kerry Hughes. The Health Professional’s Guide to Dietary Supplements. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2007.|
|↑2, ↑4||Cohen Suzy. Diabetes without Drugs: The 5-Step Program to Control Blood Sugar Naturally and Prevent Diabetes Complications. Rodale, 2010.|
|↑3||Cher Pastore, MS, RD, CDE. The 28-Day Blood Sugar Miracle: A Revolutionary Diet Plan to Get Your Diabetes Under Control in Less Than 30 Days. Page Street Publishing, 12-Jan-2016.|
|↑7||Dr. Block Romy MD, Dr. Levitan Arielle MD. The Vitamin Solution: Two Doctors Clear the Confusion about Vitamins and Your Health. She Writes Press, 2015.|