Even if you are not a diabetic, balanced blood sugar levels are crucial to a healthy and happy day. Balanced blood sugar levels prevent disruption of your body’s functions and help your overall health.
Here are a few foods to add to your diet to help balance your blood sugar:
I really feel you can never eat too many greens! For the best blood sugar benefits, go for nutrient-dense, low-carb greens like spinach, kale, swiss chard, and broccoli. These greens are also rich in protein (for plants) and calcium, which help your body in multiple areas. Strong bones being one of the most important. Remember: "For strong bones, eat your greens!" You can toss these greens in salads with olive oil and chunks of salmon or any protein of choice. Studies have shown that these foods contribute to dramatic improvement in patients who are constantly battling with their blood sugar.
Fruit is always a must in a healthy diet, but for blood sugar-specific management, choose fruits that are low fructose, such as cantaloupe, raspberries, blueberries, kiwi, and blackberries. Fructose is a simple one-molecule sugar that is a sister molecule to glucose. In natural foods, it's found in fruits. In the body, it functions almost just like a hit of glucose. When trying to manage one's blood sugar, it's best to combine fruity fructose sources with a meal to slow down absorption and stabilize your blood sugars. You can snack on them throughout the day, or toss them in your salad, smoothies, or "buddha bowls".
Protein is essential for slowing down glucose absorption in your body, which helps regulate your blood sugar levels. Add foods to your diet that are packed with protein, like wild salmon and other types of fish, beef and other types of lean meat, cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, and eggs. Make your diet interesting; try snack ideas like celery sticks dipped in all-natural peanut butter. This snack is rich in protein and only contains the good kind of fat. Remember everything in moderation, however. Too much protein actually can become sugar in your blood, creating a condition called gluconeogenesis; 40 to 70 grams of protein is enough for a day.
Herbs and spices are natural supplements for balancing your blood sugar levels. They not only add flavor to your dishes but they may also help your hormones lower your blood sugar. Cinnamon is well known for this and is part of why it's added to many high/carb sugary desserts and breakfasts. Some spices, like turmeric, contain anti-inflammatory properties, which help in balancing out your sugar too.
Never drink your calories, it's such a waste when you could be eating a delicious, nutrient dense meal or snack instead. Cut out sugary, high-calorie drinks from your diet. Add drinks like cinnamon tea, lemon water, and cucumber juice in your daily routine instead.
Whole grain foods that are also rich in protein, like millet and quinoa, provide and store energy without causing spikes in your blood sugar levels. This is because they still have the fiber, vitamins, minerals, and protein intact to balance out the absorption of the carbs.
Beans are a great source of protein! They are also fairly low carb and rich in fiber, all important factors in balancing your blood sugar. Chickpeas, lentils, and black beans are good examples and great dietary choices. Remember to soak them the night before to promote easier digestion if you are preparing them from dried!
Nuts like almonds and walnuts contain healthy amounts of fiber, protein, and healthy fats, and are a low carb snack idea.
Try balancing your blood sugar the natural way by changing the way you eat. Opting for any of the 8 suggestions above instead of sugary "pick-me-ups". You’ll be amazed at the difference!
I hope this article has served/helped you. If it has, and you are ready to take action, my new 3 Week EAT CLEAN Program can help put these kind of blood sugar balancing choices on auto-pilot for you. Click here to learn more.
Laura Nurse, BBA, ND
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