Checking Your Blood Sugar Levels are Important – No Matter Your Age!
Photo by Sharon Mccutcheon on Unsplash
We’ve all experienced the impact our blood sugar has on our bodies, which includes the crash after the sugar rush. But beyond being energy-draining, our blood sugar can seriously impact our health. Even if you think you are following a healthy lifestyle, you may be missing some warning signs. Here’s what you need to know –
What is Blood Sugar?
Blood sugar, or glucose, is the main sugar found in your blood that comes from the food you eat. It is your body’s main source of energy, as your blood carries glucose to all of your body’s cells to use for energy. But when your blood sugar levels are imbalanced, that is when the real problems can start.
When your blood sugar levels are too high, diabetes can set in. “The excess circulating blood sugar is very destructive, inflaming tissues of the heart and circulation, in the eyes, brain, kidneys and nerve tissue leading to all manner of serious and life-threatening diseases,” according to Scientific Director and Pharmacist, Jerry Hickey, R.Ph.
Even if you are not at risk of developing diabetes, poorly managed blood sugar can lead to other health problems, like fatigue, weight gain, and sugar cravings.
There are a number of unpleasant side effects that can occur if your blood sugar levels rise and fall drastically, including –
- Weight Gain
- Sugar cravings
- Mood swings
- Dry skin
- Excessive Thirst
The good news is that following a healthy lifestyle may be able to get you within the healthy blood sugar level you’ve been aiming for (or that you did not even know you should be in!).
Manage Your Blood Sugar, Naturally
There are some things you can add and remove from your diet that could give you a leg up on your blood sugar levels. You’ll want to try to remove processed foods from your diet. This includes high-sugar packages foods. Turn to high-quality whole foods like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, nuts, meat and fish. You will also want to load up on fiber, as fiber has been shown to slow the digestion of carbohydrates and the absorption of sugar.
Sleep and Stress Be Gone!
It is also important to make sure you are getting 7-8 hours of sleep each night and are practicing methods to de-stress, as both sleep deprivation and stress can cause elevated levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, to raise your blood sugar. However for some people, managing to get the recommended amount of sleep each night can be easier said than done. Whilst some are able to fall asleep as soon as their head hits the pillow, others spend the night tossing and turning, with few people only managing a couple of hours each night (if that). When this happens, it may be time to rethink your sleep routine.
Numerous studies have shown blood sugar supplements to be an important inclusion in the diet of individuals who have trouble maintaining proper blood sugar levels. In one study published in the journal Diabetic Medicine, Grape Seed Extract was shown to improve blood sugar control in obese diabetes within 4 weeks.†
In another study published in the Journal of Pharmacological Sciences, a high dosage of Flaxseed Lignans were shown to lower elevated cholesterol and blood sugar levels, compared to those who consumed placebos over the 8-week study.†