How To Lowering Blood Sugar Levels: Lowering Blood Sugar Levels: Many people suffer from high blood sugar levels. However, blood sugar can be lowered with carefully selected foods. Otherwise, it can lead to diabetes. This is one of the most common widespread diseases and one of the greatest risk factors for the health of modern humans.
The main causes of excessively high blood sugar levels are stress, lack of exercise and an unhealthy diet, and associated obesity. But environmental toxins are now among the suspects that can make diabetes more likely.
Although the number of type 2 diabetics is higher among older people (50 plus), more and more young people are also affected by excessively high blood sugar levels.
According to estimates by the International Diabetes Federation, the medical treatment of type 2 diabetics alone is a burden on the European healthcare system with over 95 billion euros annually, and the trend is rising.
How To Lowering Blood Sugar Levels
A large part of the type 2 diabetes diseases could be avoided, namely if you pay attention to the diet and select specifically those foods that can lower blood sugar.
Foods that lower blood sugar levels
We introduce you to healthy foods that lower your blood sugar level and with which the risk of developing type 2 diabetes can be reduced.
Of course, you should pay attention to a healthy diet as a whole, since it is of course of little use if you eat the recommended foods, but also serve sweets, sugared fruit yogurts, cakes, and baked goods and drink sweetened drinks with them.
1. Psyllium slows down sugar absorption
Fleas are the fruits of the medicinal plant Plantago ovata, which belongs to the plantain family. The small brown seeds get their name from their visual resemblance to the little pests and because they jump out of the fruit capsule-like fleas as soon as they are ripe.
Flea seeds are best known for their positive effects on digestion. They help with both diarrhea and constipation. But fleas can also be effective in lowering blood sugar. Because, due to their high fiber content, they delay the absorption of sugar into the blood – as numerous studies from recent years have shown.
In 2015, researchers at Duke University in North Carolina published a collection of meta-analyzes in which they analyzed 35 randomized, controlled, clinical studies that had been carried out on three continents over the past three decades.
Each of these studies looked at how well fleas can affect blood sugar levels.
It was found that flea seeds worked very well in patients with type 2 diabetes (taken before meals) and produced a significant improvement in blood sugar levels – both fasting blood sugar and HbA1c levels (which indicate a long-term improvement in diabetes) be optimized.
A slightly less noticeable improvement was seen in patients with pre-diabetes (pre-diabetes), while the blood sugar level was not impaired in healthy people.
So, as befits a natural remedy, flea seeds only help when there is a need. A healthy blood sugar level is therefore not influenced by psyllium, and the fear of lowering blood sugar too much with psyllium (or other natural measures) is unfounded.
In addition, the regular consumption of psyllium also keeps the blood sugar level stable, so that the risk of dangerous blood sugar fluctuations can be reduced with psyllium.
The whole flea seeds are less effective here than the powdered psyllium husks. In the studies mentioned, psyllium husk powder was usually taken twice a day (5 g each) half an hour before breakfast and half an hour before dinner with plenty of water.
After every ingestion of psyllium, you should drink a large glass of water (300 ml), which is extremely important, as otherwise, constipation can occur.
2. Chillies contain capsaicin
Chilies (also called cayenne pepper) are indispensable for giving many dishes a helping of extra spiciness. Mainly responsible for its many positive effects is the hot substance it contains, called capsaicin. Among other things, it thins the blood, has an antioxidant effect, and can also lower blood sugar.
A 2006 Australian study looked at the effects of chili peppers on hyperinsulinemia when insulin levels are too high. This is particularly the case with insulin resistance – the precursor to type 2 diabetes.
36 overweight people were divided into groups. One group lived on a chili-free diet for four weeks, another group ate chilies daily with meals (15 g per day) for four weeks.
Then all values related to the blood sugar level were analyzed and it was found that the group that had been eating chilies for weeks had the lowest insulin values, whereas the group that had been eating chilies had the highest.
The C-peptide value was also lowest in the chili group. The higher the patient’s insulin resistance and the higher his or her insulin level, the higher the C-peptide value.
Chili can therefore have an extremely positive effect on hyperinsulinemia. This is also helpful for the blood sugar level since a high insulin level can also go hand in hand with an increased blood sugar level, so that chili can help with both problems – as the following study from 2009 also showed.
Here the study participants consumed 5 grams of chilies or a placebo preparation. With the help of the oral glucose tolerance test, it was found that chilies could significantly lower blood sugar and regulate insulin levels, which was not the case in the placebo group.
For people who do not like spicy food, there is an alternative to capsaicin in capsule form. You take two capsules a day.
3. Onions lower blood sugar
Onions and garlic not only lower cholesterol but also lower blood sugar levels. However, relevant quantities of onions must be eaten for this, which should not be a problem for lovers of spicy vegetables.
In 2010 there was an interesting study with type 1 and type 2 diabetics. The participants were on average 44 years old and had had diabetes for at least two years.
Both groups were divided into three subgroups: an onion group, a water group, and a group that received insulin or blood-sugar-lowering drugs.
The onions (100 g) were eaten raw and finely sliced. In type 1 diabetics, they reduced the fasting blood sugar level by almost 90 mg/dl within 4 hours. Insulin reached a decrease of 145 mg / dL.
In type 2 diabetics, the onions lowered the fasting blood sugar levels by as much as 40 mg/dl, the drug managed twice as much. Water only 10 mg/dl.
After consuming sugar (glucose tolerance test GTT), the onions lowered the blood sugar increase in type 1 diabetics more significantly (by 120 mg/dl) than water (by 77 mg/dl). Insulin managed to lower it by 153 mg/dl.
In type 2 diabetics, the onions in the GTT reduced the blood sugar level by 159 mg/dl, water by 55 mg/dl, and the drug by 114 mg/dl.
In another study, those affected – who had such poor sugar levels that they should have been admitted to hospital – were able to significantly reduce both the required insulin dose and their diabetes medication after the oat days. Thanks to the oats, they no longer had to go to the hospital.
During the oat cure, you eat porridge three times a day – nothing else. For this, the oat flakes (100 grams containing 350 kcal) are boiled with water or vegetable stock before the porridge is allowed to swell for a few minutes.
The porridge can be made hearty, with herbs and some vegetables or sweet with z. B. Berries, almonds, and a little lemon juice.
But the total number of calories on the oat days should not exceed 1000 kcal, which is why you should be sparing with the almonds in particular.
But you don’t necessarily have to go on an oat cure to do something good for your blood sugar level. You can also easily incorporate the oats into your diet, e.g. B. Eat oatmeal with fruit in the morning or prepare a quick oat burger for lunch. There are various substances in oats that are responsible for the positive effect on blood sugar and insulin levels. On the one hand, it is the high magnesium content in oats of around 140 mg per 100 grams that has positive effects on blood sugar levels.
On the other hand, oats naturally provide a lot of fiber. The soluble beta-glucans in particular are known here. They not only lower blood sugar but also high cholesterol levels. At the same time, oats contain very specific antioxidants and plenty of B vitamins.
However, diabetics in particular often suffer from a vitamin B deficiency. Yes, we know that as the diabetes disease progresses, vitamin B levels decrease. If you now optimize the vitamin B supply – via a vitamin B complex and/or via vitamin B-rich foods such as oats – this helps enormously in regulating the blood sugar level. You can find many recipes with oats here.
It is, therefore, no wonder that studies have long shown how regular consumption of porridge can lower blood sugar and reduce the risk of diabetes by a third.
6. Cinnamon stimulates the glucose metabolism
Cinnamon is one of the oldest spices in the world. It is obtained from the dried bark of cinnamon trees. As a natural remedy, cinnamon is used for many purposes, including naturally lowering blood sugar.
Researchers found that cinnamon stimulates glucose metabolism and has a similar effect on our bodies as insulin.
As early as 2003, researchers working with Dr. Richard Anderson found that daily intake of cinnamon significantly reduced blood sugar levels after 40 days. The positive effects lasted even three weeks after the daily dose. To achieve such an effect, half a teaspoon of cinnamon per day is enough, according to the researchers working with Anderson.
In 2016, the positive effects of cinnamon were confirmed in an Iraqi study. The 25 participants had only taken one antidiabetic drug (glibenclamide), which is supposed to stimulate the pancreas to release more insulin, but were poorly controlled.
In addition, the type 2 diabetics received either 1 gram of cinnamon or a placebo preparation for 12 weeks.
After only six weeks, a highly significant decrease in the fasting blood sugar level was found in the cinnamon group – compared to the initial values but also compared to the placebo group.
In addition, the HbA1 level decreased after taking cinnamon. The markers for oxidative stress had also improved significantly when cinnamon was taken: the glutathione and SOD values in the serum had increased and the malondialdehyde levels decreased. Glutathione and SOD (superoxide dismutase) are the body’s own antioxidants, while malondialdehyde increases the more the body is threatened by oxidative stress.
The constant intake of 1 gram of cinnamon per day seems to be a good idea for diabetics.
7. High fiber tiger nuts
The tiger nut comes from the Mediterranean region and is actually not an almond at all. These are the small nodules of a grass plant that sit in the ground. Their taste is reminiscent of hazelnuts or almonds – hence the name.
The tiger nut is exceptionally rich in fiber. It contains 25 to 30 percent fiber, which is why it delays the absorption of sugar from the intestines and thus leads to a slower rise in blood sugar levels.
In a 2010 Egyptian study, overweight diabetics ate a tiger nut pudding twice a day for four weeks (before lunch and before dinner). Each pudding consisted of 15 grams of tiger nut flour that was boiled in water.
The tiger nut not only helped with weight loss and in regulating blood lipid levels but also in improving those blood values that are related to blood sugar levels.
If you want to lower your blood sugar, you can either prepare the above-mentioned pudding or simply two tablespoons of tiger nut flakes a day, e.g. For example, stir into muesli or yogurt, sprinkle over fruit (ideally berries, see 8.) or stir into soups. Tigernuts are very tasty, so lowering blood sugar is a real pleasure.
8. Blueberries with antioxidant botanicals
If you have blood sugar problems, fruits are often avoided. Affected people fear that this could raise blood sugar levels. However, some fruits, such as B. bilberries (blueberries), even have a specific anti-diabetic effect and help to get the blood sugar level under control again. They lower blood sugar and increase the absorption of sugar into the cells.
Blueberries can also improve cognitive functions, reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer. It is believed that the anthocyanins in blueberries – a group of plant compounds that have an antioxidant effect – are responsible for these effects.
There is a clinical study from 2010 that looked at the positive effects of blueberries on insulin balance. The double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study took part in 32 insulin-resistant patients who had not yet had diabetes.
The participants ate a smoothie twice a day for six weeks, which contained 22.5 grams of blueberry powder. The placebo group also drank a smoothie twice a day, but without blueberry powder.
In the blueberry group, the insulin sensitivity clearly improved, so the risk of diabetes could be reduced with the help of the blueberries and the need for a blood sugar-lowering measure did not arise in the first place.
Because blueberries have a low glycemic load, they don’t raise blood sugar levels noticeably by themselves. The glycemic load indicates the influence of food on the blood sugar level.
In 2011, it became clear that blueberries – along with other berries – can lower blood sugar in people who have already been diagnosed with diabetes.
The participants in this study ate three servings a day made from fruits with a low glycemic load (including blueberries). A significant improvement in her blood sugar level was observed over the course of three months. Berries such as blueberries, but also blackberries and gooseberries or currants are therefore ideal for a nutritional program that helps lower blood sugar. Try e.g. B. our delicious vegan blueberry cake that doesn’t even have to be baked.
9. Raisins lower blood sugar levels
Raisins are dried grapes. They’re a popular and nutrient-dense snack, but they are considered sugary and avoided by people who have problems with their blood sugar. Yes, many experts also advise against consuming dried fruits when it comes to regulating blood sugar levels.
Interestingly, however, raisins are healthier for the blood sugar level than, for example, a slice of white bread, which is known to not taste sweet at all.
As early as 2013, scientists from the University of Kentucky wrote in a review that raisins had the potential to not only reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease but also the risk of diabetes.
This statement was confirmed in a study from 2014. Test subjects were allowed to eat either a breakfast made from 100 grams of white bread or just under 70 grams of raisins or just under 30 grams of raisins. The postprandial blood sugar and insulin levels were then determined within two hours of meals.
Both raisin meals resulted in significantly reduced blood sugar. The insulin level was also significantly lower than in the white bread group. This is astonishing since the glycemic load is said to be even higher with raisins than with white bread. In reality, however, the two foods seem to have different effects.
The Canadian and US researchers of the aforementioned study, which was published in the Journal of Nutritional Science, therefore described raisins as foods with a low glycemic index, low glycemic load, and low insulin index.
They then not only recommended raisins to healthy people but also believed that people with diabetes or insulin resistance could also eat raisins very well. Last but not least, raisins are very high in fiber and rich in polyphenols, vitamins, and minerals.
10. Ginger can reduce insulin resistance
Ginger is indispensable in the kitchen or in the medicine cabinet. Ginger invigorates the spirit, ginger relieves pain, has anti-inflammatory effects, helps with hair loss, and can even be integrated into breast cancer therapy. Of course, ginger can also lower blood sugar.
The main active ingredient in ginger is gingerol. Gingerol can soften the insulin resistance of the cells and make them more sensitive to insulin again. The blood sugar can now be better utilized, and the blood sugar drops.
In 2015, Iranian researchers from the Tehran University of Medical Sciences published a three-month double-blind study of 41 types 2 diabetics. Half received ginger (2 grams daily in powdered form), the other a placebo.
The ginger was able to significantly lower the fasting blood sugar and many other blood sugar markers (HbA1c, malondialdehyde, etc.) in the course of the three months compared to the initial values and also compared to the placebo group.
11. Turmeric lowers blood sugar
In Ayurveda, a sacred plant gives turmeric (also turmeric called) not only Indian curries a bright yellow color but is also used in the fight against many diseases. Usually both are wonderfully combined, because here, too, the following applies: Let your food be your medicine! That is why we have long known that Asian cuisine can reduce the risk of diabetes.
12. Walnuts – a handful a day is enough
Also, walnuts are among the top foods for diabetes. According to a Europe-wide study from 2009, type 2 diabetics who consume walnuts every day have better insulin levels than people who do not eat walnuts. Even 30 g daily, which corresponds to about a handful, can help diabetics to keep their blood sugar levels constant.
It is true that Prof. Linda Tapsell, who was involved in the long-term study, generally recommends a low-fat diet for diabetics. In the case of walnuts, however, they are polyunsaturated fatty acids with a high proportion of omega-3 fatty acids, which in turn are known for their blood sugar and insulin-lowering effects. In addition, walnuts provide vitamin E and other antioxidant compounds that additionally strengthen the organism and protect against diabetes.
Studies have also shown walnuts to be helpful for blood vessel health – and the blood vessels, in particular, suffer particularly badly in diabetes. At the same time, walnuts help regulate blood lipid levels, and walnut oil is actually considered to have a specific cholesterol-lowering effect, as we describe in our article Eating fat and lowering cholesterol.
13. Wakame seaweed
Wakame algae can also be used to prevent diabetes. The brown alga is used in many Asian dishes and is z. B. served as a salad, cooked vegetables, or a spicy addition to miso soups.
Scientists at the Japanese Hokkaido University have identified the antioxidant fucoxanthin in the alga as a diabetes inhibitor. Dr. Kazuo Miyashita explained that this dye in brown algae promotes the synthesis of DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) – an omega-3 fatty acid – in the liver and thus has a certain anti-diabetes effect.
In addition, fucoxanthin supports fat burning and can also reduce the risk of diabetes via this detour, because after all, it is the fatty tissue that is deposited around the organs that increases the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Since wakame – like other sea algae – contains a lot of iodine and, if consumed in excess, could impair thyroid health, wakame dishes are not suitable for every day. But once a week you can enjoy the preventive marine resources.
Fenugreek is often used in Ayurvedic cuisine, mostly the seeds, not the dried leaves. In a 2015 clinical study, it was shown that the daily use of fenugreek seeds can protect against diabetes. Participants were patients with pre-diabetes. They received 5 g of fenugreek seed powder twice a day for three years (before meals). Diabetes was significantly less common in the fenugreek group than in the control group, which did not use fenugreek. Yes, in the control group the risk of developing diabetes was more than four times higher.
15. Maple syrup for diabetes
An American study by the University of Rhode Island found compounds in maple syrup that could have a positive effect on diabetes. Overall, according to the researchers, Canadian maple syrup contains at least 20 health-promoting ingredients, 13 of which have just been discovered. Many of these antioxidants are said to have antibacterial properties and protect against cancer and diabetes.
Maple syrup also provides valuable minerals such as zinc (1.5 mg / 100 g) and calcium (90 mg / 100 g) as well as vitamin B1 (thiamine), which is particularly important for sugar metabolism. Of particular interest for diabetes research is the substance Quebecol contained in maple syrup, which is produced during the production of the syrup by heating. This so-called phenolic compound is able to block two specific enzymes that play a key role in diabetes. Quebecol is only created during production, i.e. only in the finished maple syrup.
Nevertheless, maple syrup consists of almost 70 percent sugar and should – even if it contains beneficial active ingredients against diabetes – only be consumed in moderate amounts (1 to 3 teaspoons per day). Or better: use yacon syrup!
16. Yacon – the sweet syrup – against diabetes
Yacon syrup or yacon powder has a lot more positive properties in type 2 diabetes than maple syrup. Both are suitable as mild and very healthy sweeteners for desserts, shakes, and also for pastries, and cakes. Yacon is a root vegetable from South America and has an extraordinary peculiarity: its content of fructooligosaccharides (30 – 50 percent) is extremely high, higher than in any other food.
While other roots and tubers consist of starch and thus easily digestible carbohydrates, Yacon it is the indigestible fructooligosaccharides (FOS), which, unlike conventional carbohydrates, do not affect the blood sugar level, but still taste pleasantly sweet. They only provide a third of the calories of sugar and therefore help you lose weight.
The FOS are also prebiotics, so they have an extremely positive effect on the intestinal flora, which also improves diabetes.
Sample nutrition plan with foods that lower blood sugar
You can now easily incorporate the above foods into your daily menu, e.g. B. with the following tips:
Psyllium husk powder
Psyllium husk powder can be mixed with water to a shake in the morning on an empty stomach half an hour before breakfast and then drunk (stir 1 teaspoon in 100 ml of water and then drink 300 ml of water). Psyllium husk powder is also available in capsule form, which makes it easier to take.
However, psyllium husk powder can also be used as a thickener, such as. B. in sauces, soups, shakes or wherever. We have explained the details here: Healthy thickeners (e.g. in a coconut and blueberry cream)
Psyllium husk powder is also suitable as a vegan egg substitute, as explained here: Vegan egg substitute (e.g. in a chocolate and orange cake)
Chili can be used as a spice anywhere you like it spicy. Alternatively, you can take capsaicin capsules.
Onions look best raw, as only then their full spectrum of activity is available. If an onion flag is not unfavorable for your everyday work, you can put onion rings on wholemeal bread or prepare delicious salads (e.g. tomato salad) with lots of onions. Almost pure onion salads also taste fantastic (e.g. apple and onion salad or beetroot and onion salad)
Grapefruits fit in fruit salads or can be squeezed into juice. Grapefruits can also be combined with raw vegetables, such as B. in a fennel-grapefruit salad.
Oats, blueberries, raisins, cinnamon, and tiger nuts
You can make delicious muesli from oats and many other blood sugar-lowering foods. Oatmeal is soaked in a little water, mixed with blueberries and a few raisins, and sprinkled with tiger nuts and cinnamon.
You can also prepare a snack in the afternoon from berries, which you sprinkle with tiger nut flakes.
Grated ginger fits into many Asian recipes. Ginger tea tastes particularly intense. To do this, put hot water in the mixer and a piece (size of your choice) of ginger. Mix vigorously and sip the tea. You are welcome to refine it with a little lemon and sweeten it with a drop of stevia.
If you prefer cold drinks, simply use cold water for the drink. Ginger also harmonizes wonderfully with fruits, so that it fits in almost every smoothie or shake.
Just eat a handful of walnuts a day as a snack or with a salad.
Use yacon syrup as a sweetener. It goes very well in desserts, cakes, and shakes.
Fenugreek seeds have a slightly bitter and somewhat hot taste. If you roast them in a pan without fat before using them, their taste will be milder when you cook them afterward. They can be ground in a mortar after roasting or used whole. The seeds also have a milder taste if you soak them overnight. They can be used very well as a spice for potato, vegetable, and rice dishes, often combined with coriander, cumin, cinnamon, pepper, and cloves.
You can also make tea from fenugreek seeds, but this takes some time: take 1 teaspoon of seeds in a quarter of a liter of cold water. First, mortar the seeds and then pour the water over them. Let them steep for 3 hours. Then boil the tea and then strain it off. You can also mortar some cinnamon bark and add it to the fenugreek. The cinnamon buffers the bitter taste of fenugreek.
Another method of preparation is: Put the ground seeds in a saucepan, pour boiling water over them, let simmer for 5 minutes, remove them from the stove, and let stand for another 5 minutes. Then z. Enjoy sweet or unsweetened with yacon syrup.
You can also sprout fenugreek seeds and serve them with all kinds of salads and Indian / Ayurvedic dishes. You can get fenugreek seeds, for example. B. from Sonnentor in the Myfairtrade shop.
Lower blood sugar naturally – with the right foods
The best way to naturally lower blood sugar levels and thus prevent possible type 2 diabetes is a healthy diet rich in fiber and vital substances.
Of course, exercise, sufficient sleep, and appropriate stress management are also part of this in order to sustainably lower blood sugar and keep it healthy in the long term.
If you are already taking blood sugar-lowering medication, then discuss the above measures with your doctor so that he can monitor your blood sugar level more closely from now on and thus recognize in good time if you need less medication or no more medication at all.
We wish you all the best!