As you probably know, high blood sugar can lead to diabetes, which has serious health consequences.
Doctors, of course, will prescribe medication, but many people don’t like to go that route.
Aside from avoiding sweets, though — or getting serious about cutting out all sugar, flour, and processed foods — what can you do to lower your blood sugar?
Well, it’s not just a matter of avoiding the bad stuff. It’s also about adding in the good.
Exercise helps, as does maintaining a healthy weight.
There are also a number of foods that will actually lower your blood sugar. So it’s a good idea to incorporate as many of these as you can into your diet every day.
One of these blood sugar lowering foods, of course, is my Micronized Purple Rice powder (MPR)!
Many of our customers have lowered their blood sugar with help from MPR. My husband Charles is just one example.
Charles has been a type 2 diabetic for more than 35 years. He’d always managed his blood sugar with food, but as he got older, it raged out of control. His doctor wanted to put him on insulin.
But we’ve always believed in natural solutions over drugs wherever possible, so when we learned about MPR a little over two years ago, we decided to try out this powerful food.
Well, in just three months, Charles’ blood sugar came down from over 200 to 110!
I never thought it would be that low again. Now, his morning blood sugars are regularly between 89 and 120!
Of course, Micronized Purple Rice powder helps many other health issues besides blood sugar. But helping people lower their blood sugar is just one of the things it’s really good at.
In the more than 40 years that I’ve been involved in natural healing and energy medicine, I’ve never seen a product that can do so much. No matter what health challenges you are experiencing, when your cells are recharged, repaired, and regenerated… everything will begin looking and feeling better.
No one food is going to improve everything, though. That’s why we recommend eating the healthiest diet you can, with a wide variety of foods. And of course, I always recommend drinking plenty of water and getting some exercise every day.
That said, here are 10 natural foods/substances that will help you lower your blood sugar naturally. (Note that these are all healthy foods you should be incorporating into your diet anyway!)
A sprinkle a day keeps the doctor away! Cinnamon has been shown to lower blood sugar and also cholesterol… and possibly arthritis as well.
There are two types of cinnamon: true or Ceylon cinnamon, and cassia cinnamon, most of which comes from Indonesia or China. Ceylon cinnamon is milder tasting. Most of the cinnamon sold in U.S. grocery stores is cassia, and most cinnamon/blood sugar studies to date have also been done on cassia.
It’s best to use cinnamon as a spice rather than taking capsules. A German study found that those taking over 1,000 mg a day of cassia cinnamon in capsule form for longer than six months could risk liver damage, because of the coumarin content. Ceylon cinnamon doesn’t contain coumarin, so it’s not a problem, but Ceylon cinnamon is hard to find in the U.S.
So, just stick to sprinkling regular cinnamon on your food and you should be fine.
You may have seen my earlier blog post about apple cider vinegar, which has many health benefits. But ACV is not the only vinegar that has this blood sugar lowering effect.
Researchers showed that having two tablespoons of any kind of vinegar a half hour before two meals a day reduced blood sugar dramatically. For diabetics, it was reduced by 25 percent. But for prediabetics, the results were even better: Blood sugar was reduced by nearly half!
Try mixing two tablespoons of vinegar into a glass of water and drinking before two of your daily meals. Drink with a straw so as to prevent tooth enamel erosion.
Thanks to onions’ high sulfur and flavonoid content, they lower blood sugar considerably. They also help raise HDL (good cholesterol) and help prevent cancer.
And when it comes to reducing blood sugar, garlic is one of the most potent foods you can eat, especially if you consume it raw. It can increase insulin sensitivity as well as promoting healthy cholesterol levels and protecting against cancer.
And don’t forget scallions, chives, shallots, and leeks! These other members of the allium family help with blood sugar as well. Check out my recent blog post about alliums to get some ideas about how to incorporate more of them into your diet.
4. Healthy fats
Good news for those who love avocados, nuts, and seeds! New research shows that healthy fats help lower blood sugar. It’s ideal to consume about two ounces of these “healthy fat” whole plant foods daily.
Especially healthful in terms of blood sugar reduction are avocados, walnuts, pecans, almonds, cashews, Brazil nuts, and macadamia nuts.
Also superb are sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, and ground flax seeds. All of these also contain hefty doses of fiber, so that helps lower blood sugar even more. Flaxseeds in particular help lower blood sugar, as they are rich in lignans and magnesium.
Make sure nuts and seeds are fresh and raw, to avoid rancid oils. Soaking sunflower seeds will make them more digestible, and flax seeds need to be ground, or they just pass through undigested.
These wondrous, tiny deep-blue orbs are among the healthiest foods you can eat, especially if they’re wild. (You can tell wild blueberries by their size — wild ones are smaller than domestic.) Either is good for you, but wild is especially good. If you can’t find wild, buy organic.
These little blue powerhouses also pack other helpful nutrients as well, such as lutein, which is good for your eyes.
Researchers have shown that blueberries are particularly good at helping obese, insulin-resistant people control their blood sugar. Just two cups of blueberries a day helps keep diabetes at bay.
Interestingly, it’s the anthocyanins in blueberries that causes this effect. Anthocyanins are what makes them blue. Micronized Purple Rice powder is also loaded with anthocyanins — which may be why so many of our customers see improvements in their blood sugar and/or their vision!
Other types of berries help with blood sugar as well — especially blackberries and tart cherries.
With a glycemic index of just 38, apples are another good fruit for lowering blood sugar, as long as you eat the whole raw fruit with the skin. They also contain quercetin, which may help control type 2 diabetes. Green apples such as Granny Smith are slightly lower in carbohydrates, but the skins on red apples have more anthocyanins. Apples are lower GI than many fruits, such as bananas (62), grapes (59), or watermelon (72).
You can also pair apples with protein such as cheese to lower the effects of the carbohydrates. Cheese and apples go so well together, too! Try a nice sharp cheddar, a creamy brie, or some goat cheese.
7. Citrus fruits
I talked in a recent blog post about the benefits of starting off your day with lemon water, but other citrus fruits are very helpful too when it comes to lowering blood sugar. Grapefruit in particular is a powerful ally. Not only is it bursting with vitamin C, bioflavonoids, and other nutrients, but it also contains organic acids that slow your body’s digestion of sugars and other carbs. Charles eats grapefruit every morning with his breakfast.
8. Leafy greens
Magnesium-rich leafy greens such as spinach, kale, and collards are very good for lowering blood sugar. They are also an excellent source of lutein, a carotenoid that’s good for our eyes. Maintaining eye health is especially important for diabetics, who may suffer from vision loss as a side effect of diabetes.
In addition, leafy greens are loaded with fiber, B vitamins, calcium, iron, and vitamin C.
9. Fiber-rich foods
Foods with a lot of fiber — soluble as well as insoluble — help slow down digestion, which slows the release of sugar into the bloodstream. That’s a good thing!
Loaded with soluble fiber as well as potent carotenoids, sweet potatoes or yams are helpful in keeping blood sugar down. They’re much lower on the glycemic index than white potatoes, which means they don’t cause spikes in blood sugar.
Lima beans and other beans are also great sources of fiber, as are steel-cut oats and barley.
And you can always take psyllium in water for added fiber—but beware of the brands that have other things added—I just saw one with aspartame in it! I will never put that in my body again.
10. Green tea
Chronic inflammation can raise blood sugar, but green tea, which is packed with flavonoids and catechins, helps to decrease inflammation. Drink two or three cups of unsweetened green day per day to reduce inflammation in your body, thus helping to keep blood sugar under control.
I like to make a big pitcher of iced green tea to keep in the fridge for healthful sipping throughout the day. Add a lemon wedge for a very refreshing yet super-healthful summer drink!