6 Ways To Keep Your Blood Sugar Balanced Through The Holidays
While you've heard that high blood sugar can cause serious conditions like diabetes, you may not be aware that imbalances in your blood sugar can cause a host of unpleasant symptoms. Irritability, shakiness, low sex drive, fatigue, and caffeine cravings are all common signs that your blood sugar might be out of whack. When you're visiting friends and family, you're not always in control of what's on your plate at dinner. Luckily, there are a ton of natural ways to promote better blood sugar balance in the body. Here are seven great places to start:
1. Pour yourself some matcha.
According to a study published in 2010, EGCG—one of the active compounds in green tea—has a stabilizing effect on blood sugar levels. When you drink matcha, you're actually consuming the whole green-tea leaf, which means you're getting more EGCG for your buck.
2. Try supplementing with chromium.
Chromium is one of those lesser-known supplements, but it has shown promise for reducing blood glucose levels in diabetics. In fact, low levels of chromium have actually been linked to high blood sugar. In one study in particular, 1,000 mcg of chromium each day showed therapeutic benefits. Remember to always work with a professional when deciding whether or not to take a supplement, but chromium might be just what you need to support your body through all those holiday parties and meals!
3. Snack smartly.
You might not have a say in what the whole family is easting for holiday meals, but you do often have control over what you're eating during the rest of the day. Look for snacks that are high in protein, fat, and fiber and low in carbohydrates. If you need some inspiration, check these out. Who doesn't love a little mindful snacking?
4. Stock up on adaptogens.
Adaptogens are a unique set of natural ingredients that help the body respond to stress. And the intricate connection between cortisol levels and blood sugar makes them great for balancing your glucose levels. According to Dr. Will Cole, "A study found the adaptogen American ginseng berry juice could significantly improve glucose tolerance and normal blood sugar levels after just 10 days!"
5. Spice up your meals.
Research has shown that spices, especially cinnamon, can lower blood sugar. Turmeric is another spice that is great for fighting inflammation, which is closely linked to insulin resistance. Try adding cinnamon to your tea, coffee, oatmeal, yogurt, smoothie—you name it! And don't forget to schedule in time for a daily anti-inflammatory golden milk latte. Your blood sugar levels will thank you.
6. Take a good look at your caffeine intake.
Caffeine affects every person differently, but the relationship between caffeine and blood sugar levels is still being researched by scientists. But according to the Mayo Clinic, "If you have diabetes or you're struggling to control your blood sugar levels, limiting the amount of caffeine in your diet may provide a benefit," which is food for thought if you think blood sugar might be a problem for you.
Not sure if blood sugar is a problem for you? Here are 15 signs to look out for.
And are you ready to learn more about what anxiety, brain health, and your diet all have in common? Register now for our FREE Functional Nutrition Webinar with Dr. Mark Hyman.