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10 Powerful Foods To Help Lower Blood Sugar Quickly

10 Powerful Foods To Help Lower Blood Sugar Quickly

Blood sugar is a sneaky health issue, but there are many powerful foods that can help you lower blood sugar levels efficiently and quickly. First, in order to understand why high (and low) blood sugar occurs, it’s important to have a basic understanding of what triggers blood sugar highs and lows, and it all starts with insulin. Insulin is the hormone that goes into our blood stream and delivers nutrients to the cells so that our blood sugar stays stable. While insulin is often thought of as a negative hormone, it’s actually valuable and vital to our health. When our body doesn’t produce insulin or use insulin efficiently, we can develop insulin resistance which can lead to Type 2 diabetes. One of the best things we can all do in order to help insulin do its job is to eat regularly and eat a balanced diet that’s filled with healthy foods.

Start With These Tips to Lower Blood Sugar Levels

To help you get started on filling your plate with more blood sugar friendly foods that will help lower your blood sugar, start by removing refined sugar, refined grains, and most processed foods from your diet. Processed foods (and especially fast food) all contain chemicals and refined ingredients that our bodies don’t recognize as real nutrients, so our cells never really get what they need and we feel hungry all the time as a result. This also leads to blood sugar swings and spikes that cause insulin to work less efficiently.

What helps insulin work best so that blood sugar stays in a stable place are foods that pack dense amounts of nutrition and contain amino acids (that form protein in the body), fiber (which is the best source of carbohydrates), and healthy fats from real food.

Let’s check out some foods that can help lower blood sugar levels by offering us these nutritional benefits, shall we?

1. Spinach

10 Powerful Foods To Help Lower Blood Sugar Quickly

    Spinach is high in amino acids and actually has 5 grams of protein per cup. Spinach is also a rich source of the minerals calcium, magnesium, and potassium which all lower blood pressure levels, and it is a good source of fiber to help lower blood sugar. Fiber, protein and minerals are three wonderful components that help balance insulin levels and help the body feel more nourished.

    Add spinach to your smoothies, salads, entrees, and remember that while kale is fantastic, spinach offers more overall nutrients per cup than any other green!

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    2. Avocado

    10 Powerful Foods To Help Lower Blood Sugar Quickly

      Avocados are a superfood for so many reasons, but they’re especially great to lower blood sugar levels. The avocado fruit is a rich source of monounsaturated fats which are the best type of fats for your heart. Avocado is also a good source of fiber, amino acids, B vitamins, minerals such as magnesium and potassium, and it’s a great replacement to foods such as mayo and cheese—especially for those with diabetes or food intolerances.

      Chop some avocado into your next smoothie for a creamy texture, add it to a salad, use it in place of mayo or cheese, or feel free to add it to your next omelet. Used in moderation and in place of processed fats, this fruit can be an amazing addition to your diet.

      3. Eggs

      10 Powerful Foods To Help Lower Blood Sugar Quickly

        Eggs have had a bad reputation for years, but the truth is they can be a very valuable part of a balanced diet and are a wonderful source of meatless protein, healthy fats, and vitamins such as vitamin B12 and vitamin D. The key is to consume them in moderation (no more than a couple a day), and to buy the highest quality eggs possible such as pastured, organic and non-GMO eggs. Eggs work to lower blood sugar levels very well because they are generally very easy to digest so that nutrients reach the cells quickly and help lower blood sugar levels as a result.

        Keep some hard-boiled eggs in your fridge and have one when your blood sugar feels too high or stops to drop. You can also include eggs at breakfast, lunch, or dinner for lower blood sugar levels throughout the day. Egg whites can also be paired with one or two whole eggs for more protein without overdoing the fat from whole eggs.

        4. Broccoli

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        10 Powerful Foods To Help Lower Blood Sugar Quickly

          Broccoli is packed with benefits that lower blood sugar levels. First, it’s a great source of fiber that slows down the release of sugar from foods into our cells. Even if we’re not eating sugar directly, everything we consume is eventually turned into glucose that our bodies use to energize us. However, it’s best to eat foods that turn into glucose slowly so that we get a steady release all the time and not intense swings that we get from eating sweets or junk food. Fiber is a key to maintaining healthy blood sugar levels all the time as well as digestion and assimilation of nutrients.

          No need to nosh on broccoli raw or eat like a rabbit; have broccoli whatever way you enjoy whether that be roasted, steamed with spices and your favorite source of protein, use it in a stir-fry with lean protein, broth and some other veggies, or sauté it to have with your regular dinner. It can also be added to salads and is one of the most affordable and nutritious vegetables available all year round.

          5. Plain, Non-fat Greek Yogurt

          10 Powerful Foods To Help Lower Blood Sugar Quickly

            Plain, non-fat Greek yogurt is an excellent source of protein, calcium, magnesium, and potassium. Of course, if you are dairy intolerant or vegan, Greek yogurt isn’t for you, but if you’re incorporating dairy into your diet, high-quality sources can serve as an excellent source of protein in place of fatty cuts of meat or processed sources. Greek yogurt’s nutrients lower blood sugar levels as well as satiate appetite very quickly. Purchase from non-GMO and organic sources whenever possible for the best quality, and avoid yogurt products with added hormones or antibiotics as well as any that have added sugars or artificial ingredients.

            You can use Greek yogurt in place of milk in a smoothie, in place of sour cream for less fat in dips and dressings, or use it as a base for sandwiches instead of mayo. It can also make a wonderful dessert with berries and can be frozen for an hour to serve as a more ice-cream like treat at night. If the taste is too sour for your liking, feel free to add some stevia to sweeten it up without any added sugar.

            6. Almonds

            10 Powerful Foods To Help Lower Blood Sugar Quickly

              Almonds offer more protein than other types of nuts as well as more fiber and overall nutrition. This makes them an excellent choice for lowering blood sugar levels and even blood pressure levels too. Almonds include 7 grams of protein, 3 grams of fiber, and only 1 gram of naturally occurring sugar per ounce. They are also packed with magnesium and potassium that help lower blood sugar and blood pressure levels. Almonds even offer a little calcium, iron and zinc too!

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              One ounce of almonds is equal to about 22 nuts and makes the perfect serving size as a snack throughout the day. You can also add slivered almonds to meals like salads, stir-fries and even oatmeal if you wish. Or, pair it with some of that Greek yogurt mentioned above for a filling snack or light breakfast.

              7. Chia Seeds

              10 Powerful Foods To Help Lower Blood Sugar Quickly

                Chia seeds are tiny in size, but they offer big benefits that you won’t want to miss out on! Chia is a great source of amino acids that provides protein, fiber which lowers blood sugar levels, and nutrients such as magnesium, calcium and iron. Chia seeds are also rich in omega-3 fats that our hearts and metabolisms need to stay healthy. These same fats also fuel our brains and help us feel more balanced throughout the day.

                Another benefit of chia is that it’s so easy to incorporate into your meals because it is tasteless, yet it helps thicken up anything it’s added to once it sets for a bit. Because of its gel-like consistency, chia is fun to add to oatmeal and smoothies, or you can even include it in your salad dressings and soups.

                8. Wheatgrass

                wheatgrass
                   Steven Depolo/Flickr

                  Though it doesn’t sound very appealing, wheatgrass is actually a bit sweet and one of the most power-packed foods you can eat for better blood sugar levels as well as detoxification and digestion. Wheatgrass is also gluten-free because it comes from a grass and not the actual grain that wheat is made from. It is a rich source of amino acids, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and chlorophyll, the pigment that makes it so beautifully green in color. Chlorophyll is one of the most overlooked nutrients for lowering blood sugar levels quickly and is found in densely green foods.

                  Wheatgrass can be consumed as a shot, used in the form of wheatgrass juice powder, or can be bought whole at any health food store and juiced or used in smoothies. I find that a greens powder made with raw and organic wheatgrass juice is the easiest and tastiest way to use it, but many people enjoy using the whole wheatgrass in their daily routines. Whatever way you choose to use wheatgrass, don’t give up on it the first time you try it. It can be an amazing food to lower your blood sugar levels as well as improve your overall diet, hair, and even skin appearance too.

                  9. Wild Fish

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                  10 Powerful Foods To Help Lower Blood Sugar Quickly

                    Wild fish is packed with health benefits including lean protein, iron, healthy fats, and B vitamins along with minerals like magnesium and potassium. Fish is a great food to lower blood sugar levels because of its overall nutrition, but remember to purchase lean options like wild salmon, tilapia, halibut, tuna, and avoid those that are fried or coated in breadcrumbs or high amounts of oil. It’s also very important to choose wild fish over farmed to avoid toxic pollutants, mercury, and pesticides.

                    Fish can be consumed for lunch or dinner, and if you’re into savory breakfast, it even makes a great part of omelets or served over greens. Or bake it, chill it, and use it to make salmon or tuna salad!

                    10. Lentils

                    10 Powerful Foods To Help Lower Blood Sugar Quickly
                      Jason Jacobs/Flickr

                      Lentils are packed with lean protein, iron, potassium, and fiber which makes them an overall incredible food to lower blood sugar levels. Lentils are also a good source of antioxidants, are very affordable, and offer a creamy and nutty texture that makes them delicious. One of the biggest benefits of these legumes is that they don’t have to be soaked or cooked a long time like beans and some other dried legumes do. Lentils can be cooked in only 20 minutes without any soaking, and red split lentils cook in about 15 minutes. The red ones tend to be sweeter while the other colors are more nutty, so choose whichever variety you enjoy.

                      Lentils can be used in soups, stews, added to salads and make a fantastic replacement to meat for a vegetarian/vegan option. If you’re not into beans or don’t like them, give lentils a try. They are a phenomenal food to lower blood sugar levels because they take a long time to digest but pack big amounts of nutrition.

                      Final Tips to Lower Blood Sugar Levels

                      While diet is important to manage blood sugar levels, so is overall lifestyle. Adequate sleep, enough water intake, and getting movement each day are all important factors that can promote lower blood sugar levels around the clock. Some people find that eating several times a day works better for them while others find they do best with three larger meals throughout the day. Test out both to see which works for you, and listen to your body. Prioritize eating real foods with a balanced intake of protein, fiber, and healthy fats throughout the day for overall healthier blood sugar levels as much as possible.

                      Other foods worth mentioning for lower blood sugar levels are coconut butter, dark chocolate, cinnamon, apple cider vinegar, other nuts and seeds, most all vegetables, greens, fiber-rich fruits like berries and apples, and even black coffee. Remember, there’s no need to deprive yourself when taking care of your body but choosing high-quality, real foods is key.

                      For more information, check out these tips so you can be on your way to better blood sugar levels in no time!

                      Featured photo credit: AnastasiaKopa via shutterstock.com

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                      Last Updated on August 15, 2018

                      7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

                      7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

                      Bodyweight exercises are gaining ground in the fitness world due to the practicality and simplicity of getting in shape using your own body weight. Planks are one form of bodyweight exercises that will never go out of fashion. Planks are one of the most effective exercises you can do. Why? Because they require a small time investment on your part, and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short span of time.

                      Video Summary

                      Why is it important to train up our core strength?

                      There are numerous sites and blogs which detail ways to build your core muscles or core strength. Often though, these sites neglect to explain what your core muscles actually are, and why building them is important.

                      This is quite surprising, as core muscles are quite easy to explain. Your core muscles are a series of muscles in your midsection, and are used in most forms of movement. Though they aren’t housed in your arms or legs, your core muscles can help transfer force from one limb to another, or are used in addition to muscles in your arms or legs to increase their effectiveness. As such a strong core will make a big improvement on your ability to move and exercise further.

                      Also they are great for helping other muscles in your midsection such as your abdominal muscles. Your abdominal muscles are important for supporting your back and spinal column, and as such are important aids in preventing injuries. However for them to be most effective you need to spend a lot of time developing your core muscles.

                      In short, planking exercises can make a huge improvement in your muscles down your whole body. Making them a hugely effective exercise to perform.

                      One Exercise, multiple benefits

                      There are few forms of exercise as effective at building your core as planking exercises. However, planking exercises benefit far more than just your core strength.

                      By holding yourself in the position for a planking exercise, you’ll notice that your biceps, neck, and shoulder muscles are also being tested and strained. This this encouraging their buildup and development. This is great news if you like to do press ups, developed shoulder muscles will have a big impact on your press up performance.

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                      When planking, you are holding yourself up through your arms and biceps and so by holding a planking position, your arm muscles are being toned and developed. Making planking a great alternative exercise to other forms of bicep developing exercises.

                      Moving down your midsection, successful plank exercises actually develop the muscles in your butt! These muscles tend to be ignored by a lot of exercises, so this is another great benefit of plank exercises.

                      In much the same way as you develop your biceps and arm muscles, holding the planking position helps develop the muscles in your thighs too.

                      What is even better is that planking exercises don’t take much time at all. In fact you should probably only spend about ten minutes max per day in the planking exercise.

                      What will happen when you start doing planks every day

                        1. You’ll improve core definition and performance: 

                        Planks are an ideal exercise for the abdominal muscles exactly because they engage all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominusthe external oblique muscle, and the glutes. The importance of strengthening each muscle group cannot be underestimated either, for all of these groups serve their own purpose. If you strengthen these muscle groups you will notice:

                        • Transverse abdominis: increased ability to lift heavier weights.
                        • Rectus adbominis: improved sports performance, particularly with jumping. This muscle group is also responsible for giving you the renowned six pack look.
                        • Oblique muscles: improved capacity for stable side-bending and waist-twisting
                        • Glutes: a supported back and a strong, shapely booty.

                        2. You’ll decrease your risk of injury in the back and spinal column

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                          Doing planks is a type of exercise that allow you to build muscle while also making sure that you are not putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly not only significantly reduces back pain but it also strengthens your muscles and ensures a strong support for your entire back, especially in the areas around your upper back.

                          Check out this article if you would like to find out about how doing planks on different surfaces can impact the effectiveness of this exercise in strengthening your core.

                          3. You’ll experience an increased boost to your overall metabolism

                            Planking is an excellent way of challenging your entire body because doing them every day will burn more calories than other traditional abdominal exercises, such as crunches or sit-ups. The muscles you strengthen by doing this exercise on a day-to-day basis will ensure that you burn more energy even when sedentary. This is especially important if you are spending the majority of your day sitting in front of a computer. Also, making it a daily 10- to 1 minute home exercise before or after work will not only provide an enhanced metabolic rate but it will also ensure that that metabolic rate remains high all day long, (yes, even while you are asleep).

                            4. You’ll significantly improve your posture

                              Planking exercises have a great impact and improvement on your posture. This is great news as a strong posture brings with it a huge number of fantastic benefits .

                              A good posture keeps your bones and joins in the correct alignment which means both your bones and joints will be better maintained and more healthy, but also means the overall effectiveness of your muscles will be improved.

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                              A good posture will ensure your back or spine is in the correct position and so you will suffer less back pain.

                              On top of everything, someone with good posture looks better, healthier, and more confident.

                              5. You’ll improve overall balance

                                Have you ever felt that when you tried standing on one leg, you couldn’t stand up straight for more than a couple of seconds? It’s not because you were drunk- unless you happened to be at the time!-  but rather, it’s because your abdominal muscles weren’t strong enough to give you the balance you needed. Through improving your balance by doing side planks and planks with extensions you will boost your performance in every kind of sporting activity.

                                6. You’ll become more flexible than ever before

                                  Flexibility is a key benefit of doing planks regularly, for this form of exercise expands and stretches all your posterior muscle groups – shouldersshoulder blades, and collarbone – while also stretching your hamstrings, arches of your feet, and toes. With a side plank added in to the mix, you can also work on your oblique muscles. This will provide you with further benefits when it comes to hyper-extending your toes, a movement that is crucial for supporting your body’s weight.

                                  7. You’ll witness mental benefits

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                                    Plank exercises have a particular effect on our nerves, making them an excellent means of improving overall mood. How? Well, they stretch out muscle groups that contribute to stress and tension in the body. Just think about it: you are sitting in your chair, at home or at work, all day long; your thigh muscles get tight, your legs get heavy due to being bent for several hours; and tension develops in your shoulders due to being forced to slump forward all day. These are all circumstances that put too stress on the muscles and nerves. The good news is that planks not only calm your brain, but they can also treat anxiety and symptoms of depression– but only if you make it part of your daily routine.

                                    How to hold a plank position

                                    1. Get into pushup position on the floor.
                                    2. Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
                                    3. Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
                                    4. Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
                                    5. Hold the position for as long as you can.
                                    6. Remember to breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
                                    7. When your form begins to suffer, pull the plug. You’re only benefiting from the plank by actually doing the plank.

                                    Watch the video if you have any doubt!

                                    Here is a great infographic that shows the best plank variation exercises to evenly target all abdominal muscle groups:

                                      How to improve your plank time gradually

                                      1. Start with the easier variation if needed. You can start with a bent-knee plank if you can’t perform a regular plank yet. If you can hold a plank for more than two minutes with ease, you can move on to these tougher variations.
                                      2. Practise every day. Space your planking exercise throughout the day and do 3-4 times every day. Try to hold the position 10 seconds longer each time.
                                      3. Perform other body-weight exercises at the same time. Push-up and squat will improve your core strength too.

                                      Are you ready to devote 5-10 minutes of your day, every day, to stay fit, healthy and, most importantly, strong as a bull? Then jump in and make doing plank exercises a part of your life.

                                      Who Should Be Cautious Doing The Plank?

                                      You need to be cautious doing Planking exercises if any of these risks apply to you:

                                      • Prolapse
                                      • After prolapse surgery
                                      • Pelvic pain conditions
                                      • Weak or poorly functioning pelvic floor muscles
                                      • Previous childbirth
                                      • Overweight

                                      Choose an alternative pelvic floor abdominal exercise or consult your doctor before performing plank regularly.

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