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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 February 21, 2019

                      Top 9 Foods for Incredible Brian Health And Brain Power

                      Top 9 Foods for Incredible Brian Health And Brain Power

                      Your brain is the most intricate and powerful organ in your entire body. It’s essentially a super-computer with brain power like a Ferrari.

                      If you have a Ferrari, would you put cheap gasoline in it? Of course not. You want to put in high-octane performance fuel to get the most out of your investment.

                      When it comes to the brain, many people are looking for the top foods that will supercharge the brainpower to help focus better, think more clearly and have better brain health.

                      In this article, we’ll look at the top 9 brain foods that will help create supercharge your brain with energy and health:

                      1. Salmon

                      Salmon has long been held as a healthy brain food, but what makes this fish so valuable for your brain health?

                      It’s important to understand that your brain is primarily made up of fat. Roughly 60% of your brain is fat. One of the most important fats that the brain uses as a building block for healthy brain cells is omega-3’s.

                      Omega-3’s are essential for building a healthy brain but one of the most important omega-3’s for your brain is DHA. DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) forms nearly two-thirds of the omega-3’s found in your brain.[1]

                      Omega-3’s and DHA in particular help form the protective coating around our neurons. The better quality this coating is, the more efficient and effective our brain cells can work, allowing our brain power to work at full capacity.

                      Studies have shown that being deficient in DHA can affect normal brain development in children, which is why so many infant formulas and children’s supplements are beginning to include DHA.

                      Being deficient in DHA as an adult can cause focus and attention problems, mood swings, irritability, fatigue and poor sleep.

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                      2. Blueberries

                      Blueberries top the list as one of the most beneficial fruits to maximize your brain health and performance.

                      Blueberries have some of the highest content of antioxidants, particularly anthocyanins, than any other fruit, which helps protect the brain from stress and promote healthy brain aging.

                      Blueberries antioxidant content also help reduce inflammation, which allows the brain to maintain healthy energy levels.

                      Blueberries have begun to receive attention for their connection to brain performance.[2] Studies have demonstrated that eating blueberries on a regular basis can not only improve brain health but also brain performance as well including working memory.[3]

                      Blueberries not only taste great but are low in calories, high in Vitamin C, Vitamin K and Manganese.

                      3. Turmeric

                      Turmeric is a very impressive spice that has well-researched and proven to have tremendous benefits for your brain. Turmeric’s main compound that benefits the brain is called curcumin, which is responsible for turmerics bright yellow appearance.

                      Curcumin has been shown to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-cancer properties.[4]

                      Curcumin increases the production and availability of two important neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine, two important neurotransmitters involved with happiness, motivation, pleasure, and reward.

                      Curcumin has been well documented to have powerful anti-depressive effects. In one study, it was found to be as effective for depression as popular medications such as SSRI’s like Prozac.[5]

                      Curcumin has also been shown to:

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                      • Increase blood flow to the brain.[6]
                      • Increase BDNF production, a powerful stimulator of neuroplasticity.[7]
                      • Increase DHA availability and synthesis in the brain.[8]
                      • Increase antioxidant levels in the brain to prevent brain aging and inflammation.[9]

                      4. Coffee

                      Coffee is the wonderful elixir of energy that many people cherish every single morning. The biggest reason people drink coffee is to get a dose of caffeine.

                      Caffeine is a natural neurological stimulant that not only gives you energy but also prevents adenosine, a neurotransmitter involved with feeling tired, from binding in the brain.

                      Many people are surprised to find that coffee actually contains a large quantity of antioxidants called polyphenols, which are important for reducing inflammation in the brain and keep your brain energized. The antioxidants in coffee also provide a neuroprotective effect, protecting the brain from stress and damage. [R]

                      Coffee can also:

                      • Improve alertness and concentration.[10]
                      • Help with neurodegenerative disorders like Parkinson’s disease.[11]
                      • Reduce your risk of depression.[12]
                      • Improve your memory.
                      • Provide short-term boost in athletic performance.[13]

                      5. Broccoli

                      What was your least favorite food as a kid growing up?

                      Most likely, broccoli was your answer.

                      Broccoli may not have been your top choice, but it might be the top choice for your brain.

                      Broccoli contains a compound called sulforaphane. Sulforaphane has been shown to promote the proliferation and survival of brain cells by reducing inflammation and boosting production of BDNF. It has also been shown to boost neurogenesis, the production of new brain cells.[14]

                      Broccoli is also loaded with important nutrients Vitamin K and Folate. Vitamin K plays a vital role in protecting brain cells.[15] Folate plays a crucial role in detoxification and reducing inflammation in the brain.

                      6. Bone broth

                      Bone broth wasn’t just created to combine with soups, you can actually drink bone broth by itself.

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                      Drinking bone broth has become one of the biggest trends in the health and wellness industry and for good reason. Bone broth isn’t actually a new thing. Bone broth has been used for centuries as a healing tonic to promote health and longevity.

                      Much of the nutritional benefits and value of bone broth comes from its substantial vitamin and mineral content. Primarily calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and potassium.

                      Your gut is called your second brain for a reason. Research continually shows that there is a direct and indirect connection between your gut and your brain. Your gut also houses and stores many important brain compounds involved with optimal brain performance. Therefore the health of your gut is vitally important for your brain health and performance.

                      Bone broth has become a go-to tool for helping heal the gut and provide the gut with the vital nutrient and resources it needs to heal and perform optimally.

                      With the vast amounts of nutrients that bone broth contains, it makes the list as a go-to food for your brain health.

                      Look for high quality, organic bone broth for the best results.

                      7. Walnuts

                      Walnuts are one of the top choices of nuts for brain health. Walnuts also look similar to a brain.

                      Amongst the wide variety of nuts available, walnuts contain the highest amounts of the important omega-3 DHA. DHA, as seen above, is a critical building block for a healthy brain.

                      Walnuts also contain high amounts of antioxidants, folate, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus, which help to lower inflammation.

                      Melatonin in walnuts is an important nutrient for regulating your sleep. Having low amounts of melatonin can make it challenging to get good quality sleep and getting poor quality sleep can dramatically impair brain health and performance.

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                      8. Eggs

                      For years, eggs were put on the nutritional naughty list; but now, eggs are finally getting the credit they deserve. Eggs can provide a tremendous boost to your brain health and longevity.

                      Eggs, particularly the yolks, contain a compound called choline. Choline is essential for building the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Acetylcholine plays an important role in mood, memory, and intelligence.

                      Egg yolks contain some of the highest quantities of choline. This is very important because low levels of choline can lead to low levels of acetylcholine, which in turn can cause increased inflammation, brain fog, difficulty concentrating and fatigue.

                      9. Dark chocolate

                      You’re about to love chocolate even more because chocolate, particularly dark chocolate, is great for your brain.

                      Chocolate boosts levels of endorphins, your brains “feel good” chemicals. This is why you feel so good eating chocolate.[16]

                      Chocolate also increases blood flow to the brain which can help improve memory, attention, focus, and reaction time.[17]

                      Dark chocolate contains high levels of magnesium, which has been coined “natures valium” for its ability to calm and relax the brain.

                      Lastly, dark chocolate has one of the highest antioxidant profiles out of any other food, including popular superfoods like acai berries, blueberries, or pomegranates.[18]

                      Conclusion

                      Your brain is a high performing organ and it uses quite a lot of energy, roughly 20% of the bodies energy demands.

                      In order to maintain a healthy brain, you need the right fuel to ensure that your brain has all the nutrients it needs to perform as well as adapt to the stress of life.

                      If you want to keep your brain performing well for a lifetime, then you want to make sure you are including as many of these brain health foods as possible.

                      More Resources About Boosting Brain Power

                      Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

                      Reference

                      [1] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: DHA Effects in Brain Development and Function
                      [2] Canadian Science Publishing: Enhanced task-related brain activation and resting perfusion in healthy older adults after chronic blueberry supplementation
                      [3] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Cognitive effects following acute wild blueberry supplementation in 7- to 10-year-old children.
                      [4] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Curcumin: the Indian solid gold.
                      [5] Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd edition.: Turmeric, the Golden Spice
                      [6] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Effect of combined treatment with curcumin and candesartan on ischemic brain damage in mice.
                      [7] Science Direct: Curcumin reverses the effects of chronic stress on behavior, the HPA axis, BDNF expression and phosphorylation of CREB
                      [8] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Curcumin boosts DHA in the brain: Implications for the prevention of anxiety disorders.
                      [9] PLOS: A Chemical Analog of Curcumin as an Improved Inhibitor of Amyloid Abeta Oligomerization
                      [10] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Effects of Caffeine on Cognitive Performance, Mood, and Alertness in Sleep-Deprived Humans
                      [11] American Academy of Neurology: A Cup of Joe May Help Some Parkinson’s Disease Symptoms
                      [12] American Academy of Neurology: AAN 65th Annual Meeting Abstract
                      [13] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Effects of caffeine on the metabolic and catecholamine responses to exercise in 5 and 28 degrees C.
                      [14] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Hyperammonemia induces glial activation, neuroinflammation and alters neurotransmitter receptors in hippocampus, impairing spatial learning: reversal by sulforaphane
                      [15] Oxford Academic: Vitamin K and the Nervous System: An Overview of its Actions
                      [16] Diana L. Walcutt, Ph.D: Chocolate and Mood Disorders
                      [17] Health Magazine: Chocolate can do good things for your heart, skin and brain
                      [18] Chemistry Central Journal: Cacao seeds are a “Super Fruit”: A comparative analysis of various fruit powders and products

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