When your body’s blood sugar levels get too high, important cellular functions can be disrupted and – over the long-term – this can place your health and well-being in serious jeopardy. That’s why, ideally, your blood sugar levels – or blood glucose levels – should fall within a healthy, normal range.
(Note that you can check your blood sugar levels from the comfort of home with EverlyWell’s HbA1c Test.)
To keep your blood sugar levels well within a healthy range, experts recommend that you get regular exercise – as well as making a few dietary changes (if necessary). Eating the right foods, in fact, can be a particularly effective way to keep your blood sugar levels in check.
But what foods are the “right” foods? Here, for your information, are 6 different foods that scientists believe can lower blood sugar levels.
It has an unmistakably pungent aroma, but that’s not its only claim to fame: garlic is a vegetable that’s loaded with more than a few health-boosting compounds. And some of these compounds can lower fasting blood glucose levels, as one meta-analysis discovered. The exact compounds in garlic that exert this remarkable effect aren’t completely known, and is the subject of scientific scrutiny, but there’s compelling evidence that garlic can indeed send those blood sugar numbers down.
Oats and Barley
You may already know that oats are great for your health. And no wonder: oats are packed with potent nutrients – including soluble fiber, which helps lower blood sugar levels. Barley is also a good source of soluble fiber – so to give your blood sugar levels a nudge in the downward direction, consider adding more oat or barley-based products to your diet.
Sure, chopped onions can make your mascara run like Usain Bolt, but onions can also be invaluable in the quest to keep your blood sugar levels within a normal range. Onions, it turns out, are filled with natural pigment compounds known as flavonoids – which can have a blood-sugar-lowering effect on the body.
If garlic can lower your blood sugar levels, then it seems only fair that a sweet-smelling spice like cinnamon can do the same. This could be because cinnamon – which comes from the bark of particular type of tree – is a rich source of polyphenols, naturally-occurring compounds that offer numerous health benefits.
When it comes to sending your blood sugar levels careening earthward – speaking hyperbolically here, of course – several types of nuts (like almonds, peanuts, and pistachios) have particularly fascinating effects. Because these nuts slow down digestion, they can significantly lower post-meal blood sugar levels. And nuts can be especially effective in lowering blood sugar levels if you make them your preferred snack choice instead of munching on sugary, carb-filled alternatives.
Back before the rise of modern medicines designed to treat diabetes, vinegar was used as a folk remedy for this often-destructive health condition. Intrigued by this, scientists then began investigating the properties of vinegar as it relates to lowering blood sugar levels – and found that vinegar can reduce the rate at which carbohydrates are absorbed throughout the body (glucose is a kind of carbohydrate). This, in turn, can reduce blood sugar levels. But there’s a bit of a catch here: to get this effect from vinegar, it’s best if you consume the vinegar alongside a meal.
Your diet can have a major impact on your blood glucose levels. Certain foods – like those mentioned above – are known to reduce blood sugar levels, so consider making them a regular part of your diet if they aren’t already. And one other key step you can take to help ensure you have optimal blood sugar levels is monitoring your levels with EverlyWell’s at-home HbA1c Test.
(Have a sneaking suspicion that you might be sensitive to one of the foods above? Double-check by trying EverlyWell’s Food Sensitivity Test.)