Perhaps, like me, you have a family history of type 2 diabetes. Or maybe you’re already seeing some troubling symptoms of prediabetes such as fatigue, thirst, blurred vision or frequent urination.
Either way, you’re concerned about your blood sugar.
Your first steps, besides seeing your doc of course, are the twin game changers: diet and exercise.
A diet that’s lower in carbs and packed with plenty of fresh organic fruits, veggies and meats can help put your blood sugar back on the right track. Add in some kind of daily activity that you love, that gets your blood moving, and you’re well on your way to better blood sugar.
But what if your numbers aren’t cooperating? Or you’re still having troubling symptoms? Well the mainstream medicine approach would be to put you on a heavy-duty drug with a laundry list of side effects.
But what your doctor might not tell you is there are other options you can try first.
Top proven natural blood sugar supplements
Natural solutions can gently reduce high blood sugar. Which means you may need less drugs. Or, in the case of borderline numbers, they could even return your numbers to the normal zone so you can drop the drugs altogether.
Following are four proven blood sugar supplements which have stood the test of time. One of these potent, drug-free solutions could be the key to keeping your own blood sugar in check.
Magnesium is essential for keeping your blood sugar under control. Experts say the mineral can help reverse insulin resistance. Which means it could head off a full blown case of type 2 diabetes.
Magnesium helps your body convert carbohydrates into fuel. And this in turn keeps your blood sugar numbers steady. But when your magnesium levels drop too low, your glucose levels can start to climb.
In a small study, a magnesium supplement improved volunteer’s blood glucose levels an average of six percent. That modest improvement could be just enough to return your numbers to normal. And since the volunteers in the study already had healthy magnesium levels, it’s possible the improvements would be even more dramatic if your levels were low.
True magnesium deficiencies aren’t all that common. But it’s easy to fall a little short. So it’s a good idea to increase the amount of this mineral in your diet. Spinach, Swiss chard, dark chocolate, pumpkin seeds and almonds are all good sources of the mineral.
Magnesium supplements are also available. Look for magnesium chelate, a more absorbable form.
Adult men over 30 should be getting 420 mg of magnesium a day. Adult women 31 or older should strive for 320 mg.
2. Vitamin D:
The insulin producing beta cells in your pancreas need plenty of vitamin D to do their job well. And that can be a problem since vitamin D deficiency is so widespread, especially among older adults.
In one study, researchers tracked a group of pre-diabetic volunteers for three years. The folks with the highest levels of vitamin D turned out to be the least likely to develop diabetes.
In another study, a vitamin D supplement actually improved beta-cell function. The volunteers were all pre-diabetic and overweight with elevated blood sugars. But after four months on vitamin D, their beta cells were performing 15 to 30 percent better. And there was a significant improvement in their HA1c, a measurement of blood sugar levels over time.
Your doctor can check your D with a simple blood test. If your levels are low, a combination of bare-skin sun exposure, diet and a supplement (if needed) should restore your levels.
Many experts recommended 5,000 IU of D3 daily until you reach optimal levels. And then as directed by your doctor for maintenance.
Chromium is a trace mineral that naturally supports glucose metabolism. It helps convert sugar into fuel your body can use, naturally promoting balanced blood sugar.
And a stack of studies confirms this unassuming mineral could be a useful tool for anyone struggling with blood sugar issues. For example, in one placebo controlled trial volunteers taking a chromium supplement for four months had far better blood sugar improvements than those taking the placebo.
And in another study, folks taking chromium had significantly better short and long term glucose levels than the placebo takers.
Good food sources of chromium include steel cut oats, barley, broccoli, green beans and tomatoes. And supplements are available as well. For blood sugar support, most experts recommend 200 to 400 mcg of chromium polynicotinate daily.
4. Green coffee bean extract:
Before they’re roasted, green coffee beans are swimming in chlorogenic acid, a powerful polyphenol which could help prevent blood sugar spikes.
Researchers say the natural antioxidant appears to head off post meal spikes by signaling to your gut to absorb less sugar. The result is steadier blood sugars, and far fewer jittery spikes and sluggish crashes.
If you’re a regular Healthier Talk reader, you already know that coffee drinking is linked to a lower risk of diabetes. But experts say the more concentrated the dose of chlorogenic acid the more blood sugar benefits you get. And since roasting and brewing reduce those levels, you might want to consider taking a green coffee bean extract as well.
Green coffee bean extracts are available as standalone blood sugar supplements, as well as ingredients in more comprehensive formulas. Most experts recommend 600 mg for blood sugar support.
Don’t let your blood sugar boss you around. Keep it in check with these natural blood sugar supplements instead.
She is an advocate of self-education and is passionate about the power of group knowledge sharing, like the kind found right here on HealthierTalk.com. Alice loves to share her views on holistic and natural healing as well as her, sometimes contentious, thoughts on the profit-driven inner workings of traditional medicine.
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