Fluctuations in blood sugar levels are normal, however drastic spikes and dips can be an indicator that something isn’t quite right or signify the onset of potential health problems.
Blood glucose is essentially glucose in the blood stream. Levels are increased by consuming carbohydrates which get broken down by the body, resulting in glucose in the blood stream. The more carbohydrates you consume, the more glucose in your blood stream.
Levels also increase when you’re stressed, as your body catabolises the proteins in your muscles to extract glucose and raise you blood sugar levels to evoke a fight or flight response.
Levels are increased by consuming carbohydrates which get broken down by the body
Your body can’t distinguish between types of stress (e.g. running for your life or running for the school run) – it evokes the same chemical reaction (raising blood sugar) to help your body get into ‘survival’ mode and ready to ‘run’.
There are several signs and symptoms which show that your blood sugar levels aren’t being managed:
- Cravings (particularly for sugar)
- Low mood
- Low energy
- Inflammation in the form of symptoms like acne
- Polycystic ovaries
If you often notice yourself experiencing the above signs and symptoms there are several simple, natural ways you can manage your bloody sugar levels.
#1 Ensuring restorative sleep
The circadian rhythm helps govern how well your body functions and particularly how your blood sugar is managed. Poor sleep can mean that your blood sugar is negatively affected from the moment you wake up before you’ve even eaten anything for the day.
The best way to ensure your circadian rhythm is supported is by prioritising sleep, of which for many is easier said than done. There’s a huge body of research which suggests that CBD can help with sleep due to its relaxing, anxiety-reducing effects.
Poor sleep can mean that your blood sugar is negatively affected from the moment you wake up
To encourage deep, restorative sleep, I recommend Sleep Deep from JP’s Originals, £28.99, a calming blend of natural herbal ingredients infused with 15mg of the finest full spectrum water soluble CBD to help you to switch off and let go of the stresses of the day end encourage restorative, deep sleep.
READ MORE: 7 practical sleep tips your circadian rhythm will thank you for
#2 Lowering your stress levels
Closely related to ensuring a good night’s sleep, controlling your stress levels is sometimes easier said than done. However, if your stress levels aren’t in control, this can cause your blood sugars to spike as your body prepares to respond to danger.
Furthermore, if you’re in a constant state of stress, it could result in keeping your blood sugar high for prolonged amounts of time, which can have a negative effect on your health.
can cause your blood sugars to spike as your body prepares to respond to danger
To relieve symptoms of stress, you can try simple relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation, or simply going for a walk. Taking yourself away from a stressful situation and doing something you enjoy is key. Take some time for self-care, listen to uplifting music, or talking to someone for advice.
READ MORE: 3 ways to reduce stress in 24 hours
#3 Limit fruit juices and artificially sweetened juices
Fruit juices are a form of carbohydrate that rapidly convert to glucose in the bloodstream. These can cause big spikes in glucose and a big crash later, likely leading to an afternoon slump in energy.
Additionally, consuming artificially sweetened juices like squash may also spike your blood sugar, plus they can also affect your tastebuds so that you are more likely to crave sweeter food.
make sure to pair it with a meal that contains protein, healthy fats, and fibre
Everything in moderation is key. Whilst it’s ok to enjoy a sugary drink on the odd occasion, make sure to pair it with a meal that contains protein, healthy fats, and fibre to offset the load of carbohydrates.
Moving your body after consuming any form of carbohydrates will help utilise the glucose in the bloodstream for energy, instead of circulating around the bloodstream or depositing as fat.
READ MORE: 6 easy swaps to lower your sugar intake
#4 Be sure to eat breakfast
There is a lot of confusing information about whether you need to eat breakfast or not. For most individuals, blood sugar can drop significantly after long periods of fasting.
You may recognise your low blood sugar symptoms as being ‘hangry’ and irritable. Your body has ‘fasted’ overnight and it is important to stabilise your blood sugar first thing by eating a balanced breakfast.
Opting for a savoury breakfast over a sweet one will help maintain your energy and mood during the rest of the day.
stabilise your blood sugar first thing by eating a balanced breakfast
Some people can experience a rise in blood sugar when they wake up due to a surge in stress hormones, so making sure to give yourself the best nutrients in the morning will help stabilise your blood sugar levels and help keep them under control throughout the day.
READ MORE: 3 healthy breakfast recipes that will keep you full till lunch
#5 Opt for complex carbohydrates over simple carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are needed in your diet to maintain a healthy lifestyle; however, you need to be careful with the types of carbs you’re eating, and how much you’re consuming.
If you have a whole plate full of white pasta, this will cause a much bigger spike than if you had a smaller portion of pasta, combined with protein and healthy fats.
Complex carbohydrates contain lots of fibres to help slow down the release of glucose into the bloodstream
Instead, choose complex carbohydrates over simple ones to help slow down the rate of glucose into the blood. Complex carbohydrates contain lots of fibres to help slow down the release of glucose into the bloodstream so opt for whole grain alternatives e.g. brown rice, whole grain bread, root vegetables, and grains like oats, quinoa and buckwheat.
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