5 Simple Ways To Balance Blood Sugars And Hormones
New Delhi: Unstable blood sugars are a modern-day phenomenon. Sugar has infiltrated the modern world, sending our blood sugar levels on a rampant roller coaster ride.
You might experience sugar cravings, feeling ravenous not long after eating, brain fog, or have trouble losing weight. You might also notice around 3 pm that your hand reaches for the chocolate to get you through the afternoon. These are all signs that your blood sugar levels are unstable.
HOW DO UNBALANCED BLOOD SUGARS IMPACT YOUR HORMONES?
When your blood sugar levels are out of balance it means your body is using sugars and proteins as a fuel source, rather than fats. This gives your body quick, emergency energy. The body actually interprets high blood sugar levels as a stressor that stimulates the release of cortisol. When too much cortisol is released, your body is in flight or fight mode.
For women, the long-term effect of stress is often hormone imbalance. This is because our sex and stress hormones share the same precursors, which means when your body is constantly in flight or fight mode, it is prioritising survival and not a reproduction.
The short of it is, if you can’t stabilise your blood sugar levels over a day, you won’t have any chance of stabilising your hormones over a month.
Here are some natural ways that you can balance your blood sugar levels:
1. Eat more whole foods
Whole foods convert to glucose more slowly, avoiding a sugar rush. Whole grains such as quinoa, brown, or red rice are just a couple of examples. Eating whole fruit instead of juice means the fibres slow down the release of sugars.
2. Eat regular meals and snacks
Don’t let yourself feel irritated or lightheaded before you eat something. You want to avoid a cortisol spike as your body cries out for food and sweet carbohydrate foods by eating every 3-4 hours.
3. Include some protein with your meals and snacks
Protein (as well as fats and fibres) can help balance your mood and energy levels so think about how you can include it and are inventive!
4. Avoid sugar and refined carbohydrates
Check the labels of packaged foods as there is sugar added in the most unlikely places. White flours and the baked goods they go in don’t take long to be turned into sugar. Just take a small bite of white bread and chew it for a full minute and you’ll already taste sweetness. Avoid white rice, flours, and pasta, and keep your sweet treats to a minimum.
5. Eat breakfast as skipping meals may contribute to irritability and fatigue
You’ve already slept the entire night and not eaten so your blood sugar will be low. Skipping meals means you delay giving your body the ability to produce energy and cortisol levels will rise. This can trigger hunger and a desire for sweet things. Avoid this by having a wholesome breakfast within an hour of waking.
Foods to think about
Protein includes lentils, beans (black beans, kidney beans, and borlotti beans), nuts (walnuts, almonds, Brazil nuts, etc), seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, sesame, etc), eggs, yogurt, tempeh, and tofu.
Foods to avoid
Sauces contain a lot of sugar that you may not taste, but can really affect blood sugar. Stimulants such as coffee, black tea, alcohol also cause blood sugar to spike by affecting the hormone adrenaline.