Insulin is a hormone that is produced from the beta cells of your pancreas and primarily serves to control your blood sugar levels. It helps to move sugar from your blood into your cells for storage. However, when cells are insulin resistant, they can’t use insulin effectively, leaving your blood sugar high which can trigger a host of other complications.
When your pancreas senses high blood sugar levels, it then makes more insulin to overcome the resistance and reduce your blood sugar. Overtime, this can deplete the pancreas of insulin-producing cells, which is common in type 2 diabetes. Also prolonged high blood sugar can damage nerves and organs. Insulin sensitivity is how responsive your cells are to insulin. By improving it, you get to reduce insulin resistance and the risk of diseases, especially diabetes.
Here are few natural and scientifically proven ways to improve your insulin sensitivity.
1. Make exercise a part of your lifestyle
Regular exercise is absolutely critical for improving insulin sensitivity. You can combine aerobic and resistance training in your routine as this appears to be most effective.
2. Get more sleep
The absence of adequate sleep destroys insulin sensitivity. Making up for lost sleep may help to reverse the effects.
3. Reduce stress
Stress stimulates nutrient breakdown and increases blood sugar. Stress hormones levels are high when you are under stress, which in turn reduces insulin sensitivity. Meditation, exercise and sleep are great ways of reducing stress.
4. Eat low-glycemic carbohydrates
The glycemic index measures a given food’s impact on blood glucose levels. High-glycemic foods cause a quick rise in blood glucose, leading to large amounts of insulin being released by your body. Overtime, the constant influx of insulin on your cells causes the cells to become insensitive to insulin, this means more and more insulin is needed to achieve the same result. However, eating a low-glycemic diet can improve glucose uptake and increase insulin sensitivity.
5. Eat more soluble fiber
Foods that are rich in soluble fiber include flax seeds, legumes, oatmeal and vegetables like Brussels sprout and fruits like oranges. Eating soluble fiber is beneficial to your health and adding fibers to your meal lowers the glycemic index of your meal, which in turn increases insulin sensitivity and slow down the release of glucose into your bloodstream.
6. Drink more green tea
Green tea can help to increase your insulin sensitivity and overall health. The increase in insulin sensitivity associated with green tea is due to the antioxidant epigallocatechin gallate present in it.
7. Reduce your intake of added sugars
Added sugars are found more in highly processed and fast-foods. Consuming a lot of added sugars within 60 days increases your liver resistance to insulin, independent of total calorie intake. So limit your fructose consumption, in order to minimize your risk of insulin resistance.
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