While blood sugar is not the most exciting topic, it sure does have a huge impact on how you feel throughout the day and how you sleep, not to mention the huge impact it has on your digestion, metabolism, and even your hormone levels. Read on, and find out how to support your healthy body through blood sugar balance.
Do any of these signs of poor blood sugar handling describe you?
- Awaken a few hours after falling asleep, hard to get back to sleep
- Crave coffee or sugar in the afternoon
- Sleepy in afternoon
- Fatigue that is relieved by eating
- Headache if meals are skipped or delayed
- Irritable before meals
- Shaky if meals delayed
- Frequent thirst or urination
These are all indications that your body may be having a difficult time managing blood sugar. Usually, blood sugar regulation is controlled by the liver and pancreas, but when those organs become over-burdened, blood sugar falls too low (hypoglycemia) and triggers your adrenal glands to get involved. The adrenal glands release stress hormones and signal the liver to break down proteins and fats for energy. This causes a lot of bodily stress and inflammation.
Why is blood sugar important? Sex hormones, digestion, and metabolism!
First off, healthy hormone production will not happen without blood sugar balance. Failure to balance blood sugar stimulates the release of the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline. These stress hormones block the healthy production of sex hormones because reproduction is not a priority when your body is under stress (ie. your body prioritizes survival over reproduction).
Blood sugar is also important to digestion and assimilation. When your stress response is ON, your digestion is turned OFF for a similar reason, surviving stress is prioritized over your digestion.
If that’s not enough of a reason to want to have balanced blood sugar, this one will seal the deal. Without balanced blood sugar, your body won’t produce enough T3 (active thyroid hormone) to support a healthy metabolism! So read on, and learn the steps you can take to support your own!
Some tips for regulating your own blood sugar through food:
- Avoid PUFA fats. They can block sugar from getting into our cells and being used properly.
- Always eat protein, fat, and carbohydrates TOGETHER. Often frequent feedings (i.e. 5-8 small meals a day) are needed to keep the body fueled and prevent the stress response. Pay close attention to the ratio of protein/fat/carbs in your meal, and how you feel after consuming. Most Americans overdo carbs and don’t eat enough protein and fat to balance their blood sugar during meals.
- Increase your intake of anti-inflammatory proteins, particularly the amino acid glycine from bone broth and gelatin (this is a great option).
- Actively try to reduce stress in your life, especially when eating. Stress dials down your digestive juices that help your body break down and assimilate food. This includes doing more of what you love, and less of what you don’t!
- Avoid food allergens and sensitivities that burden your body. Food additives like carrageenan, as well as gluten and dairy are huge here.
Do you have any blood sugar handling strategies that didn’t make our list? Please share them below in the comments!