After eating something, it's important to be wary of potential spikes in blood sugar, especially when eating a food that is sweet or high in carbohydrates, artificial sweeteners, or caffeine, as these can cause greater surges, advised experts at WebMD. Being more mindful of the ways to balance blood sugar after a meal can help keep the body healthy and mood stable, which is always ideal for optimal energy and mood.
As a certified health coach, I work with clients on balancing their blood sugar levels and avoiding surges that can lead to risk of certain diseases, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and stroke. By eating foods that are lower in natural sugar, the body will be better able to metabolize those nutrients so that your body is balanced and fit. By doing a few healthy activities after eating, like taking a brisk walk or scheduling a workout, you can boost your digestion and feel awesome. As something to always note, sticking with a diet filled with colorful and nutritious foods, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, such as fish, chicken, and eggs, and complex carbohydrates, such as quinoa, brown rice, and buckwheat, can keep sugar low in general. Here are 11 ways to balance blood sugar after eating a meal, so that you can feel lighter, happier, and more energetic, without feeling weighed down.
1. Have Collagen With Meals
"If you're eating a light meal with little to no protein, try drinking a cup of bone broth or mixing a drinkable collagen formula into a cup of tea or coffee post-meal," says Nutritional Advisor and VP of Product Strategy Corey Friese with Vital Proteins over email with me. "The high levels of glycine will promote the conversion of glucose into energy," Friese adds, which can stabilize levels.
2. Add Fiber To Meals
While eating foods high in fiber, such as apples and other fruits with edible skins, whole wheat and bran products, beans, and legumes, can help balance blood sugar, it also might help to sprinkle fiber supplements onto your food. "Sprinkle a little fiber powder on some or part of your meal. Fiber can have a more immediate effect in stopping the blood sugar spike from eating," says Darin Hulslander, Nutrition Coach, to Bustle over email.
3. Take A Walk
After eating a meal, take a brisk walk instead of sitting down on the couch. "Stop sitting for hours after dinner - take a light walk to ease digestion," advises certified healthy lifestyle coach Liz Traines, to Bustle over email. "Your metabolism is faster when you stand up versus sitting down," Traines explains, as the ability to metabolize food better will help balance blood sugar levels.
4. Sprinkle Cinnamon On Your Food
According to Isabel Smith, MS, RD, CDN in a interview with Reboot With Joe, cinnamon can help balance blood sugar levels, so sprinkling it on a dish can help with the metabolic process and prevent spikes. Cinnamon tastes great on a little of foods, such as Greek yogurt, chicken, and apples, as well as many other delicious options.
5. Eat Protein With Each Meal
According to Smith, protein boosts satiety and helps slow the digestive process. Such assistance keeps levels balanced and can prevent cravings for sugary foods due to feelings of fullness that comes from eating lean proteins, such as chicken, turkey, eggs, fish, and legumes, such as black beans or lentils, as shown in a study published in Nutritional Journal.
6. Be Cautious With Carbohydrates
While it's important to eat complex carbohydrates for energy and fuel, carbohydrates are more readily digested and can elevate blood sugar levels and potentially lead to a surge, said endocrinologist Joseph Aloi, MD in an interview with Everyday Health. Be mindful of portion sizes and pair with protein for a slower digestion. "Use fruit as your carb choice to balance blood sugar," says holistic health coach and personal trainer Jen Bruno with J.B. Fitness and Nutrition, to Bustle over email.
7. Eat Several Meals Throughout The Day
Eating small meals frequently throughout the day is a great way to keep satiety up and keep blood sugar levels balanced, said Dr. Oz on his blog. Oz recommends eating in "three's," meaning eating a snack every three hours throughout the day, as that is the time when people start to feel hungry and should reach for something nourishing to fill their bellies.
8. Eat Blueberries
According to a study published in the Journal of Nutrition in 2010, blueberries can help balance blood sugar and increase sensitivity to insulin. If there is insulin resistance, risk for diabetes can get higher, so managing response better will help keep you healthy and safe, explains the source. Add blueberries to smoothies, or breakfast oatmeal or yogurt, or simply eat them raw as a snack!
9. Meditate After A Meal
According to Dr. Axe on his blog, doing stress-reduction activities can balance blood sugar following a meal, and Axe recommends trying meditation exercises, yoga, or essential oils to calm the the mind and body and prevent blood sugar spikes. Stress can raise blood sugar, Axe said, so it's important to minimize it as much as possible.
10. Include Healthy Fats
Healthy fats, such as omega 3's and unsaturated fats, found in oily fish, olive oil, coconut oil, nuts, avocados, and flax seeds, among others, have been shown to help regulate blood sugar levels and aid in diabetic prevention, according to Julie Daniluk, RHN, on her blog, and Bruno, in conversation with me. Whatever you're eating, add a little bit of oil or fat to boost nutrition and blood-sugar balancing benefits.
11. Get Enough Sleep
Getting enough sleep, about 7-9 hours nightly, can help keep blood sugar more stable throughout the entire day, and this can help prevent levels from spiking post-meal, advised Certified Holistic Nutrition Consultant and Natural Foods Chef, Stephanie Morish, on her blog. Prioritize your sleep, and set an alarm in order to stick with a regular schedule each night.
By instilling healthy habits that promote stable blood sugar levels, you'll be better able to lower risk for diabetes and manage your mood, energy, appetite, and wellbeing. Eating nutritious foods and getting adequate rest can help you be more mindful of your body and make sure that you receive great health benefits that can boost your quality of life.
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