By Maddie Santiago
Our bodies blood sugar levels are constantly changing. Since blood drives all the systems in our bodies, its important to stabilize blood sugar levels in order to maintain our health. When your body’s levels are too low you may experience shakiness, anxiety, hunger, irritability, and energy crashes. While less common, insomnia, headaches, and muscle pain can occur as well. Low blood sugar levels can also be associated with serious diseases like diabetes, heart disease, dementia, and many forms of cancer.
The thyroid and blood sugar have an interdependent relationship. When your blood sugar levels are low, your body sees this as a threat and creates cortisol. This may help pick your blood sugar back up, but it also induces stress on your body and stress hurts your thyroid. If this process happens frequently it can start to do some real damage to your thyroid.
Eating the right foods can help your body’s blood sugar remain at optimal levels. Certain kinds of protein can help with gastric emptying, which has been found to be an important factor in post-meal blood sugar levels. Good kinds of carbs, like mucilage and soluble fiber, are good for gut health and stabilizing blood sugar levels. Fats are also important; Polyunsaturates and monounsaturates help your body with digestion and saturated fats increase insulin resistance to help keep blood sugar levels regulated.
Here are 12 blood sugar stabilizing foods recommended by Dr. Alan Christianson, a Naturopathic Endocrinologist, to start implementing into your diet:
Okra and similar foods soothe the intestinal tract, and reduce the amount of insulin made after meals. This reduces post-meal blood sugar elevation, which is quite common and can be dangerous.
Flax seeds are a great source of fiber and mucilage. In order to reap the benefits for your blood sugar, grind the seeds, add them to liquid, and let the mixture form a gel.
Getting more and more mucilage into our diets is important, so we’ve got to get it from a variety of sources. Eggplant is another great source of plant mucilage.
Green Banana Flour
Green banana flour is high in resistant starch. You can easily add it to smoothies, hot cereal, and more.
Oat bran has the highest source of soluble fiber. It helps increase the volume in your stomach and reduces insulin production. It is easy to prepare, cook them just like rolled oats. Gluten-free is best.
Sardines are high in omega-3 fatty acids and are therefore a “clean” protein.
Adzuki beans contain the highest source of magnesium. Most of us could use more of this powerful micronutrient in our diet. It’s also an excellent source of resistant starch.
Kabocha is rich in soluble fiber and consists of slowly-absorbed good carbs. It also contains beta carotene, which has shown to help reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes.
Buckwheat can reduce the liver’s tendency to make too much sugar, usually due to an over-response of glucagon.
All hail the avocado! Among its other many benefits, the avocado contains monounsaturated fats that may help improve insulin sensitivity, which can aid in improving the stability of our blood sugar. It is also rich in soluble fiber, as well as vitamin B6.
These contain the highest source of potassium possible, which can help prevent the risk of Type 2 diabetes. It also helps keep blood sugar levels optimal.
Studies have found that potatoes, my favorite food ever, have the ability to reduce hunger while stabilizing blood sugar longer than any other food. Also they’re delicious when prepared in any way imaginable!
Dr. Alan Christianson, a Naturopathic Endocrinologist and the author of The NY Times bestselling book Adrenal Reset Diet, focuses on helping people reverse thyroid disease, lose weight, cure diabetes, and regain energy. For more information, visit drchristianson.com.