How It Works
Blood sugar, or glucose, is your body's main source of energy. After you eat, glucose enters your bloodstream quickly, which causes a bump in your blood sugar level. Your pancreas then revs its production of insulin, helping your body absorb glucose and use it to function.
When you consume meals of healthy whole foods, the rise in your blood sugar and insulin levels is small, steady and long lasting. But highly processed foods cause a huge spike. When that happens, the amount of glucose in your system exceeds your body's capacity to deal with it.
Dangers of High Blood Sugar
An elevated blood sugar level triggers a surge in free radicals, which cause systemic inflammation. The spike can damage the lining of blood vessels and it can cause blood clots. A steep rise in blood sugar prompts your pancreas to release large amounts of insulin, which sends your blood sugar and energy levels crashing causing your body to store fat.
High blood sugar can age you. Glucose causes collagen to cross-link, making skin stiffer and more leathery. Blood sugar spikes lead to lows that limit the amount of glucose your brain receives, resulting in brain fog and fatigue. A sugar high may cause your body to produce higher levels of cortisol and adrenaline, making it harder to sleep.
Elevated blood sugar levels can pre-dispose you to diabetes, a chronic disease that can lead to neuropathy, loss of sight, heart damage and other serious consequences.
What You Can Do
The good news is, it doesn't take a lot of work to stabilize your blood sugar and improve your well-being. The next few weeks I will share some easy strategies that make a big impact for better health.
#1 Sprinkle cinnamon on your breakfast
People who added a teaspoon of cinnamon to cereal had significantly lower blood sugar two hours after eating than those who did not. Evidence suggests that cinnamon prompts cells to absorb more glucose from blood and use it for energy. Add one or two teaspoons to your smoothie, protein shake, oatmeal or a half teaspoon to yogurt or coffee.
#2 Drink at least 34 ounces of water a day
Dehydration can drive up blood sugar by increasing vasopressin, a hormone that boosts glucose levels. Four and 1/4 cups of water is all it takes to keep your levels steady.
Check in next week for more tips to keep blood sugar steady and healthy.
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