As you know, insulin plays a big role in determining whether your blood sugar levels stay in the healthy zone or spiral out of control and lead to diabetes. And how sensitive your body’s cells are to that insulin can determine your risk of the disease.
That’s why we’ve put together five of the easiest, science-backed ways to increase your insulin sensitivity, reduce insulin resistance and better control your blood sugar.
#1 — Get physical
A 2018 meta-analysis reviewed 11 separate studies on insulin sensitivity and exercise. The results were clear…
If you want to optimize the sensitivity of your body’s cells to the hormone, you’ve got to get physical or at least stay physically active.
And a 2013 review found that you could grab the most benefits by combining aerobic exercise with strength training, even if you already have diabetes.
#2 — Grab some shut-eye
Sleep is also essential in managing your body’s response to insulin.
In fact, a 2015 study found that when sleep-deprived participants extended their rest time by just one hour per day for six weeks, their insulin sensitivity improved dramatically.
On the other hand, a second study found that people who only slept four hours per night versus eight had significantly lower insulin sensitivity than their counterparts after a single night.
Finding your sleep “sweet spot” may be key in determining what works best for your body.
#3 — Destress
Studies have consistently found that high levels of stress hormones go hand in hand with poor insulin sensitivity.
And when stress goes on for the long haul, you could be setting yourself up for insulin resistance.
You can ease your stress through exercise, rest or meditation — all of which have been linked to lower stress levels in order to improve your insulin sensitivity.
#4 — Reach for supplements
Certain nutritional supplements have been linked to reduced insulin resistance.
Some of the most researched ones to add to your daily routine include omega-3 fatty acids and probiotics.
Omega-3s from fish oil and probiotics were both proven in a 2014 clinical trial to improve insulin sensitivity when taken separately. And combined, the results were even better.
The third supplement that comes highly recommended is resveratrol (found in the skin of red grapes). In a review of 11 studies, this supplement was found to improve both insulin sensitivity and glucose control in people with diabetes.
#5 — Change your diet
You can also make big improvements to your insulin sensitivity simply by making small changes in your daily diet.
First, try adding more soluble fiber to your diet. This type of fiber, found in foods like oatmeal, flaxseeds, legumes and Brussels sprouts, has been linked to increased insulin sensitivity.
This could be due to the fact that soluble fiber feeds the good bacteria in your gut, which helps to level up your sensitivity.
You should also consider adding more colorful fruits and veggies to your diet since diets high in plant compounds have demonstrated the power to improve sensitivity to insulin as well.
Remember, even small daily changes can add up to big benefits for your health. By using the tips above to improve your body’s insulin sensitivity the natural way, you could avoid diabetes for life, or even bring your blood sugar back into the green zone.
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How to Improve Your Insulin Sensitivity — Diabetesstrong.com
Health Benefits of Dietary Fiber — PubMed