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What is insulin? - And how to lower blood sugar naturally

Updated on January 11, 2017

Last week I took my mom to the doctor. She was told that her sugar levels were dangerously high and was classified as pre-diabetic. My grandpa died of diabetes and my grandma was recently diagnosed with it. I had never given much thought to diabetes, blood sugar levels or insulin until last week.

I've read several times that diabetes can controlled or even cured by changing our life style, mainly by changing eating habits and adding exercise to the equation. But I didn't know much about this metabolic disease, so I figured a little bit of research never hurt anyone.

So armed with nothing but my laptop and a good wi-fi connection, I set out into the quest of finding out the truth about diabetes and how to balance blood sugar levels naturally.

Top Facts

Insulin is a hormone that helps regulate blood sugar

People who are insulin resistant need a lot of insulin to absorb sugar. This can lead to diabetes or hyperinsulinemia, which leads to a whole bunch of other diseases

Some foods can help you regulate blood sugar levels but they are not a replacement for a healthy life style.

What is insulin and what is its purpose?

Insulin is a hormone secreted by the pancreas. It helps in the metabolic process to help the body use a variety of nutrients, especially carbohydrates (sugars).

One of the main function of insulin is to reduce blood glucose by allowing glucose to enter the cells of the body. It's like the cells are the best club in town and glucose is desperately trying to go in, but the bouncer won't let him. Then along comes cool guy insulin and tells the bouncer glucose is a good friend of his. And just like that glucose is allowed into the cells.

Once glucose enters the cell, it is then used for energy or stored for future use.

Glucose cannot get in the cells without the help of insulin
Glucose cannot get in the cells without the help of insulin
With insulin's help, glucose can get in the cell, where the body can put it to good use, instead of wondering aimlessly around the body elevating your sugar levels.
With insulin's help, glucose can get in the cell, where the body can put it to good use, instead of wondering aimlessly around the body elevating your sugar levels.

Insulin sensitive people

An insulin sensitive person needs only small amounts of insulin for the cells to let in glucose. An insulin sensitive person has optimal levels of glucose and their cells are fully supplied with the glucose they need.

Since they only need small amounts of insulin to get cells to do their job, there isn't much glucose going around unsupervised, which means their sugar levels are where they need to be.

Insulin resistant people

A person who is insulin resistant needs a lot more insulin to get the job done. This can lead to type 2 diabetes and to hyperinsulinemia.

What is hyperinsulinemia?

Hyperinsulinemia is a fancy word to tell you that there is too much insulin in your body. And this is bad since it leads to a lot of diseases, such as:

  • high blood pressure
  • heart disease
  • heart failure
  • obesity
  • osteoporosis
  • cancer (colon, breast, prostate)

Side note: There are no magical foods. The foods listed here will help you reach your goal faster, but they don't do much if they're not accompanied by a healthy diet and exercise. I'm sure you knew that, I just thought I'd say it again.

What can you do about insulin resistance?

You're not doomed. You just gotta make some changes fast before things get any worse. First let me state the obvious: you gotta change the way you eat and you gotta move around, exercise and get those pretty buns of yours up and running.

In fewer words: Eat healthy and exercise.

However, there are some foods that can help you get to optimal glucose levels faster. Here's a list of those foods.


Eat cinnamon, but don't eat cinnamon buns!
Eat cinnamon, but don't eat cinnamon buns! | Source

Cinnamon

Cinnamon increases sensitivity to insulin, which is a good thing (in case you didn't read the explanation given above). You do not need to eat cinnamon by the loads. Eating 1 to 6 grams of cinnamon daily should start giving you the results you need (along with a healthy diet). Cinnamon is also used to reduce cholesterol and triglecyrides levels

How?

Add 1 teaspoon of cinnamon to your favorite tea and drink it after lunch. See? That was easy...Let's move onto another great food...

Cactus leaf smoothie
Cactus leaf smoothie | Source

Cactus Juice

Okay, I'll admit this won't taste as good as the cinnamon, but it's totally worth it. Aloe vera and cactus juice helps to heal pancreas (the organ which produces insulin) which, in turn, helps the body produce proper amounts of insulin.

How?
Take this juice on an empty stomach.

Here's the recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cactus leaf (or small cactus leaf)
  • 2 lemons (with peel) - since you will be using the peel, make sure the lemons are organic to limit the amount of pesticides usually found in peels.

Instructions:

  1. wash lemons and cut in half
  2. place in blender and add 12 oz of water (1 1/2 cups)
  3. blend for a few seconds
  4. pass the water through a sieve
  5. place water in blender once again and add the cactus leaf
  6. blend
  7. enjoy

You must not add sugar or honey. (No cheating!)
You may eat after 15 minutes of drinking juice.

Canary grass seed

Canary grass seed is one of the best seeds against diabetes and super easy to prepare. It helps the body to keep optimal sugar levels and helps with a variety of other problems. Keep in mind that you will not be eating the seed itself, but rather drinking the milk made from these seeds. This milk must taken three times a day: once in the morning (on an empty stomach), mid-day and before going to bed. The canary grass seed milk should be the last thing you eat/drink in your day.

Click here for the recipe and click here to find out more benefits of canary grass seed.

Once again, keep a healthy diet. You don't need a list of things you can or can not eat. We all know what's healthy and what isn't. So eat your greens, get rid of junk food, and please, please, please exercise. You don't have to run to get a gym membership. You can start by taking small walks around your neighborhood, your yard or even your living room. The point is that you have to get moving. Don't be an easy target for diabetes. Fight it with all your might!

Comments

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    • Terrielynn1 profile image

      Terrie Lynn 

      20 months ago from Canada

      Great information. But normal blood glucose levels fasting. Is 70 to 100. 2 hrs after eating normal level is anything under 140. Not all diabetes medication are insulin. Type 2 is usually called mellitus because it's not treated with insulin. But some like me need both. Pills and insulin. Nice to see people doing research to help others. Thank you.

    • lrdl3535 profile image

      Richard Lindsay 

      2 years ago from California

      This is a very good post, I eat cactus occasionally. But after reading your post I may try it more often.

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