You may have heard about the danger of insulin resistance to your tissues, and leading to things like increased weight gain, low energy, and metabolism, and even diabetes. But did you know that there are ways to naturally reverse this damage and decrease insulin resistance to your tissues?
How Insulin works
Our body uses energy by breaking down what we eat and drink and converting it into glucose (also known as blood sugar). This substance circulates around into our blood and travels to different cells in our body. Insulin is the hormone that “unlocks” the cell and allows glucose to enter and be used as energy.
However, over time, these cells can become damaged and not respond to insulin. This is what we refer to as insulin resistance.
Cells that are insulin resistant cannot get glucose (aka energy), and the body thinks that it is starving. In response, the body lowers metabolism, making you feel exhausted, increasing hunger, and causing brain fog.
And that extra glucose floating around? It causes damage to blood vessels and is converted into fat stores, mostly around the belly.
So, this means that even if you aren’t eating much, you can still gain weight because you are storing those calories rather than burning them!
There are many different factors that can lead to insulin resistance, particularly blood sugar and your hormones.
The good news is our bodies have the ability to heal themselves when they are not constantly being damaged!
Here are 10 ways to naturally reverse insulin resistance and heal your body
1. MAINTAIN A SLEEP SCHEDULE
Getting just four hours of sleep in one night damages cells and can lead to insulin resistance. Aim for 7 to 9 hours of quality sleep every night. During sleep, your body undergoes crucial repair processes, and adequate rest helps regulate hormones involved in glucose metabolism. Create a bedtime routine and try to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day to support your body’s natural circadian rhythm.
2. EXERCISE SMARTER NOT HARDER
By performing low-stress, strength-training exercises just a few times a week, your body can heal itself and start responding to insulin again. Strength training helps build lean muscle mass, which is more metabolically active than fat tissue. This increased muscle mass allows your body to better utilize glucose for energy, reducing the demand on insulin.
3. PRACTICE STRESS MANAGEMENT
Many studies have found that high levels of stress hormones can lead to insulin resistance. So, anything that you can do to manage stress, such as meditation, listening to music, or even taking a walk outside, can help decrease insulin resistance.
4. EAT MORE SOLUBLE FIBER
Soluble fiber is a type of dietary fiber found in foods like oats, beans, lentils, and some fruits and vegetables. When consumed, soluble fiber forms a gel-like substance in the digestive tract, slowing down the breakdown of food and the absorption of nutrients, including sugar. This helps prevent rapid spikes in blood sugar levels, reducing the demand for insulin.
5. GET IN MORE ANTIOXIDANTS
Colorful fruits and vegetables are rich in plant compounds that have antioxidant properties. Antioxidants bind to and neutralize substances that can cause harmful inflammation throughout the body and reverse insulin resistance. The best options including berries, spinach, kale, and bell peppers, are rich in antioxidants like vitamins A, C, and E, as well as various phytonutrients.
6. ADD HERBS AND SPICES
Herbs and spices including fenugreek, turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, and garlic also target inflammation, decreasing insulin resistance.
7. SIP GREEN TEA
Green tea contains polyphenols, which are antioxidants that have been linked to various health benefits, including improved insulin sensitivity. Studies have suggested that green tea consumption may help regulate blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
8. CONSUME APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
Consuming apple cider vinegar before a high-carb meal may help reduce the post-meal rise in blood sugar levels.
9. EAT A LOW CARB DIET
Low-glycemic index (GI) carbs are best, since they slow the release of sugar into the blood, giving insulin more time to work efficiently. Spreading your carb intake evenly throughout the day is another way to increase insulin sensitivity.
10. REDUCE SUGAR INTAKE
Consuming too much fructose can overwhelm the liver’s capacity to process it, leading to fatty liver and insulin resistance. Be mindful of your sugar consumption and aim to limit added sugars in your diet. Opt for whole fruits instead of fruit juices or sugary snacks to satisfy your sweet cravings while also benefiting from the fiber and nutrients present in whole foods.
All of these suggestions decrease inflammation, stabilize blood sugar, and allow your body to heal. And once your body starts to heal, it makes it easier for you to focus on your weight loss efforts. And losing weight will also help reverse the damage and allow the tissues to respond to insulin appropriately.
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