How to Reverse Insulin Resistance Naturally
Knowing how to reverse insulin resistance naturally can help prevent or delay the development of serious health issues, such as diabetes. Thankfully, there are easy yet effective ways to fix this condition.
Here are 10 healthy and natural things you can do to combat insulin resistance.
Understanding Insulin Resistance | 10 Ways to Reverse Insulin Resistance Naturally
What Does Insulin Resistance Mean?
Insulin is a hormone produced by your pancreas to balance the sugar levels in your body. This hormone is released into your blood to help your cells absorb sugar. This sugar is stored and used later for energy.
However, when your cells start to ignore or resist insulin, the sugar stays in your blood. This condition is known as “insulin resistance” or “impaired insulin sensitivity”. This is something you don’t want to ignore, as it can result in complications, such as:
- Heart disease
- Hyperglycemia or high blood glucose
- Type 2 diabetes
How Long Does It Take To Reverse Insulin Resistance Naturally?
The period it takes to fix insulin resistance varies from person to person. It’s based on the changes you made in your habits and how worse the condition has become.
In a study conducted among individuals who are experiencing signs of early insulin resistance, the findings revealed that with healthy dietary and lifestyle changes, it can take around six weeks to improve insulin sensitivity.
However, when your pancreas is already struggling to produce enough insulin to manage the sugar in your body, there’s a possibility that insulin resistance can no longer be reversed. This is why it’s crucial that you act on this condition as soon as possible.
How Do You Reverse Insulin Resistance Naturally?
1. Ease Stress
Research shows that prolonged and constant stress is linked with the development of insulin resistance.
This is because when you’re stressed, your body releases the primary stress hormone called “cortisol”. This hormone also produces the “fight or flight” response, which is your physiological reaction to a frightening or stressful situation.
However, cortisol also increases the glucose or sugar in your blood and impairs the production of insulin. This is why it’s essential that you find ways to relieve stress on a regular basis.
You may do these relaxation techniques to help reduce your stress levels:
- Deep breathing
- Hot baths
2. Prioritize Sleep
Sleep affects our bodies in many ways, including our cells’ resistance to insulin.
A study shows that poor quality of sleep is associated with increased blood glucose levels. In fact, even one night of sleep deprivation, when coupled with poor diet, can impair your responsiveness to insulin.
To prevent these effects, make it your goal to get at least seven hours of sleep every night.
Several studies have demonstrated that physical activity has positive effects on our health. And these include making your insulin more effective, especially if you have diabetes. So, regardless of your busy schedule, find time to incorporate workout into your day.
However, if you’re one of those people who really don’t like to exercise, worry not, as you don’t have to perform strenuous activities. Any type of exercise can make your insulin function better.
You may add some simple movements throughout your day, such as stretching or taking the stairs. But if you wish to see optimal results, you have to combine both weight training and aerobic activities.
Pro Tip: Find a workout you enjoy doing. If you want some easy movements, you may try yoga. Or if you want to bring your movements to the next level, you may do martial arts or high-intensity interval training. Whichever workout you choose, be sure to make it a habit.
4. Eat Less Carbs
Another way to reverse insulin resistance naturally is to revisit your diet.
A diet rich in carbohydrates can cause your blood glucose to rise. This triggers your body to produce more insulin. However, when you’re resistant to insulin, the glucose stays in your blood.
What you can do is eat a low-carb diet to lower your insulin levels. A study shows that this type of diet can reduce insulin resistance by 37%.
5. Increase Your Protein Intake
Research reveals that a diet rich in protein can lower insulin resistance, especially in individuals who have type 2 diabetes.
Protein can help control your blood sugar. When your blood sugar is stable, any spike can be prevented. And this is a good thing because a sudden rise and fall in your blood sugar can lead to insulin resistance.
Try experimenting with these options, but make sure that they’re lean:
6. Eat Whole Foods
Whole foods refer to unprocessed foods. These include:
- Fresh fruits and vegetables
- Whole grains
Eating whole foods or a plant-based diet has been shown to ameliorate insulin resistance. It can also help prevent type 2 diabetes.
This is because whole foods contain complex carbohydrates which are longer to break down. Your body digests and absorbs these foods more slowly. In effect, your blood sugar levels remain stable, and you feel full longer.
7. Cut Out Added Sugar
Added sugars pertain to sugars and syrups that are added to foods and beverages as they’re being prepared or processed. They usually come in the form of sucrose or table sugar.
A study shows that a diet full of added sugars can increase insulin resistance. That’s why by reducing your consumption of these sugars, you can significantly improve your insulin secretion. In addition, it can also lessen your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Some examples of foods and drinks that contain added sugars are:
8. Drink Green Tea
Enjoying a cup of green tea is one way to reverse insulin resistance naturally.
A study reveals that consuming green tea is associated with lower fasting blood glucose as well as reduced fasting inulin levels.
This is because green tea is rich in antioxidants called “catechins”. These antioxidants can reduce inflammation, improve your glucose metabolism, and enhance your insulin sensitivity.
Green tea can also reduce your cortisol levels. And as mentioned earlier, when your stress levels are low, your insulin is able to work properly.
9. Eat More Soluble Fiber
There are two types of fiber–soluble and insoluble. Both types are important for your health. However, if you wish to reverse your insulin resistance naturally, you must increase your consumption of soluble fiber.
Research shows that soluble fiber can manage your blood glucose levels and improve your insulin sensitivity. It’s recommended that men consume 38 grams while women eat 25 grams of fiber per day.
This type of fiber is commonly found in:
- Brussels sprouts
- Black beans
- Lima beans
- Sweet potatoes
10. Choose Healthy Fats
Not all fats are unhealthy. In fact, there are types of fat that can reduce insulin resistance. And these are what we call “monounsaturated” and “polyunsaturated” fats. These types can slow down your body’s digestion and provide important fatty acids at the same time.
Some excellent sources of unsaturated or healthy fats include:
- Nuts, such as pecans, almonds, hazelnuts, and walnuts
- Oils, like canola, olive, peanut, soybean, corn, sunflower, and flaxseed
- Seeds, such as pumpkin and sesame seeds
Insulin resistance can affect your health and wellness. Fortunately, you can make small yet sustainable changes to your lifestyle and diet to help reverse insulin resistance naturally.
Limit your intake of added sugars, drink green tea, and start being active, to name a few. And slowly, you’ll see how these changes can improve not only your blood sugar but the overall quality of your life.
Do you know of other natural ways to reverse your insulin resistance? Please share your thoughts with us in the comment section below!
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