HORMONES SERIES | Balance Your Blood Sugar, Part 3.
All right, you’ve mastered the basics of blood sugar and you’ve started adjusting your diet, now you want more. Let’s look at supplements. There are a few basic supplements that I love for optimizing female hormonal health and some of my favorites also happen to be beneficial at maintaining balanced blood sugar, including magnesium, Vitamin D, and turmeric (more specifically, curcumin).
Did you know that 70% of people are deficient in magnesium? This is particularly devastating because magnesium plays an important role in blood sugar regulation. As an added benefit, magnesium helps to reduce anxiety and promote restful sleep. Aim for 300-400 milligrams of magnesium glycinate per day. Magnesium glycinate is highly absorbable and less likely to cause diarrhea.
There is a very strong link between Vitamin D deficiency and insulin resistance. Before you start pounding Vitamin D3 supplements, it’s important to get your Vitamin D levels checked. Too much Vitamin D can be toxic. Though with the increased use of sunscreen and time spent indoors, most people are woefully deficient. Your healthcare practitioner can guide you towards the correct dosage to take.
I am deeply in love with turmeric supplements. A component of turmeric, curcumin, is highly anti-inflammatory and directly impacts our insulin regulatory system by activating insulin receptors and pathways throughout the body. I prefer supplements, but feel free to season your food with turmeric. Just remember that turmeric is fat soluble so be sure that your meal includes an adequate amount of fat. (You may be starting to notice a fat-loving theme here!)
If you’ve incorporated the above supplements, but still can’t seem to manage your blood sugar, there are a few more options to explore, including cinnamon, chromium, berberine, and inulin. You are likely familiar with cinnamon, but the others might be new to you. Berberine is traditional to Chinese medicine and Ayurveda, but is becoming an increasingly common treatment for individuals with PCOS and chromium supplementation has been shown to mimic the effects of insulin and reduce blood glucose levels in diabetics. Do your research before consuming these supplements as they can interfere with other medications you are taking (e.g. berberine should not be consumed by anyone taking antibiotics).
Now you are armed with all of the tools to balance your blood sugar. I can’t wait to read your success stories in the comments below!