5 Blood Sugar Hacks for Glowing SkinJul 28, 2022
When we think of the foundations of glowing, healthy skin, our blood sugar probably doesn’t come to mind. But glucose and insulin regulation can actually have a huge impact on our skin - in terms of texture and composition, proneness to breakouts, and even fine lines and aging.
We need glucose from foods to fuel our bodies and give us energy, but when we eat it in excess of what our bodies need (causing a glucose spike), this in turn triggers our pancreas to release a hormone called insulin, to bring down blood sugar levels and promote storage of any excess glucose in our liver, muscles, and fat tissues. If we eat like this regularly, insulin commonly becomes dysregulated, which causes insulin resistance in the body. This means our body cells become less responsive to insulin, triggering the pancreas to release more. Insulin resistance can lead to more sebum (oil) production on our skin and increased androgenic hormones which are big drivers of acne (especially in the jawline area)!
Our skin has lots of receptors for insulin, so, let’s dive into some ways we can balance and optimize our blood sugar to promote glowing skin:
1. Eat a balanced breakfast.
What you eat for breakfast can set the stage for how your blood sugar might fluctuate throughout the day. So, we want to make sure we’re eating a balanced breakfast to start the day with stable and steady glucose and insulin sensitivity. A good rule of thumb is to aim for more savoury breakfasts, as sweeter ones tend to have more sugars and carbohydrates.
Some ideas for blood-sugar balancing breakfasts include:
- Eggs with a side of greens and avocado
- Avo toast with smoked salmon, sprouts, and cucumber
- Chia pudding with figs, berries, nut butter, and hemp hearts
- Omelet with veggies and turkey bacon
- Smoothie with frozen cauliflower (this makes it creamy and adds fiber!), protein powder, seeds (ie. hemp, chia, flax), raspberries, kale, avocado, nut butter
2. Rule of 3.
An easy tip to think of when preparing a meal is ‘the rule of 3’, AKA the 3 types of nutrients you want to include: protein, fiber, and healthy fat. The protein and fat will help stabilize your blood sugar and keep you fuller for longer, but the fiber will also reduce the net amount of carbohydrates your body absorbs that in turn get converted into glucose.
3. Add the vinegar!
A simple hack to combat blood sugar spikes is adding vinegar to meals (in dressings or sauces), or mixing 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in water and drinking it about 15 minutes prior to eating. Vinegar contains acetic acid, which when taken before eating, actually reduces glucose and insulin levels after meals.
4. Avoid sugary or high-carbohydrate snacks on an empty stomach.
Does this mean avoid them all together? No! We need carbs, and it’s all about that moderation. But, the timing and how you eat these can make all the difference from a blood sugar perspective! I love following @glucosegoddess on Instagram, who uses glucose monitoring to study how certain food combinations impact our blood sugar differently. Glucose levels will spike less when we eat snacks like this after a meal with protein and healthy fat, so keep this in mind!
5. Manage your stress!
Easier said than done, right? Interestingly though, stress and blood sugar are closely linked through our main stress hormone, cortisol. If we’re suffering from ongoing stress and our bodies are releasing too much cortisol, this can cause insulin resistance. So, this is just another reason to prioritize stress management and mindfulness in our daily routine!
I hope that these hacks help you glow from within! Instead of focusing on eating restrictively, focus more on the foods that you can ADD to your meals to make them more blood-sugar and skin-friendly.
For personalized skin support including nutritional, lifestyle, supplement recommendations, and IV nutrient therapy, book a consult with Dr. Caroline @healthwithcare.
Article by: Dr. Caroline Lewis, ND MSc.
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