What is insulin resistance
Insulin resistance is when cells across the body do not respond well to insulin. This means glucose remains in the bloodstream rather than moving into cells.
This can lead to elevated blood glucose, potentially resulting in pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes.
When we start to develop insulin resistance, the body starts to produce more inflammatory cytokines. Cytokines then amplify insulin resistance, showing a vicious cycle between the two.
Other markers of inflammation are often implicated in type 2 diabetes. This includes having high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, heart disease, kidney disease, neuropathy and retinopathy.
Simple ways to boost insulin sensitivity and decrease inflammation
1.Remove refined and processed sugars – The best place to start is to remove/decrease foods that cause blood sugars to spike rapidly. Processed sugars can also contribute towards increased cytokines, so be sure to stick to natural sugars.
2. Eat 8 portions of the rainbow everyday – The body needs a lot of antioxidants to overcome insulin resistance, and to prevent any damage to the body. So try to eat 8 handfuls of fresh fruit and veg everyday. Also try herbal teas (green tea is great). They are generally very high in antioxidants.
3. Get moving – Having a sedentary lifestyle is linked to the onset of insulin resistance, so be sure to get some movement in everyday. A great habit to get into is to walk after your evening meal. The exercise helps to increase insulin sensitivity, preventing a big glucose spike.
4. Eat fermented foods – A link has been found between insulin resistance and having less ‘good’ bacteria in the gut. Try and eat one fermented food everyday, such as greek yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut, kefir or kombucha. This will help to decrease inflammation and will aid healthy digestion.
5. Rest up – having a stable sleep pattern is vital for overall health and helping the body to heal. So try and get 8-10 hours of sleep and stick to your schedule for the majority!
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If you liked this post, be sure to check out Oxidative Stress 101 and 5 ways to reduce your risk of getting Type 2 diabetes