In today’s world, sugar has become omnipresent in our diets. From the obvious sources like candies and pastries to the less obvious sources like sauces and bread, the sweet substance sneaks into most of the foods we consume. While moderate consumption of natural sugars is harmless, overindulgence, especially in processed sugars, can wreak havoc on our health.
Excessive sugar intake has been linked to a myriad of health issues such as obesity, diabetes, heart diseases, and even certain types of cancers. To help counteract these detrimental effects, several natural supplements have emerged in the wellness scene.
In this article, we will delve into the top five supplements that can help combat the adverse effects of excessive sugar consumption.
The Blood Sugar Stabilizer
Chromium is a trace mineral essential for various bodily functions, one of the most important being the regulation of blood sugar levels. It plays a pivotal role in enhancing the activity of insulin, a hormone critical for the metabolism and storage of carbohydrate, fat, and protein in the body.
- Regulates Blood Sugar: Chromium helps manage blood sugar levels by improving the sensitivity of insulin receptors. This function can be particularly beneficial for people with insulin resistance or diabetes.
- Reduces Sugar Cravings: By stabilizing blood sugar levels, chromium can help reduce the cravings for sugary foods and thus aid in weight management.
Dosage: The recommended daily intake varies from 20 to 35 mcg, but it’s always best to consult with a healthcare provider before starting any supplement.
The Spice that Heals
Cinnamon isn’t just a fragrant spice that adds flavor to your dishes. It’s packed with antioxidants and offers various health benefits, particularly for those consuming high sugar diets.
- Lowers Blood Sugar Levels: Studies have shown that cinnamon can lower blood sugar by decreasing the breakdown of carbohydrates in the digestive tract, thus reducing the amount of glucose that enters the bloodstream.
- Improves Insulin Sensitivity: Cinnamon can help cells respond to insulin more effectively, thereby aiding in sugar metabolism.
Dosage: 1-6 grams of cinnamon daily can be beneficial. However, it’s crucial to choose Ceylon cinnamon over Cassia, as the latter can have detrimental effects when consumed in large amounts.
3. Alpha-Lipoic Acid (ALA)
The Universal Antioxidant
Alpha-Lipoic Acid is an organic compound found in every cell of our body. Often termed the ‘universal antioxidant,’ ALA plays a crucial role in converting glucose into energy.
- Reduces Insulin Resistance: ALA has been found to enhance insulin sensitivity and, therefore, can be beneficial for people with type 2 diabetes.
- Combats Oxidative Stress: High sugar diets can increase oxidative stress in the body, leading to inflammation and other diseases. ALA, with its antioxidant properties, can neutralize these harmful effects.
Dosage: 300-600 mg daily has been shown to provide health benefits. As always, consulting a healthcare provider is recommended.
The Ancient Remedy
Berberine is a compound derived from various plants, including the barberry shrub, and has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries.
- Lowers Blood Sugar Levels: Several studies have highlighted berberine’s efficiency in reducing blood sugar levels, sometimes even matching the performance of conventional diabetic drugs.
- Improves Gut Health: Excessive sugar consumption can disturb the gut’s microbial balance. Berberine can help regulate this balance, ensuring optimal gut health.
Dosage: 500 mg taken 2-3 times daily before meals is the common recommendation. However, it’s essential to build up to this dose gradually.
The Multi-tasker Mineral
Magnesium is a crucial mineral involved in over 300 enzymatic reactions in the body, including glucose metabolism.
- Regulates Blood Sugar: Magnesium aids in breaking down sugars and might decrease the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
- Supports Overall Health: Apart from regulating blood sugar, magnesium supports muscle and nerve function, energy production, and promotes a healthy immune system.
Dosage: The recommended daily intake is around 400-420 mg for men and 310-320 mg for women.
While these supplements can aid in combating the ill-effects of sugar, it’s essential to remember that they are not magic pills. A balanced diet, regular exercise, and a healthy lifestyle remain the foundational pillars of optimal health. Always consult with a healthcare professional before introducing any supplement into your regimen to ensure safety and effectiveness.
Veronica is dedicated and experienced nutritionist and certified health coach who specializes in functional medicine, She's a published author, nutritional instructor, WBFF professional figure athlete, and both the brains and beauty behind all that Makeover Nutrition offers.
Veronica is also the President & CEO of a BC based health and wellness association; Pacific Alliance of Body Care.