Insulin sensitivity is the rate at which the body is able to absorb glucose from the bloodstream. A high sensitivity rate decreases the amount of insulin needed for the body to convert glucose into energy. Therefore, a high insulin sensitivity is good and can help to ward off diabetes as it helps to regulate blood glucose and the production of insulin.
Insulin sensitivity is the complete opposite of insulin resistance, which is a condition wherein the body cannot respond efficiently to the insulin. As a result, the glucose begins to build up within the bloodstream. In addition, insulin resistance prompts the body to produce excess amounts of insulin, which also can build up in the bloodstream.
In diabetics, the level of insulin sensitivity can help to determine the dosage for the insulin injections. A high insulin sensitivity can help to reduce the amount needed in each dose and can potentially help to reduce and even eliminate the symptoms associated with diabetes. Low insulin sensitivity, on the other hand, increases the need for diabetic medications.
How To Increase Insulin Sensitivity
There are many natural ways to increase insulin sensitivity. One of the best ways is to stick to a clean diet that is free from processed foods, as well as from foods high in simple sugars and carbohydrates. Simple sugars and carbohydrates are easily absorbed into the bloodstream and can cause the blood glucose to skyrocket after a meal. This is because the sugar enters the bloodstream at a rapid pace which the rest of the body is unable to keep up with. Eventually this causes the insulin receptors to wear out and decreases the insulin sensitivity.
Natural foods, such as fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, and unrefined and cold-pressed oils do not spike the blood sugar levels and can help to increase insulin sensitivity. Most natural foods are also high in fiber, which is beneficial for maintaining a healthy weight. Research shows that being overweight increases the risk of insulin resistance and pre-diabetes.
Another benefit of natural foods is that they are anti-inflammatory, which can help to prevent many inflammatory conditions.
Exercise before a meal is also helpful for increasing insulin sensitivity because it helps to burn glucose that is stored within the muscles. Therefore, the muscle tissues are forced to absorb the stored sugar from the bloodstream at a faster rate. The end result, is a reduced amount of blood glucose and a reduced risk of diabetes.
Other factors that can affect the level of insulin sensitivity include the quality of sleep and stress levels. The body requires at least 6 to 8 hours of sleep each night in order for it to repair itself from the damage that results during the day. If the body is deprived of this sleep it becomes stressed; not just physically, but mentally and emotionally as well. All these types of stress can negatively affect the way the body responds to insulin. Meditation, yoga, aromatherapy and other forms of stress therapies can be utilized in order to bring the stress levels down.