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5 ways to increase GLP-1 naturally

There’s been a lot of buzz lately about injectable weight-loss drugs called GLP-1 agonists. These drugs were originally used to help treat diabetes, but today are more well-known for the role they play in helping people lose weight.


What isn’t talked about as much, however, is that our bodies already produce GLP-1 on their own. There’s a lot we can do to help increase GLP-1 naturally without having to use medication, which often comes with side effects and may not be a good long-term solution for weight management.


Before we get into how to support the body’s natural GLP-1 production, let’s make sure we understand what GLP-1 is and what it does for the body.

GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide-1) is a hormone produced in the gut in response to food intake, especially carbohydrates. Its primary role is to regulate blood sugar and slow digestion. It’s one of five main hormones that regulates appetite, playing a significant role in appetite control, satiety, and gastric emptying.


Maintaining optimal GLP-1 levels is essential for metabolic health and a key part of weight management. If levels are too low, metabolic health issues are more likely to pop up, whereas higher levels are linked to improved glucose control, reduced appetite, and enhanced fat metabolism.


Many have found weight-loss success using GLP-1 agonists, but like most medications, they come with side effects, and any results seen last only as long as medication continues. These treatments can be expensive as well, and aren’t always covered by insurance. Fortunately, there’s a lot we can do to support the body’s natural production of GLP-1 to help keep appetite and blood sugar levels at healthier levels.


5 ways to increase GLP-1 naturally


A combination of diet and lifestyle adjustments can support your body’s natural production of GLP-1.


Eat more fiber. Dietary fiber, especially soluble fiber found in fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains, promotes the release of GLP-1. High-fiber foods also help you feel full and satiated for longer.


Opt for healthy fats. Healthy fats like those found in avocados, nuts, seeds, fish, and olive oil can also boost GLP-1 release. These fats take longer to digest, which prolongs the release of GLP-1 and keeps you feeling full for longer.


Prioritize protein. Protein helps stimulate GLP-1 secretion. Lean protein sources like poultry, fish, legumes, and nuts are all great additions to your diet to enhance GLP-1 levels and promote feelings of fullness.


Drink yerba mate. Studies indicate that plant compounds found in yerba mate, such as mate saponins, polyphenols, caffeine, and theobromine, can positively affect GLP-1 levels.


Modify your lifestyle as needed. While diet has the biggest impact on GLP-1 levels, other lifestyle factors can affect natural GLP-1 production as well. Make sure you’re getting at least seven hours of sleep each night, exercising at least 30 minutes most days of the week, and managing stress. A holistic approach to health will spell good things for your GLP-1 levels and help you feel better overall.


Support what your body already does!


GLP-1 is important for metabolic health and weight management, but medication isn’t the only way to get levels where you want them. In fact, for most of us, making adjustments to increase GLP-1 naturally, will help us get to where we need to be, even if those changes are small. 

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