The past year or so has been filled with many low moments. Sometimes, reaching out for some chocolate or ice cream can lift you out of that mood and make you happy for a while, but having to eat a chunk of chocolate every time you feel stressed can be very bad for your health.
Fortunately, there are lots of healthy food options that can help keep your body healthy and your spirits up. It is especially important to keep a close watch on blood sugar levels given the current rise of diabetes prevalence levels here in Canada.
You also know that blood sugar levels can lead you to become cranky and irritable. Eating erratically or consuming sugary snacks leads to a sugar dump followed by a feeling of tiredness and lethargy. It makes more sense to develop a healthy eating plan to keep your body and mind in tune instead of relying on quick fixes.
Reduce Your Sugar Intake and Substitute With Protein and Fiber
Sugar is known for giving momentary bursts of power and mental focus, but afterward, it leads to a state of fatigue and lethargy. That is because it inhibits sensitivity and the use of the chemical Orexin that usually stimulates the brain to stay awake. If you consume more sugar, there is more of this chemical that gets inhibited, thus making you feel more sleepy and tired.
Other signs of low blood sugar include:
- Trouble making decisions and coordinating movement
- Difficulties with concentration
- Behavior changes
- Constant hunger
This can lead to acute hypoglycemia and requires immediate treatment to help raise the amount of blood glucose. Patients potentially suffering from low blood sugar levels need to maintain an accurate record of their glucose logbook.
Higher-than-normal blood sugar can also cause low energy levels and a feeling of tiredness. Other symptoms also include excitement, a feeling of being jittery, nervousness, and obscured thinking. Treatment for hyperglycemia involves taking insulin to bring down blood glucose to a manageable level.
These fluctuations in blood glucose levels can lead to frequent mood changes that range from slightly euphoric to a feeling similar to being drunk. This is because very low glucose levels trigger the release of adrenalin as the body tries to glean any remaining glucose in the blood. This adrenaline is also responsible for the feeling of irritability.
Avoiding these extremes calls for a more consistent diet consisting of healthy foods while also focusing on other wellness practices such as working out.
Diabetes patients will experience more severe mood swings similar to anxiety, stress, and even depression. While it may not be a sign of a genuine mental condition, it doesn’t make these ebbs and flows any easier to deal with. Together with the added burden of managing a condition such as diabetes, the levels of stress involved are significant.
This is why eating well could be the key to a healthy and happy life. Instead of eating foods high in sugars and carbs, you should focus on increasing the intake of proteins in all your meals and snacks. For example, bacon can help to replace most breakfast carbs such as bread or even cereal with protein and carbs.
Top Healthy Foods to Keep Your Mood Up
1. Fatty Fish
Eating fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, tuna, and herring adds omega-3 fatty acids to your body, which is a well-known mood booster. These fatty acids influence the levels of dopamine and serotonin, the so-called “feel good” chemicals, and can reduce stress by as much as 20%.
Eating a big bowl of blueberries delivers a load of antioxidants to your body that instantly helps to boost your mood, improve memory, and alleviate mental health issues such as anxiety and stress.
3. Green Leafy Vegetables
Eat your spinach, folks. They are great for helping to reduce anxiety and improving brain health, especially when paired with other healthy fruits and veg
4. Green Tea
A simple cup of green tea comes packed with stress-reducing hormones such as L-theanine. It also gives a shot of caffeine to help keep your spirits up, in addition to being a very calming thing to do.
Beneficial seafood also includes oysters, a food that is very high in zinc. While they are known for their aphrodisiac qualities, oysters help to ease anxiety, improve sleep, and boost your mood. If cracking open an oyster or two isn’t your thing, go for cashews, liver, or eggs.
6. Yogurt, Kefir, and Other Probiotics
Health experts agree that the gut plays a very important part when it comes to general wellness, including your mood. Fermented foods such as yogurt and kefir help to balance the gut and help reduce symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression.
What Else You Can Do to Keep Your Spirits Up
In addition to eating well, there are a few other things you can do to keep your glucose levels in check and your mood balanced.
- If you are diabetic or predisposed to diabetes, test your blood sugar levels before and after a meal. That way, you can monitor blood sugar spikes and get medical help if you need it. You can do this with the help of a blood glucose meter
- Have a routine for your meals and exercise
- keep a blood glucose logbook to help
- Learn the symptoms of low and high blood sugars, and tell them to your family so that they can help you when you need it.
It’s surprising how big a role blood sugar levels have in your general wellness and predisposition. Whether you are diabetic or not, maintaining control of your blood sugar is key to staying happy and balanced.