When you are having a mood swing, eating a chocolate bar is not the best solution. Sure, it will elevate your blood sugar in the short term, but refined sugars are only setting you up for a crash later on. There are ways to stabilize your blood sugar to avoid mood swings that are healthier and more effective. Fueling your body with healthy food not only reduces mood swings, it also helps you to perform at your peak mentally so you can knock it out of the park.
You get out what you put in
Think of your body as a car (albeit a rather squishy one); if you put in premium gas (healthy food) you will function perfectly, get great mileage and your car will last longer. But fill it with caffeine, refined sugars, fast food and trans fats, it will limp along, splutter and leave you stranded on the side of the road in a bad neighborhood.
Moods and brain chemistry
Your moods are governed by your brain chemistry. Your brain is small, but it accounts for around 20% of the energy you burn in a day. When your brain has enough of the good kinds of energy it needs, it releases feel-good hormones like serotonin that make you feel happy and improve higher brain functions.
When your brain is running low on glycemic carbohydrates, it releases fewer feel good hormones and you begin to experience irritability, a lack of concentration and fatigue. When this happens, your brain starts to crave those foods that are highest in calories. You guessed it—its right about now that you start craving chocolate and fried foods.
Foods to feed your mood
The solution; maintain your blood sugar levels by giving the brain a steady supply of glycemic carbohydrates throughout the day. You can find these carbs in wholegrain organic bread, healthy snacks, beans, soy products, fruit and nuts. Organic sourdough wholegrain breads are the perfect way to keep your blood sugar from big swings.
If you find you need a snack between meals, opt for whole grain healthy snacks like buckwheat snacks rather than cookies or donuts. Buckwheat snacks are gluten-free, high in fiber and low on the glycemic scale. These non-processed snacks will help to stabilize your blood sugar until your next meal.
Reduce mood swings
- You can keep your blood sugar stable by eating the right kinds of food and by eating regularly throughout the day. Don’t skip breakfast; it’s the best way to jump-start your brain.
- Exercise for at least 20 minutes a day to relieve stress and release serotonin which improves your mood.
- Drink lots of water! At least eight glasses throughout the day.
- Limit your caffeine intake to two or three cups a day and try to avoid taking it with sugar. Say no to soda and other sugar drinks, especially energy drinks, which cause a spike and then a drop in your blood sugar levels.
- Get your daily dose of tryptophan which makes blood sugar accessible to neurotransmitters. You can find tryptophan in milk, turkey, dried dates, peanuts, bananas, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, yogurt, red meat, eggs, fish, sesame seeds and chickpeas.
- Eat foods from all the food groups (including carbs!)