Have you ever wondered why you sometimes feel overwhelmed by emotions like anger, pessimism, or anxiety? Or why your mood seems to fluctuate throughout the day? It may surprise you to learn that dysregulated blood sugar could be one of the hidden factors behind these experiences.
I recently had the privilege of working with a client named Dan. He came to me seeking help with his IBS, blood sugar levels, and arthritis. Dan had been struggling with these challenges for over five years, and despite trying various strategies such as dieting, meditation, and exercise, he was still searching for answers.
When I designed a personalized plan for Dan, one of the key recommendations was to focus on eliminating his food allergies and controlling his blood sugar levels. Little did he know that this simple change would have a profound impact not just on his physical health, but also on his mental well-being.
Just two weeks into implementing the plan, Dan showed up to our coaching session with a radiant smile on his face. Not only had he lost 5 pounds in the first week, but he was also actively reducing his insulin intake. However, what surprised him the most was the positive shift in his mood. Dan’s symptoms, which had previously been hovering around a 7 or 8 out of 10, had now dropped to a more manageable 3 or 4.
Curious about the transformation, Dan asked me why his mood had improved so dramatically. I explained to him that blood sugar dysregulation can have a significant impact on our mental well-being. When our blood sugar levels spike and then crash, it can lead to feelings of anger, irritability, anxiety, and even depression. By stabilizing his blood sugar through dietary changes, Dan had unknowingly taken a crucial step towards better mental health.
As the weeks went by, the positive changes continued for Dan. By the end of the first month, not only had he lost a total of 16 pounds, but his joint pain had also decreased from a debilitating 10 to a manageable 3 or 4. He reported sleeping better, and most remarkably, he was able to eliminate the need for insulin, pain medications, and even heartburn medication entirely.
Anger and Blood Sugar: An Overlooked Connection
You may be wondering, why hasn’t this correlation between blood sugar and mental health symptoms like anger been widely discussed. It’s a valid question. While healthcare professionals often focus on managing the physical symptoms of conditions like diabetes, the impact of blood sugar dysregulation on mental health is often overlooked. Understanding the connection gives us the power to make positive changes in our lives.
Taking control of our blood sugar is not just good for our mental health, but it can also be a game-changer for our overall well-being. And the best part? Improving blood sugar levels is often free, as it doesn’t require expensive supplements or medications. In fact, it can even save you money by reducing the need for nutritionally empty, processed snacks that often wreak havoc on our blood sugar levels.
The Principle Of Balanced Blood Sugar
So, if you’ve been experiencing mood swings, anger, irritability, or anxiety, take a moment to reflect on your blood sugar levels. Consider making small changes to your diet and lifestyle that can stabilize your blood sugar and support your mental health. Eat protein every three to four hours and remember to eat carbohydrate-based snacks (like fruit) with protein-rich foods.
This will not only satisfy your hunger but also provide a nourishing boost to your energy levels. Protein keeps your sugar and energy stable throughout the day.
Snacks That Promote A Happy Mood
- Nut Butter and Apple Slices: Slice up a crisp apple and pair it with a generous dollop of your favorite nut butter. Great choices include almond butter or cashew butter. Nut butters are a fantastic source of plant-based protein, healthy fats, and fiber. The natural sweetness of the apple perfectly complements the rich and creamy nut butter.
- Roasted Chickpeas: These crunchy little wonders make a fantastic snack. Simply drain and rinse a can of chickpeas. After that, toss them with a drizzle of olive oil and your choice of spices. Delicious choices include paprika, cumin, or garlic powder. Roast them in the oven at 400°F for around 25-30 minutes until golden brown and crispy. Chickpeas are a terrific source of plant-based protein and fiber, offering a satisfying and savory snack option.
- Trail Mix: Create your own custom trail mix by combining a variety of nuts, seeds, and dried fruits. Almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and dried cranberries or raisins make for a delightful blend. This snack not only provides a good dose of protein but is also packed with essential vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats.
- Veggie Sticks with Hummus: Slice up an assortment of colorful veggies like carrots, bell peppers, and cucumber. Paired with a generous serving of hummus, this snack becomes a protein powerhouse. Hummus is primarily made from chickpeas. This means it’s not only a great source of protein but also rich in fiber and heart-healthy fats.
- Quinoa Salad: Prepare a delicious quinoa salad ahead of time and keep it on hand for whenever hunger strikes. Mix cooked quinoa with your favorite veggies, such as diced tomatoes, cucumbers, and bell peppers. You can also add some chopped fresh herbs like parsley or cilantro for an extra burst of flavor. Drizzle some lemon juice or a light dressing made with olive oil for added zest. Quinoa is a complete protein, meaning it contains all the essential amino acids your body needs. Plus, it’s gluten-free!
Try experimenting with flavors and textures to find what suits your palate best! Or check out this Mood-Boosting Foods post for even more suggestions to keep anger in check.
Are You Ready for Lasting Change?
It’s never too late to prioritize your well-being and pave the way for a brighter, healthier future.
As always, at Abundant Hope Nutrition, we are here to support you on your journey to better mental health through nutrition. Together, let’s embrace the power of hope and positive change as we navigate the exciting and transformative relationship between food and mood. Click here to get your Amino Balance Plus Assessment and discover what’s driving your moods.