5 Foods That Balance Your Blood Sugar Levels & Your Mood At The Same Time
The other, I found myself in a total funk. I felt exhausted all afternoon, even though I'd had plenty of sleep the night before, and my usual positivity just wasn't there for some reason. Fortunately, I've figured out that my mood swings are pretty closely related to the foods I'm eating, so I was able to feel a little better after enjoying a hearty dinner. If you aren't quite feeling yourself, try snacking on some foods that balance your blood sugar levels, because a spike or a drop might be to blame for a particularly "blah" day.
In case you've always wondered what your blood sugar actually is, it's pretty much exactly what it sounds like: the sugar in your blood. Also called glucose, blood sugar comes from the food you eat and it's your body's main source of energy, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. But while stable blood sugar levels are crucial for keeping your body energized, too much or too little blood sugar can lead to ugly side effects.
You might think that managing your blood sugar is only something that people with conditions like diabetes need to do, but the truth is, keeping an eye on these things can help you avoid some unfortunate side effects. According to Healthline, if your blood sugar gets too low, you might notice some mood-related side effects like confusion, trouble concentrating, or even changes in your personality. If it spikes too high, on the other hand, you might feel really sleepy. Either way, being conscious of how your body reacts to certain foods can help you stabilize your mood. Here are some foods that'll keep it all balanced.
Hummus Is A Complex Carb That'll Keep You Happy
Snacking on foods that are packed with high-quality complex carbs, like hummus, is a great way to keep your blood sugar levels even, according to nutrition and fitness expert Erin Palinski-Wade, RD, CDE. “Make sure to choose slow-digested options, such as vegetables and hummus, to prevent additional blood-sugar spikes," she told Everyday Health.
Onions And Garlic Might Be Smelly, But They'll Get The Job Done
I'm a huge fan of the taste of fresh garlic in just about every single savory food I cook because the depth of flavor it adds is just amazing, IMO. Part of a category called "allium vegetables," garlic isn't just good at making your breath smell super rank. The stuff can also be an effective way to stabilize your blood sugar, and in turn, your mood. A study published in the scientific journal Food and Chemical Toxicology tested the effects of these bulb vegetables on the blood sugar levels of diabetic rats, and discovered that dosing the animals with onion and garlic juice could restore their levels to a healthy place.
Almonds Are A Great Go-To Snack
I have yet another reason for you to slather almond butter on everything you eat, my friend. The creamy topping can actually help your body manage blood sugar levels more effectively. Eating two ounces of almonds every day can improve glycemic control and decrease your risk for cardiovascular disease, according to the results of a study published in the journal Metabolism.
A Handful Of Fresh Cherries Will Keep Things Balanced
According to LIVESTRONG, determining the glycemic index (GI) of a food is a way to measure the effect it may have on your blood sugar. If a food receives a rating of 55 or lower, it's considered a low GI food, which means it won't cause your blood sugar levels to spike nearly as much as something that ranks higher on the scale. While many fruits are naturally sweet enough to kick up your blood sugar, cherries are one sweet choice that won't lead to a spike. Ranked at only 22, these delicious fruits have a lower GI than any other fruit, per LIVESTRONG. The maraschino version, on the other hand, is not as great for your levels, so it's best to stick to the basics here.
Apple Cider Vinegar Always Comes In Clutch
While not technically a food on its own, adding a splash or two of apple cider vinegar to your meal can be a great way to tamper the effects that food can have on your blood sugar. A study published in the American Diabetes Association publication Diabetes Care showed that drinking about 20 grams of an ACV mixture two minutes before eating a carb-heavy meal can be pretty effective in stabilizing your blood sugar levels.
Not a huge fan of drinking ACV? Try eating a salad with balsamic vinegar instead for the same powerful, stabilizing benefits.