The foods you eat are the building blocks, the raw materials, for your entire body. Your hormones, bones, organs—everything in your body, every single cell, is made up of what you put in your mouth. Your biological response is directly impacted by the food you eat. Food continues to download information to your cells every single day! Food acts as a drug that can heal or hurt us. Are you paying attention to the quality of the food you eat? Like, are you really paying attention? Are you thinking about how each bite will impact your biological response?
It is vital to recognize that food directly affects our relationships, our behavior, and how our brain functions. Everything we eat directly impacts our blood sugar and our emotional stability relies on that blood sugar remaining stable. If your blood sugar fluctuates throughout the day (due to poor nutrition habits), you’re headed for an emotional rollercoaster.
Americans’ blood sugar levels are out of whack. Over 120 million Americans have type two diabetes or are prediabetic. When we talk about blood sugar we need to recognize that insulin is a hormone. Excess sugar prompts our bodies to make more insulin, the hormone that regulates blood sugar. When insulin levels increase, our body wants to clean up our sugary blood by pushing the sugar into our cells, so our insulin returns to a normal level. Eating too much sugar too often doesn’t give the body enough time to correct itself and you end up with elevated levels of sugar in the blood which causes blood vessel damage. Over time, excess sugar in our bloodstream also can damage your heart and capillaries and left unchecked can lead to poor circulation and even losing extremities like a toe or foot. Not to mention excess blood sugar levels over time can cause the pancreas to shut down and your body can lose the ability to even produce insulin.
The emotional effects of high blood sugar are more noticeable. As our bodies start to process the extra sugar, they release stress hormones (catecholamines) such as adrenaline and cortisol. Higher levels of these hormones cause us to become easily irritated, short-tempered, and even more aggressive. Drastic fluctuations in blood sugar impacts the part of our brain called the amygdala, increasing anxiety, triggering hyperactivity, lowering memory recall and reducing impulse control. This is a recipe for disaster and this blood sugar epidemic is impacting our childrens’ brains and bodies. Children with type 2 diabetes increased 30% from 2001-2009 according to a JAMA report. The CDC reported a 42% jump in ADHD diagnoses in children from 2001-2011. The CDC also reported a continued increase in anxiety levels among children. In 2016 9.4% of our youth have been diagnosed with ADHD (this even includes 2 year olds!). Could this be related to our SAD diet? The (S)tandard (A)merican (D)iet that is full of sugar and lacking fiber and essential nutrients?
So what should one eat to maintain healthy blood sugar levels for a healthy biological response? Here are some foods that are great for stabilizing blood sugar levels and support our vascular system. And as a bonus, these foods are also amazing for boosting brain health. Be sure to add them each day. Shoot for adding in blueberries, beets, mixed greens, herbs, lean proteins, fish, raw nuts and seeds, and stay hydrated. Also, avoid packaged and processed foods, candies, and deep fried starches.
Make choices that keep your blood sugar stable and you will feel more stable, think clearer, and enjoy a healthier life. If you feel that you struggle with diet and sugar intake reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Sugar cravings are a sign of a deficiency in the body.