Do you know what’s causing your 3 p.m. energy crash, intense cookie cravings, or unexpected mood shift? The culprit could be a blood sugar imbalance. Blood sugar balance isn’t something you hear about every day when it comes to health and wellness, but it’s often at the root of so many major struggles we experience.
Whenever we eat, our blood sugar naturally increases as food is broken down into glucose for fuel. With a balanced meal of protein, fat, and fiber, our blood sugar rises gradually after a meal and then stabilizes slowly over time. When it gets lower, that’s when we start to get hungry again.
The roller coaster begins when we eat too many refined and simple carbohydrates that are high in sugar (think: baked goods, bread, pasta, crackers), because our blood sugar spikes quickly and then suddenly drops. This leads to all of those unwanted symptoms mentioned above—and then some.
The good news? We can level out this blood sugar ride, and here are some foods to help you do it:
- Wild-caught salmon: Wild-caught salmon is richer in healthy omega-3 fats compared to farmed salmon. Omega-3s reduce inflammation in the body and lead to better energy, brain function, and hormone health because of the blood-sugar-stabilizing effects. Even more reasons to incorporate this fatty fish into your diet on the regular.
- Beans and lentils: Beans and lentils are considered complex carbohydrates. Meaning, they are broken down more slowly in the body and contribute to stable blood sugar. They are also good sources of added protein to keep you full and satisfied.
- Pumpkin seeds: Pumpkin seeds are high in beneficial fiber and magnesium, which help prevent blood sugar spikes. These tiny seeds pack a nutritional punch with tons of antioxidants, too—we’re talking nail, hair, and skin health and chronic disease prevention.
- Turmeric: Turmeric is a powerful spice that has been used for centuries in cooking and Eastern medicine, highly regarded for its inflammation-fighting and cancer-preventing properties. A 2013 study found that the active ingredient in turmeric, curcumin, can lower glucose levels in the blood leading to more balance overall.
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