One of the reasons the food you eat determines your mood is because having too much or too little sugar in your blood can be stressful for your brain.
From an evolutionary point of view, both are perceived as a threat to your survival. Too much sugar happens when you eat a high-carb meal or snack (fruit juice, a bowl of cereal, a doughnut, a "health" bar), which is broken down rapidly into glucose and increases the amount of sugar in your blood.
A steep rise in blood sugar makes you feel mentally good (sugar high) but persistent high blood sugar can be dangerous and lead to complications like hyperglycemia, which is why the body has a fast and effective way of bringing blood sugar back down, using insulin.
Insulin takes sugar out of your blood into your liver and muscles for temporary safe storage. The resulting sudden dip in blood sugar is what makes you feel lethargic and foggy-brained (hi, afternoon slump), which is when your adrenals have to kick in and secrete fight-or-flight hormones that quicken your breathing, make your heart race, and rev up your anxiety.
This is usually when you reach for one or all of the following: chocolate, more coffee, a salty carb snack, alcohol, drugs, cigarettes.
It’s got very little to do with self-control. When you’re up against low blood sugar and an exhausted brain, the odds are against you.
This roller-coaster adrenal trip is exhausting for your brain and messes with your hormones. For most people, the Ping-Pong of extremes continues throughout their life until they eventually tire out their pancreas (diabetes), their adrenals (adrenal fatigue), and their brain (Alzheimer’s disease).
The good news is you can prevent these diseases and take better care of your brain by making healthier choices.
Here are 10 foods to eat yourself calm: