by Elisabeth Carlsson N.T Dip CNM, MBANT, RCNHC
Did you know that the body recognizes low blood sugar as a threat to its survival?
Have you ever experienced any of the following?
Irritability – where you want to shout very loudly at anyone who bumps into you on the tube or at your kids when they complain about homework.
Anxiety – when your mind won’t stop racing and you keep on turning over the same conversation with your boss over and over again.
Insomnia – when you can’t go to sleep or you wake up at 3am with anxiety and just can’t go back to sleep.
Cravings: where you easily can eat two donuts, half a packet of biscuits and six sweets you just found at the back of your drawer. In only one minute.
Or you might have experienced brain fog, feeling jittery, problems with memory, bloating or poor concentration? Yep, I’ve been there. My earliest memory was that that badminton tournament in my teens, when I nearly fainted, my heart was racing, I was white as a sheet and shivering and I thought I had got some horrible disease. No, that was just a blood sugar crash. Or only last week when my kids wouldn’t get off their gaming devices and I went from calm to blowing my top in less than 30 seconds.
I think we can all relate to these situations. They are all symptoms of low blood sugar levels. Every cell in your body needs energy to function. The main source of energy might come as a surprise: It’s sugar, also known as glucose.
Hypoglycaemia is the medical condition of having an abnormally low blood sugar (glucose) and can be responsible for all the above but also triggering or exacerbating migraines and other headaches. It’s usually a result of not eating enough of the right food throughout the day in order to keep your engine running and your blood sugar stabilized. If you have diabetes for example, a headache may be a sign that you need to boost your blood sugar levels.
In order to thrive in life and deal with the demands being placed on the body we must support the body’s physical, nutritional and emotional energy needs. Stress breaks the body down while nourishment to the body and soul restores us and keeps the body and mind well and thriving.
Your body is hard-wired to react to stress in ways meant to protect you against threats from predators, of course such threats are rare today, but it doesn’t mean your body is not experiencing stress. With busy life style, huge workload, taking care of your family we all have minor ‘hassles’ that are perceived by the body as stress.
Quoting James B. LaValle ‘controlling stress in your life as it happens is the most important measure of optimizing metabolic function’.(1) Simply put, if you know you are going to have a stressful day or you are hitting the gym straight after a busy day at work, making sure that you are eating nourishing food to support yourself should be a priority as otherwise, you just won’t perform as well.
Humans are highly adaptable, meaning, just as we adapt into a state of chronic stress (when given the right environment), we can just as easily adapt out of stress (when given the right environment).
So how do you adapt out of stress? Through nourishing yourself in ways that works for you and your body and that suits your life style and the demands you have in our life.
What you can do right now? Swap your afternoon coffee for a cinnamon tea. It’s widely used in Chinese medicine and Ayurveda and studies show that cinnamon can help to control blood sugar. (2). Cinnamon is also naturally sweet so can help to stop those 4pm craving. Pukka does a nice tea or make your own, see below.
Eating healthy is no simple task these days and most are confused about what to eat which does not come as a surprise given the amount of conflicting information.
If you want to find out more how to balance your blood sugar with foods that works for your body and how to understand the ways that your body tries to communicate it’s needs, get in touch via the Honor Oak Wellness Rooms. I offer a free 15-minute chat before booking your appointment.
1 cinnamon stick (Ceylon cinnamon)
250ml hot water
1 tea bag (regular, decaf or Rooibos)
Add the cinnamon stick and water to a mug and let steep for 10 minutes. Add the tea and steep for an additional two minutes. Remove the teabag and sweeten with honey. Instead of tea you could add some slices of fresh ginger for a spicy kick.
Appointments are available with Elisabeth by arrangement at the Honor Oak Wellness Rooms. Click here for more information: https://www.honoroakwellnessrooms.com/nutrition
Cracking the Metabolic Code; 9 keys to optimal health: The Nine Keys to Peak Health and Longevity by James B. LaValle (2004)
Cinnamon intake lowers fasting blood glucose: meta-analysis Davis PA, Yokoyama W, Journal of Medicinal Food (2011)