Healthy Snacking: Boost Your Brain With These Superfood Snacks

Have you felt like those candy bar commercials that call out anyone who has ever felt “hangry” (hungry + angry) are talking directly to you?

That feeling of slowly burning through energy and then suddenly feeling frantic thinking, “I need food NOW,” can make anyone feel crazy.

Feeling hangry is something we can all agree is not ideal in the middle of an important meeting, busy shift, or a moment you need to be fully present. We have all experienced hunger and agitation that feels like a takeover of our mind and body — both focused on counting down the minutes until you get to grab a snack.

Have you ever considered how the foods you eat affect your mood?

It’s like the “chicken or the egg” scenario. Which comes first? Does your mood affect what food you eat? Or does the food you eat affect your mood?

It’s both! Food affects your mood and your mood affects the food you want. The vicious cycle we often find ourselves in is feeling fatigued and craving something sugary to help us feel energized. But that leads to a crash. Then hanger. Then a sugary snack. Then a crash. And on and on.


The Problem with Sugary Snacks

Our bodies crave sugar when they need energy. Processed sugary foods contain the quickest forms of energy possible. The problem is that even though this energy is very quickly absorbed, it is even more quickly used up and our bodies ask for more of it.

Kids are the perfect example of how a sugar high hits the system. They display it as, almost literally, climbing the walls. We all know when a child has had their fill of sugary substances because of the intense physical energy they show.

And then, when all of that energy is used up, they fall asleep so fast they barely know what hit them.

Adults can use that energy to be productive, but we still experience much of the same highs and lows. The difference is we can’t just fall asleep under the desk or at the counter we are working at, so we find more quick energy to keep us going.

This is the vicious cycle of how sugary processed foods affect your blood glucose levels and insulin.

When sugar enters your body, signals are sent to the pancreas to release insulin. The insulin gathers all the sugar molecules and turns them into usable energy for the body (glycogen), and stores the rest in parts of the body. You can only store a limited amount of glycogen, so your body converts excess sugar to fat and stores it in your fat cells.

While we can store a significant amount of this energy in our bodies, getting to that energy takes quite a bit of effort. When hunger sets in, the body will eventually get to that stored energy in the fat cells.

But because the brain is asking for fuel RIGHT NOW, it feels like you’re going to starve if you don’t get that energy in the form of food.

We turn toward foods that are quick sources of energy because it’s fast, easy, and hit brain receptors that make us feel good. “Comfort foods” are often chosen when we feel hangry because a drop in mood goes with the decline in energy. Sugary snacks make us feel good because sugar and processed carbohydrates give us hits of feel-good hormones such as dopamine and oxytocin.


Stress Makes Snacking Worse

Stress adds one more layer to this cycle. When we are stressed, the body releases stress hormones, including adrenaline (the “fight or flight” hormone), which tells the body to release stored glucose and fat for the extra energy required to deal with the stress.

This sounds like a good thing, but the reality is that this can make people want to eat or drink to soothe the stress away, leading to overconsumption, mood disorders, disrupted sleep, and weight gain.

Lack of sleep also makes us want sugary foods. After a restless night, do you find yourself craving a more carbohydrate-rich breakfast? It’s because the body is asking for energy.

A coffee with flavorful syrup in it, pancakes or waffles, donuts, muffins, and bagels all sound extra delicious on those mornings when we need an extra “pick-me-up,” and willpower usually loses to those cravings.

Our lives of sleeping less, stressing more, and so many “quick and easy” food options make it increasingly difficult to make better choices to fuel us throughout the day.

How to Snack to Fuel Your Body

Think of foods we eat as the fuel we are putting into our system. The digestive system is the fuel tank of the body and needs certain nutrients to run properly (such as protein, fiber, healthy fat, carbohydrates). But the majority of what we put into it is sugar. How well will that system run?

It might function, but other parts of the system will work extra hard to make that happen.

Above the baseline nutrients of protein, fiber, healthy fats, and carbohydrates, the amount of toxins and stressors on our bodies require extra nutrients and antioxidants to fight back against environmental toxins, pollution, and stress.

The keys to snacking well are antioxidants, adaptogens, and fiber.

Antioxidants as Mood Food

Antioxidants are found in many fruits and vegetables and help boost the immune system. These compounds are packed into colorful foods such as berries, citrus fruits, green vegetables, and herbs.

Because many diets are lacking in a variety of these foods, people are less likely to have the immune support they need from the antioxidants in those foods.

Medicinal mushrooms have many different properties that make them incredible as healing agents for the body and mind. One of the few properties they all have in common is an outrageous amount of antioxidants found in every one of them.

This makes mushrooms a prime ingredient in a healthy superfood snack (that doesn’t make you hangry).

Click here to get antioxidant-rich gummies

Adaptogens for Mental Health

Adaptogens are another major factor in improving the body’s response to stress.

Used for centuries in Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine, researchers are now finding that spices, herbs, and mushrooms have adaptogenic effects that support the body under chronic stress.

When experiencing chronic stress the whole body takes small hits that begin to accumulate. If not managed properly, bigger health problems such as irritable bowel syndrome, autoimmune disease, attention disorders and memory loss begin to show.

Medicinal mushrooms contain many compounds that have adaptogenic effects.
In general, adaptogenic medicinal mushrooms:
Provide support for the immune system
Improve cognitive function
Have antioxidant properties that defend against oxidative stressors
Aid exercise recovery
Promote better overall sleep
Support healthy gut flora
Nourish the skin
Enhance resilience to stress, anxiety and overwhelm

Once again, mushrooms come out on top of healthy snack options.

Click here for adaptogenic gummies

Fiber to Fight Hangry-ness

Dietary fiber might sound like a nutrient topic for old people, but it is a superfood worth talking about no matter how old you are!

Fiber is generally divided into two groups: soluble fiber (which dissolves in water) is known to help regulate blood sugar and cholesterol, while insoluble fiber (which does not dissolve in water) fights constipation and keeps the digestive tract functioning optimally.

They both play important roles in fueling our bodies, and they both function as important food for our gut microbes. Research has even shown that fiber can help decrease the risk of depression and mental disorders.

Superfood Snacks

What if there was a snack that could help fuel you through your day, relieve your stress AND provide your immune system with a boost of antioxidants?

Trufa’s mushroom gummies are the perfect superfood snacks to grab in place of the sugar bombs calling your name.

These mushroom gummies are powered with antioxidants, fiber and adaptogens to boost your immune system, stress less, and improve gut health.

Snack on a few when you hit your afternoon slump.

Eat some when you’re hungry at night, without worrying about waking up from the sugar rush.

Carry them in your bag for that unexpected hangry episode in the middle of the day.

And know that these superfood snacks are supporting your body without the crazy sugar bomb.

Click here to see our full line of mushroom gummies

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