I must admit that I have a sweet tooth, and I couldn’t say no to sweets and desserts. But who can blame me? Sugary foods are just too good. They satisfy my taste buds and console me whenever I need some comfort food. However, it came to a point when I realized that I have to limit my sugar intake. It affected my weight and general health. Though I didn’t want to admit it then, sugar is downright unhealthy, especially when taken in huge amounts.
Putting a stop to sugar craving is a challenge. Sugar craving is like an addiction; once you’re in, you’ll find it hard to go out. Sugar cravers can agree with me that consuming sweets provides us with an initial high feeling, it keeps us energized. But then, once the sugar effect fades away, we feel a bit down. This will lead to another sugar craving, and the cycle goes on.
Causes of Sugar Cravings
Aside from the natural high feeling that sugar brings to our system, there are other reasons why people crave sugar. Here are some of it:
Blood Sugar Imbalance
Eating sweet foods increases our blood sugar levels, which makes our body release insulin in order to lower it to a safe level. However, once the body thinks that the blood sugar level becomes too low, it starts to crave sugary food again. To help address this issue, you need to eat foods that prevent the body to release insulin such as protein. It also helps to eat meals and snacks at a regular interval to keep blood sugar levels from dropping.
Some people mistook thirst for cravings. When the body is dehydrated, it becomes weak since it couldn’t metabolize the stored glucose in the body to convert it to energy. Hence, the body starts to crave sweets to pump up the energy level again. So the next time you have that urge to pick a piece of chocolate for some energy boost, ask yourself: Have you had any water for the past hours?
Bad Sleeping Habits
Poor sleeping habits can affect how your brain and body function. The body clock has a significant role in the regulation of ghrelin and leptin hormones. These hormones work to either promote or suppress food intake. Make sure that you get a good night’s sleep all the time. If you are suffering from insomnia, you can try some natural remedies such as bedtime teas to help you sleep.
Underlying Medical Conditions
Our digestive system contains both good and bad microorganisms. These microorganisms balance each other. When something happens that shifts the normal environment in the stomach, the good microorganisms may be overpowered and yeast starts to multiply in the intestinal tract. Yeasts thrive on sugar. Thus, a yeast infection may lead to unusual cravings. Another type of yeast called candida also causes candidiasis, which is a fungal infection. Candida usually lives both inside and outside of the body.
When you have a yeast infection, you can add fermented foods to your diet such as kimchi and sauerkraut. Another great addition to a combat yeast infection is probiotics like plain yogurt and kefir.
As I said earlier, sugars and sweets give a high feeling naturally. It is like a natural energizer drug. People who are feeling under the weather tend to turn to comfort foods to give their mood a boost. Since the effect is short-lived, the body starts to crave sweets again to increase the happy hormones.
The priority here is to deal with the root cause of stress. Identify your stress factor and do ways to improve your condition. And once sugar cravings attack, opt to have natural sugar sources such as fruits rather than processed ones like cookies and chocolates.
Sugar has also been linked to other chronic problems like diabetes, autoimmune diseases, chronic infections, irritable bowel syndrome, heart disease, among others. When it comes to underlying medical conditions, it is best to visit a doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.
Herbs and Natural Ways to Stop Sugar Cravings
Ginger provides many benefits when it comes to health. For sugar cravings, ginger is known to cleanse the palate so that you won’t have to crave something sweet anymore. It further helps alleviate digestive issues and detoxify the organs.
How to use: Adding ginger to your teas, stir-fries, and other recipes is the best way to naturally introduce ginger to your diet.
The first thing that comes to mind when thinking about knowing how to stop sugar cravings naturally is probably cinnamon. The spice has a naturally sweet taste that can substitute for sugary foods. However, what makes cinnamon the best weapon against sugar cravings are the polyphenols it contains. This substance helps in controlling the blood glucose level, which in turn reduces sugar cravings.
How to use: Just like ginger, you can simply add cinnamon to your diet when you sprinkle it on foods, teas, and even fruits.
A natural detoxifier, turmeric has become one of the world’s renowned spices with its many health benefits. Adding turmeric to your diet helps remove environmental and dietary toxins that may affect your blood sugar levels. It also helps lower bad cholesterol levels and inflammation. You can make turmeric tea using turmeric powder and other helpful ingredients such as ginger.
How to use: To make the tea, mix 1 cup of water, ½ tsp grated ginger, ¼ tsp black pepper powder, ¼ tsp turmeric powder in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, and simmer for 3 minutes. Remove the pot and strain the contents. Let it cool. If the taste is too strong for you, you can opt to add natural sugar substitutes such as Stevia or yacon syrup.
The flowering bud of cloves contains anti-inflammatory and blood sugar-regulating properties. Just like cinnamon, the sweet taste of cloves is a wonderful addition to your recipes and gives your sweet tooth some satisfaction. It further contains vitamins and minerals to keep your body healthy.
How to use: You can add some cloves to your tea and other drinks. You may also sprinkle it on fruits, veggies, stews, and sauces.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Raw and unfiltered ACV reduces sugar cravings since it helps stabilize your blood sugar levels. It also contains anti-fungal properties that help thwart fungal infections such as candidiasis.
How to use: Fill a glass with 8 oz of water and add 1 tbsp of ACV. Drink this 2-3 times a day before your big meals.
The inclusion of these herbs and natural remedies on your diet offers a healthy and easy approach to curb sugar cravings. It does not take any complicated steps to sprinkle and concoct a drink out of these ingredients.
If you truly want to control yourself from unwanted sugar cravings, a change in habits, along with these wonderful herbs, will help you.
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