Sugar. We all love it. But why? There are a few reasons why we crave the sweet stuff. For instance, studies have shown that women may crave sweets more often than men due to the female hormone estradiol. This hormone is an important part of reproductive and sexual function—which also might explain why some women report sugar cravings around the time of their period or during menopause or perimenopause.
Other reported causes of sugar cravings could be due to a sluggish or overloaded adrenal gland, a yeast infection, an underactive thyroid gland, an imbalance of beneficial gut bacteria, and stress.
Sound familiar? You're not alone.
Of course, eating healthy can help alleviate many of these issues—and there are also other ways to help curb your cravings. Here are four tips to help you kick the sugar habit.
Avoid Processed Foods
When we eat sugar our brains light up, more so than it does when other stimulants are used, and it's a reward system. The brain likes getting excited, so it tells your body to give it more. This means that high-sugar foods may cause the body to crave more food—and more sweet foods, specifically. This is similar to addictions to drugs like cocaine where the brain becomes wired to crave more. Many processed foods contain high levels of sugar among other undesirable ingredients. The more you can avoid these foods, the less likely you are to crave them.
Salty Sweet Visualization Exercises
When you find yourself tempted to eat something sugary that you know you shouldn't, imagine that you’ve poured salt all over it. Or, if you're struggling to resist a plate full of cookies, visualize yourself shaking salt all over them and then taking salty bite after salty bite. Experts say this works because, believe it or not, humans have a natural aversion to overly salted foods. It's simple, but this trick works well for a lot of people.
Eat More Fermented Foods and Probiotics
Combat those sugar cravings by adding fermented foods and probiotics into your diet. Fermented foods and liquids, as well as probiotics, restore balance in your healthy gut bacteria. If you have "bad" gut bacteria/microbes, they can influence your cravings through nerve pathways linked to your stomach and brain. Adding more "good" bacteria/microbes helps offset this negative effect.
Keep Your Blood Sugar Stable
This may sound like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many people don’t keep their blood sugar stable. This instability can cause a lack of energy, an increase in cravings, mood swings, memory issues and imbalanced hormones. To balance your blood sugar, eat foods low on the glycemic index such as vegetables, berries, nuts, and seeds. It can also be helpful to eat several small meals throughout the day, making sure you get protein with every meal, and you don’t skip breakfast. Remember to also minimize your soda intake as it's a notorious source of hidden sugars.
If you'd like help with kicking the sugar habit, we are here for you. Our team at Pure Life Chiropractic can provide you the support you need so you're living life without the sugar crutch. Give us a call today at 541-343-5633
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