Have you been averaging at least two or three “fun size” chocolate bars on a daily basis for a few weeks now? Or do you find yourself craving sugar throughout the day? If so, you may be addicted to sugar, and it’s time to quit. Sugar affects the nervous system, which can make us feel more anxious or stressed out, excess sugar that your body doesn’t use as energy turns into fat and consuming sugar makes you crave more sugar.
Well the good news is there are certain nutrients that can actually reduce your cravings for sugar. Here is a list of foods that you should include in your diet to help curb your cravings:
Most people get enough B vitamins if their diet includes a variety of wholesome, fresh foods, and they limit their intake of alcohol & caffeine (depletes vitamin levels). That being said, here are some foods that are great sources of B vitamins:
-Leafy greens (ex. kale, baby spinach)
-Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussel spouts – all in season right now!)
-Whole grains (brown rice, oats)
-Nuts (peanuts, almonds)
-Sunflower seeds, flaxseeds
-Soybeans (organic edamame, miso or tempeh)
-Legumes (lentils, chick peas, kidney beans, black beans)
-Nutritional yeast (click here for a great “Mac n’ Cheese” recipe that calls for nutritional yeast)
-Fish (msc certified)
-Pork & beef (make sure it’s organic)
-Citrus (it’s clementine season again!)
-Berries (buy frozen, wild berries in the off-season)
-Green & leafy veggies
-Papaya (great for digestion too)
-Oysters (smoked oysters on crackers is a great snack)
Amino acid L-glutamine
-Animal protein (organic)
-Parsley (also high in vitamin C)
Try incorporating one food from each group in your diet this week to help curb your sugar cravings!
If you want something sweet, keep it natural. Natural sugars such as honey, real maple syrup, coconut palm sugar or dates are better for you than refined sugar because their nutrients haven’t been removed during processing. They also don’t contain preservatives, food dyes (ex. caramel colouring) or high fructose corn syrup like most chocolate & candy out there. Coconut palm sugar is especially good because it doesn’t spike your blood sugar (like refined sugar does), which is what causes you to crave more sugar.
Try combining a couple squares of dark chocolate, dates and a small handful of peanuts or almonds for a quick sweet & salty treat. You can also make my Healthy Cookies or Chocolate Truffle Pudding for healthy dessert options. Chimes all-natural Ginger Chews are also a healthy option for something sweet, and a great alternative to aspartame-loaded gum. Ginger aids in digestion, settles stomach upset, and has a warming affect in the body. It’s also clementine season again! These little oranges are the perfect sweet treat, and a great source of vitamin C, beta-carotene & fiber.
With the holiday season upon us beware of more sugar to come. Keep healthy sweets readily available in your home, and avoid buying unhealthy snacks & desserts. If they’re not in your cupboard – you won’t eat them!