Do you find that by mid-afternoon you are battling with the temptation to make a quick trip to the corner shop or supermarket to buy a bar of chocolate or piece of yummy cake ?
Cravings are a sign that the body is missing something. They are often caused by a nutrient deficiency in the body. However, it can also be triggered by emotional reasons. The key to reducing your sugar cravings or sugar habit is to focus on having a healthy diet by adding real, wholesome foods to it and by removing processed foods. The more we eat whole and fresh foods, the more we nourish our body, and the more the desire for sugary foods decreases.
Beat your sugar habit with these 11 natural ways to tame your sweet tooth.
- Eat foods high in magnesium.
Magnesium helps maintain tissue sensitivity to insulin, helps control glucose metabolism and participates in the regulation of insulin. Sugar cravings may therefore be a result of magnesium deficiency. Eat foods high in magnesium including: dark leafy greens, raw cacao, nuts and seeds, brown rice, quinoa, and avocado.
- Eat foods high in chromium.
The mineral chromium helps to stabilize blood sugar and cholesterol levels and can therefore be beneficial in helping to control sugar cravings. If you find yourself experiencing regular, intense cravings for sweet treats then eat foods such as: broccoli, sweet potatoes, apples, whole grains, and pastured eggs.
- Eat foods high in zinc.
Zinc is required for the utilization of insulin and glucose, and a deficiency will lead to sugar cravings. To increase your zinc levels then you need to be eating: whole grains, pumpkin seeds, Brazil nuts, pastured eggs, and oysters. Zinc from animal sources is absorbed better because it does not contain phytates.
- Spice up your food with cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom.
Add cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom to your meals where possible. All of these spices will naturally sweeten your food, as well as helping to balance your blood sugar and reduce sugar cravings.
- Add extra-virgin coconut oil to your diet.
By consuming ½ tsp. of extra virgin coconut oil daily you can boost your metabolism, nourish the brain, and reduce sugar cravings. Add it to your smoothies, soups, and stir-fries.
- Consume fermented foods and beverages.
Sour food naturally help to reduce sugar cravings whilst at the same time, provide probiotics which support digestive health.
- Eat More Healthy Fats.
Healthy fats provide satiety and help to keep your blood sugar stable. Healthy fats include those found in avocados, nuts and seeds, coconut, extra-virgin olive oil, and the natural fats found in oily fish such as: salmon, mackerel, sardines, herrings etc.
- Reduce or remove processed foods, alcohol and caffeine.
Caffeine and alcohol dehydrate the body, which leads to mineral deficiencies. Processed foods have a tendency to be very high in sugar and salt, both of which lead to sugar cravings. It’s ok to have a cup of coffee everyday (preferably one not full of milk and sugar) and the odd glass (or two) of wine occasionally. It’s all about moderation.
Dehydration is linked to food cravings. Many people find themselves eating when if fact there body is craving water. You should be drinking 1½ to 2 litres of water per day. Herbal teas count too. Add a slice of lemon or lime or a small handful of herbs such as mint or parsley to your water to improve the taste if needed.
- Sleep and Exercise.
We tend to eat sugary foods when we are tired. Exercising regularly will help to boost energy levels and reduce stress (which depletes minerals especially magnesium).
- Manage stress and emotions.
Do more of what nourishes your body, mind, and soul, and remember that stress is not created by exterior factors but by the way we perceive situations in life.