Addicted to sugar? Manage sweet cravings with these spices
- Sugar addiction can put you at risk of several diseases like fatty liver disease, diabetes, heart disease to name a few. The good news is that it is possible to reduce those cravings. Here's how.
If your relationship with sugar is going strong to the extent that even the thought of not indulging in sugary treats for a day gives you anxiety, you need to find ways to break away from this toxic bond. Sugar can have a similar effect on your brain as an addictive drug and removing it from your diet all of a sudden can give you withdrawal symptoms like fatigue, headaches, low moods or cramps.
Good news is that it is possible to reduce these cravings to a healthy level with the help of few kitchen spices that have an anti-inflammatory effect and insulin managing properties.
"Refined sugar increases our risk for inflammation, cancer, microbiome and gut dysregulation, obesity, diabetes, and accelerates cellular aging! Refined sugar also acts on the same circuits in the brain hit by many illegal drugs," says Kanchan Koya, Ph.D. in Biomedicine from Harvard University, Health Coaching Certification from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition.
Koya says that the cravings for sugar can be reduced by focusing on a diet abundant in earth-grown nutrients and doing at least a short-term complete elimination of refined sugar. While that may sound tough it could go a long way in fixing your unhealthy bond with sugar.
The health expert says this can be done by "creating an abundance of delicious real whole food (so that) there is a natural crowding out of unhealthy foods without a sense of deprivation."
Each time you gorge on a sugary treat, the blood sugar level spikes which leads to release of insulin in the body to bring it down. Because of the release of insulin your blood sugar levels may go lower than required and your body ends up craving more such food. This is the reason why not eating meals on time makes us crave for unhealthy and sugary food because we experience drop in blood sugar levels.
Eating healthy food and at proper gaps help in regulating the blood sugar levels.
"The anti-inflammatory properties of earth-grown foods can help restore insulin sensitivity and allow the brain’s biochemistry to shift so that satiety hormones like leptin work well. Real food does not spike dopamine the way refined foods do so our dopamine receptors can come back into balance. Strictly eliminating refined sugar and processed foods even for a few weeks can help rewire those addiction circuits in the brain. Consequently, cravings subside," says Koya.
Spices to cut sugar cravings
The Harvard health expert also suggests spices that can help curb sugar cravings:
Black pepper: It has anti-inflammatory piperine
Coriander: It improves insulin secretion and reduces free-radical damage in insulin producing cells
Cardamom: Its floral and dessert-like notes reduce the need for added sugar
Sumac: It blocks inflammation in multiple ways
Turmeric: It curbs inflammation and supports the integrity of the gut lining
Nutmeg: It is anti-inflammatory
Cloves: It contain nigricin which can improve insulin sensitivity
Cayenne/paprika: They have capsaicin which curbs inflammation and boosts healthy bugs in our gut
Cinnamon: It contains cinnamaldehyde which is anti-inflammatory and improves insulin signaling. Use True cinnamon for its lower liver toxin levels