Reduce Stress by Reducing Sugar
By Stepy Kamei
There's nothing like digging into a sweet dessert at the end of a long day. Still, the adverse health effects of consuming too much sugar aren't exactly a secret to any of us. In fact, more and more studies are revealing that sugar can impact our mental health in negative ways as well. Specifically, eating high amounts of sugar can actually increase our levels of anxiety and stress, which can easily continue to further harm many other aspects of our health and well-being. Keep on reading to learn more about the connection between sugar and stress -- and how you can substitute for a healthier sweet option when cravings strike.
How Sugar Harms the Body and Mind
Most of us know about the most obvious side effect of sugar -- the intense rush of energy that follows after eating sweets! It's true that the body reacts to high amounts of sugar by experiencing a surge of energy. At first, this may come across as feelings of elation and productivity -- but that energy can also manifest itself in the form of jitters and nervousness, which can induce anxiety and tension. It should go without saying that the more sugar you consume, the more intense these feelings can get.
Sugar also increases inflammation in the body, which encourages the production of cortisol, also known as the stress hormone, to grow within the body. Simply put, too much sugar consumption is not good for your physical or mental well-being.
Healthy Sweet Substitutes to Try Out
The next time you get a craving for something sweet, there are healthier alternatives you can munch on. Instead of turning to cookies, candy, ice cream, etc., try out snacks and foods which are naturally sweet with no added sweeteners or other artificial ingredients.
Fresh fruit is a fantastic alternative to many common dessert foods. Apples, grapes, and berries offer a natural burst of sweet flavor without increasing inflammation in the body. Fruit also provides many important vitamins and minerals.
Yogurt is another great alternative to sweet treats such as ice cream. Be sure to choose a full-fat version of yogurt, as this contains protein and other important nutrients to help you feel full and satisfied for longer.
Finally, adding honey to any naturally sweet treat is a great way to fool your taste buds into thinking you're eating something more decadent, but less healthy, than it really is! Antioxidant-rich honey is one of the best natural sweetening agents out there.
To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Weston, Fla.