Do you want your ice cream, cake and your candy too? Now you can lick those sugar cravings for good with natural foods, nutrients and food timing tricks. Here are 7 ways to send your sweet tooth packing:
Saffron: Research shows that an extract of the spice saffron (Crocus sativus) gets to the root of sweet cravings and helps eliminate them. It appears to work by regulating brain pathways in what is now referred to as the “Feed-Feedback Cycle.” In one study published in Nutrition Research researchers found that between-meal snacking (used as a measure of cravings) was reduced by 55% when participants took saffron extract. Another study published in the journal Nutraveris found that between-meal snacking was reduced by 51% in women after only 4 weeks of taking the saffron extract.
Snacking: Sugar cravings often arise from low blood sugar levels. It’s the body’s way of letting us know that it needs more energy to fuel our cells. But, don’t just choose any snack. Choose a healthy option. Eating sugar when you have sugar cravings just creates a vicious cycle that’s hard to break, causing a rapid rise in blood sugar levels that will come crashing down within an hour or two, inspiring more sugar cravings. Snacking every two to three hours on healthy snacks stabilizes blood sugar levels, stopping sugar cravings in their tracks.
Protein: Protein foods break down slowly, gradually releasing energy to the body as it needs it, keeping blood sugar levels stable. Most people assume the only protein foods are meat or poultry but that’s not the case. There are many excellent vegetarian protein foods, including: lentils, chickpeas, kidney beans, pinto beans, cashews, almonds, walnuts, pecans, avocados, quinoa and so many other delicious options.
Chromium: While it is an important mineral, chromium is often overlooked. It helps maintain strong arteries, blood and heart health, and it also plays a significant role in alleviating a “sweet tooth.” Chromium lessens cravings, mood swings and weight gain linked to fluctuating blood sugar levels since it helps to keep them balanced. Chromium also plays an important role in energy production in our bodies so supplementing with chromium can give energy levels a boost too. Chromium is also naturally found in many whole grains, Romaine lettuce, onions, beans, legumes and ripe tomatoes. Supplementing with 200 to 500 micrograms of chromium daily can help reduce cravings.
Water: Our body sends us messages when it needs something. Due to most people’s tendency toward food, we may misinterpret dehydration as hunger pangs. I always tell my clients to drink a large glass of pure water when they have a sweet tooth and wait 30 minutes. Most of the time the cravings disappear.
Fiber: Similar to protein foods, eating fiber helps to stabilize blood sugar levels to prevent rapid spikes and drops, thereby reducing or eliminating cravings altogether.
Fruit: When nothing but something sweet will satisfy your sugar cravings, have a piece of fruit. It comes with lots of minerals, vitamins, fiber, and phytonutrients that not only help slow the absorption of its natural sugars, they also help with healing and improving overall health. There are so many delicious fruits to choose from. Just keep some on hand when you have a snack attack.