2 Reasons to Quit Sugar Today
1. You Will Feel Happier
How sugar effects your happiness:
It may be surprising to hear that cutting back on sugar can make you happier. After all, we often associate the experience of indulging in our favorite sugary treats with positive and joyful emotions. However, what you may not notice is that a few hours after eating sugar, your mood dips and you start to crave sugar again. This can become a difficult cycle to break.
The long-term result is that a temporary boost in happiness after eating sugar followed by an extended dip in emotions. This ultimately leads to depending on sugar for happiness and becoming addicted to this sweet substance. In fact, studies have shown that sugar consumption may lead to depression.
What to eat instead:
If you have relied on sugar to lift your mood in the past, you’re probably wondering what you should eat instead. The good news is there are many choices and I have a few listed below that boost your mood.
Brazil Nuts: Brazil nuts are packed with selenium – a powerful nutrient when it for mood. Eating selenium rich foods has been associated with increased happiness and a reduced risk of depression.
Oatmeal: Oatmeal is a great warming food physically, it can also give you a mental feeling of warmth and happiness. High fiber content helps stabilize blood glucose levels, which helps provide mental stability.
Oysters: Oysters contain high levels of zinc – an important nutrient for brain health that has been linked with improvement in mood. They have high levels of tyrosine – a hormone which helps to keep depression at bay and enhances mood.
Salmon: Salmon is my preference for omega 3 essential fatty acids. Various studies have highlighted that eating a diet rich in omega 3 essential fatty acids can stabilize mood and fight depression. Omega 3s provide so many health benefits including joint, migraines, brain function.
Turkey: Turkey is an excellent source of tryptophan – an amino acid which has been shown to raise the levels of serotonin in the body. Studies have linked high levels of serotonin with feelings of happiness and wellbeing. It’s also rich in mood boosting tyrosine.
2. You Will Have More Energy
How sugar effects your energy levels:
Carbohydrates are your body’s preferred energy source, so to hear that cutting back on sugar (the simplest form of carbohydrate) will increase your energy levels may sound confusing. While it is true that eating sugar will boost your energy levels, this effect is only temporary and will inevitably lead to a crash in energy levels a few hours later.
Over time these sugar crashes become more and more severe and overall energy levels decline. You also become dependent on sugar for energy and without it you feel tired and depleted. The cycle I talked about earlier can become a very difficult habit to break, yet very important for good health and energy at every age.
What to eat instead:
There are many choices for sugar free or low sugar food and drink. These are just a few:
Coffee: Coffee contains no sugar and no calories but is packed with energy boosting nutrients. It contains high levels of caffeine – a compound that stimulates your nervous system and gives you an immediate energy boost. It’s a good source of caffeic acid – a nutrient that stabilizes your blood glucose levels and studies have shown it may help prevent diabetes.
Flax Seeds: Flax seeds have countless health benefits and are great for energy production. They’re packed with fiber which slows the release of glucose into your blood stream and ensures that your body has a constant, stable source of energy. Flax seeds also contain omega 3 essential fatty acids which support your body’s energy production processes.
Green Tea: Green tea is another zero calorie, zero sugar energy drink. The caffeine in green tea provides you with an instant energy lift while the flavonoids it contains support energy production and help to maintain your energy levels in the long term.
Quinoa: Quinoa is a favorite among vegetarians and there are plenty of reasons why. Not only does it contain large amounts of protein but it’s also rich in fiber and iron. As already mentioned, fiber helps to keep your energy levels stable while iron keeps your blood cells healthy and ensures that they can transport energy providing oxygen to the cells that need it.
Walnuts: Walnuts contain a unique blend of energy boosting antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. These nutrients collectively work together to provide your body with direct energy and also help it to produce energy more efficiently.
There are so many reasons to quit sugar. Next week I will cover 3 more and the healthy food substitutes.
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