The role of stress as a leading contributor to poor health is well established, including widespread instances of fatigue, weight gain and spikes in sugar level. Ladies, you should know the confluence of stress and sugar levels is particularly devastating to our adrenal glands, which optimize our immune systems and provide critical support to our hormonal health.
What’s more, you may develop menopausal symptoms sooner than your “sugar-free” friends, and stress and sugar also increase our PMS symptoms of pain, bloating and fatigue. Sugar inhibits the detoxification process and interferes with the body’s natural process of shedding and cleansing through menses.
Experiencing stress is inevitable, from work-related issues to the multitude of personal challenges we experience throughout our lives. We crave sugar and sweets when our body is under stress and lacks energy; we’re looking for a lift, or an alternate means of rejuvenation. Chocolate is the tool of choice when we’re looking for a sweet escape to calm our nerves, especially for ladies.
But when this behavior is practiced consistently it puts us on a roller coaster of highs and lows—an addictive pattern where the sugar and chocolate combine to create chaos in our bodies after the calmness of the sugar-high wears off. Sugar also increases and feeds the presence of candida, impairing our digestive systems with bloating and gas, and compromises our immune systems, lowering our resistance to infections, colds and viruses.
The good news is that there are proven ways to fight these cravings, including the following three suggestions:
1) Eat Foods Rich in Chromium: I’ve noticed that individuals who really crave sugar tend to be minerally-deficient. The craving is an attempt to satisfy a mineral need. Your body is confused, and continuing to eat sugar will only compound the problem. After studying mineral tissue analysis reports with so many individuals over the years, I’ve discovered a consistent and clear pattern of chromium deficiency in those who have a relentless desire for sugar and sweets. Chromium is a mineral specifically designed to take the edge off the craving for sugar, and ironically is depleted when we ingest simple sugar.
Chromium balances and stabilizes the body’s blood sugar levels, increases energy and assists with weight loss by curbing our appetites. Chromium also supports the body with proper insulin utilization to balance glucose levels that would otherwise turn sugars into fat. Food sources rich in chromium include tomatoes, oysters, bran cereals, whole grains, leafy-greens. Smaller amounts are found in apple, banana, green beans, fish, cheese, chicken, eggs, turkey and potatoes. Broccoli is the vegetable that contains the highest amount of Chromium per serving. The average male needs to consume at least 35mcg and the average female needs 25mcg per day; if pregnant the need is 30mcg to support the growing baby.
2) Regularly Indulge in Greens Aside from being naturally delicious, greens makes a great base for lunch. Having a mixed green salad five days a week supplies your body with healthy dose of magnesium, a mineral that’s often deficient in the bodies of those who reach for chocolate when they’re feeling “edgy.” Having a daily scoop (or two) of Greens Powder would be an additional recommendation, and will make your body feel completely re-energized in three days. Include lightly steamed broccoli on a regular basis—a ½ cup contains 11 mcg.
3) Add Increased Protein and Fats to Your Diet. You can increase your essential fats and protein intake by adding avocado, eggs or chicken to your salad. The essential fats and proteins found in avocados and eggs will satisfy your body’s critical need it. They are called essential fatty acids and essential amino acids because they prevent the body from receiving a surge of glucose that the liver converts to fat and keep the overworked pancreas from shooting out extra insulin. This process is a blessing to the body and prevents diabetes and other sugar-related diseases from appearing.
Eating a regular salad and good fat source will also give your brain the food it needs and will give your emotions a rest.
You can also learn a lot about yourself and what you’re eating by filling out a seven-day diet journal. I usually take a look at how many carbohydrates and simple sugars my patient is consuming in a day, and then make alternative food suggestions and increase the variety of their diets.
What are your thoughts and struggles with sugar and stress? I’d love to hear your comments below.
As always, thanks for reading, and please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org if I can be of further assistance or to set up an appointment.
photo credit: JulieBulie’s photostream