You may love sugar, but sugar certainly does not love you. In fact, your sugar consumption, if left unchecked, could lead to a variety of chronic illnesses and a decrease in overall health. And while sugar doesn't cause an actual physiological addiction, the more sugar and processed carbs you consume, the more emotionally and psychologically dependent you can become. But there are a number of ways you can start to tame sugar cravings naturally.
Why do we crave sugar?
If you’ve ever felt like your brain is just programmed to crave sugar, you’re not wrong. Sugar fuels every cell in the body — including the cells in your brain.
Our cravings date back to when our ancestors hunted and gathered. Sugary-tasting foods were high in calories, provided fast energy, and were pleasing to the palate. So, as we evolved, we learned to crave sugary foods as a quick source of energy. So much so that your brain gives you a hit of dopamine (the feel-good chemical) each time you eat sugar.
The problem is, that dopamine hit also convinces your brain that a quick fix of sugar is what you need to feel good.
This was beneficial when food was scarce and our primitive ancestors needed to prioritize high-calorie foods to survive. But today, sugar is plentiful. It’s found in nearly all processed foods. And it’s also been refined to taste even sweeter than ever before, increasing your brain’s dopamine response.
So, the more you eat, the more you crave. And the more you crave, the more you eat — it’s a vicious cycle. But it’s not hopeless! You can curb sugar cravings naturally and gain control of your health.
5 Tips To Tame Your Sugar Cravings Naturally
1. Get enough magnesium
Are you deficient in magnesium? It’s estimated that 80 percent of Americans are deficient in magnesium. And most people don’t even know they're deficient.
One of the first warning signs of magnesium deficiency includes fatigue. Without magnesium, your body can’t convert food into energy. And low energy often means your brain is more likely to crave a quick fix of sugar to get a boost.
Magnesium also regulates blood sugar, insulin levels, and dopamine. So, a deficiency may result in intense sugar cravings — especially if you notice you're often craving chocolate.
Upping your intake of foods that are high in magnesium is a great place to start taming sugar cravings naturally. Some of the best food sources include seeds, nuts, dark leafy greens, avocados, and raw cacao — one of the highest plant-based sources for magnesium.
2. Stay hydrated
There are a number of well-known benefits to staying hydrated. But there’s another good reason to make sure you’re getting enough water you may not have known: sugar cravings.
Few people realize that sugar cravings can be linked to dehydration. Lack of fluid makes it difficult to break down stored glucose for energy. As a result, your body craves sugar to give you that quick boost of energy. But what you really need is a little hydration.
Consider this your friendly reminder to refill your water bottle.
3. Manage your stress
What’s the first thing you do when you need a temporary escape from a stressful situation? For many people, it’s reaching for a little comfort food. Why? As mentioned above, sugar increases your dopamine level, making you feel better. But a sugary fix is only going to make you feel better for a short time and will likely be followed by the inevitable crash, leading you to crave even more sugar!
Managing your stress can go a long way to curbing your cravings. A good place to start is by practicing mindfulness, which could include meditation, breathing techniques, and other practices to calm the mind and body.
Next, consider adding more stress-reducing foods to your diet. Raw cacao is a delicious option and it contains a molecule called anandamide — known as the bliss molecule. The high concentration of anandamide in raw cacao can help maintain internal balance and support healthy stress management. Just make sure it's a high-quality, raw, organic cacao and not a sugar-loaded chocolate bar.
4. Balance gut microbiota
If your diet includes too many processed foods and sugar, then you could be experiencing a “catch-22” scenario in your gut.
As you may know, your gut is a fine-tuned machine that houses trillions of bacteria. Its job is to break down the foods you eat and absorb the nutrients needed to keep your body functioning properly. Functions like energy production, waste elimination, skin health, hormone balance, blood sugar, and even mental health all rely on the gut. In fact, 70 percent of the immune system lives in your gut.
Problems arise when you consume too much sugar. Eating too much sugar blocks the production of a protein needed to colonize certain bacteria in the gut. The imbalance creates a cascade of problems, including an increased craving for sugar, which further damages the gut. That’s the “catch-22”.
Incorporating both probiotics and prebiotics into your diet can go a long way to helping rebalance your gut and keep it happy.
5. Combat your craving with raw cacao
There’s nothing wrong with a little sweet indulgence now and again. But the key is to pick an indulgence that won’t derail your health. Chocolate is one of those treats we all crave, particularly because it’s high in magnesium. But before you run to the store for your favorite candy bar, understand that there are two kinds of chocolate.
The first is the widely available forms of cocoa and chocolate that have been grown with toxic pesticides and chemicals, highly refined, and have high amounts of added sugars. You know… most commercially available chocolate and cocoa.
The second is so healthy and whole, it not only tastes delicious and satisfies nutritional needs, but also combats your sugar cravings: raw cacao! Unlike it’s processed and often sugar-packed counterpart, raw cacao is a pure form of chocolate — the natural state in which it is harvested.
That’s why we use organic raw cacao in Earth Echo Cacao Bliss. So you can still indulge in a rich, chocolatey treat that satisfies your cravings but doesn’t sabotage your health.
But Cacao Bliss is more than just a healthy chocolate alternative. It’s a decadent blend of raw cacao and powerful superfoods, including:
- Black pepper
- MCT powder
- Monk fruit
- Coconut nectar
- Himalayan salt
Cacao Bliss boosts your natural energy level and mental clarity. Plus, it helps you maintain healthy blood sugar levels, supports a healthy inflammatory response, and helps tame sugar cravings naturally. *
All it takes to enjoy the benefits and flavor of Cacao Bliss is whipping up a quick, satisfying drink. Or use it in place of cocoa powder in your favorite baked good recipe!
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.