Sugar cravings are something we can all relate to – once you start, it is hard to stop. Sugar is an addictive poison called sucrose. Food companies put sugar in most processed food, which of course keeps the market addicted and consuming their products. Research has found that sugar consumption correlates with the worldwide diabetes epidemic, obesity, heart disease, various forms of cancer, gastrointestinal irritation and even depression. There is a growing awareness related to the effects of sugar on the body, but many are struggling with how to stop their sugar cravings!
In this blog, I am going to talk about our gut, what’s wrong with our diet, green leafy foods and their effect on sugar cravings and their ability to heal our gut. Our food is directly connected to our quality of life. In order for us to live healthy lives, we have to change the way we eat.
The Gut: Our Second Brain
Our gut, is termed our second brain or the enteric nervous system (ENS) by scientists. The ENS is two thin layers of more than 100 million nerve cells lining your gastrointestinal tract from esophagus to rectum. Researchers are finding evidence that irritation in the gastrointestinal system may send triggers to the central nervous system that trigger mood changes. Healing your gut can actually make you happier.
Scientists have also found that our microbiome is associated with our overall health. In your gut, you have a unique collection of gut microbes that is called your microbiome. “There’s a good chance your microbiome is associated with every disease you can think of – diabetes, cancer, autism says Michael Snyder, PhD – Director of Stanford University’s Center for Genomics and Personalized Medicine, “and the area where bacteria have a huge impact is your gut”.
In short, both your mood and overall health are strongly related to your gut health and your gut health of course correlates with the food your are putting in your body.
What’s Wrong with Our Diet?
The traditional American diet includes lots of simple carbohydrates, SUGARS, unhealthy oils and processed meats, all of which create a very acidic environment in our gut that wreaks havoc on our health and paves the path for numerous diseases to take over our compromised system. For many, cutting out all of these products seems like achieving the impossible.
So What Do I Eat?
Actually, there are a lot of options, it is just a matter of choosing the right ones. Our diet should be based on fruits, vegetables, nuts, healthy oils (olive oil, avocado oil, grapeseed oil – to name a few), small portions of lean meats – like fish and chicken, lentils, quinoa, brown rice, beans, oats and more. Buying fresh products and preparing them ourselves is the key to eating a nutritious and healthy diet.
Green Foods to the Rescue
A healthy diet is one that is based on foods that are close to nature and have directly absorbed their energy from the sun. Fresh fruits and vegetables are as close to the sun’s energy as it gets. Although different fruits and vegetables have varying health benefits, I would like to focus on leafy greens that have been found to be very beneficial for healing our gut.
Research suggests that leafy greens are essential for feeding good gut bacteria, limiting the ability of bad gut bacteria to colonize by shutting them out of ‘prime real estate’. In addition, because leafy greens are alkaline they help to reduce sugar cravings. An acidic diet (simple carbs, sugars and unhealthy fats) can lead to mineral depletion in our bodies, cravings for junk food and can create a wide array of health issues that researchers are beginning to discover.
Next time you feel stressed or anxious, instead of reaching for that cookie, cut up a salad of greens with kale, spinach, mustard greens and chards – your sugar cravings will likely diminish.
Some food for thought ?, if we want to lead a healthier life, we need to make lifestyle choices that help us manifest that change. It is all about making choices – choices that help us improve the quality of our own lives.
Book – The Green Foods Bible, David Sandoval