Do you crave sweet foods morning, noon, and night? Do you need to have a sugar fix at 3pm or before bed? Do you find yourself daydreaming about sugary decadent foods all day long? These cravings might feel like they are taking over your mind, but there is hope that you can defeat the sugar demon and take control of your cravings.
What Are You Lacking When You Crave Sweets?
There could be numerous reasons why you crave sugar and sweets. Often the case for cravings is the body being deficient in certain nutrients. This could explain why you crave certain sugary treats and fatty foods. Here are a few nutrients you could be lacking:
- Magnesium – Important for energy production and found in foods such as spinach, pumpkin seeds, squash, black beans, quinoa and cashews
- Iron – Essential for oxygen transport and energy production. Found in foods such as spinach, collard greens, asparagus, lettuce, lentils, sesame seeds, olives and bok choy
- Zinc – Needed for immune function, skin health and sensory organs (taste and appetite). Found in foods such as spinach, mushrooms, sesame seeds, lentils, tofu, green peas and beet greens
- B Vitamins – This diverse mix of vitamins is important for so many reasons. For example, vitamin B12 is needed for cardiovascular health, DNA production and energy metabolism, which is best taken in a supplement form. Folate is important for brain and nervous system health, red blood cell production, reproductive health, found in foods such as lentils, broccoli, beets, lettuce, cauliflower, chickpeas, papaya, Brussels sprouts, green beans and celery
What Should I Eat When I Crave Sugar?
Since one of the most common reasons for sugar cravings is being nutrient deficient, it is important to focus on eating a balanced wholesome diet every day. The best and easiest way to do this is to eat a variety of wholefoods to ensure you are getting a mix of nutrients in the body.
7 Foods That Curb Sugar Cravings
1 – Fruit – All types of fruit are an amazing option when you have sugar cravings. It might sound counterintuitive when fruit is filled with sugar, however, the sugar in fruit is healthy sugar aka healthy carbohydrates that the body thrives off of. Fruits are wholesome food packed with nutrients and the healthy sugary carbohydrates are part of natures sweet candy. Eat fresh when possible. Choose a variety of fruit and ensure it is ripe. Enjoy any fruit such as bananas, apples, mango, papaya, strawberries, dates and melon.
2 – Avocado – Sometimes we don’t eat enough healthy fats and focus only on protein and vegetables. We need fats to thrive and getting adequate amounts for the body to perform at its best is important. Avocado, although a fruit, is a healthy fat that will help to satisfy the body and rid cravings.
3 – Peanut Butter – Who doesn’t love peanut butter? Even dogs love it! Add a tablespoon of peanut butter to a smoothie or toast. Our bodies need those yummy fats, and sometimes when we crave sugary carbohydrates we actually need more fats in our diet.
4 – Broccoli – A cause of sugar cravings is not eating enough nutrient-dense food such as broccoli. This simple staple vegetable is easy to buy in supermarkets and is abundant in nutrients to satiate the body. Eat plenty of green vegetables such as broccoli to curb sugar cravings.
5 – Leafy Greens – A mix of leafy greens such as lettuce, kale, collard greens, rocket, watercress and spinach will add an incredible amount of nutrition to the body. Rotate the different leafy greens each week to get a variety of nutrients and taste in your meals.
6 – Dark Chocolate – You might roll your eyes at this one and be screaming for the sugary sweet creamy chocolate, but dark chocolate is delicious too! Focus on adding in more of the foods listed above, and then enjoy a piece or two of dark chocolate every day to help rid those sugar cravings. Over time you won’t crave that huge bar of sweet chocolate.
7 – Sweet Potato – Add in plenty of dense carbohydrates such as sweet potato to get enough nutrients and calories in the body. With the slight sweetness in taste, it can help to reduce sugar cravings over time and it tastes yummy too!
What is your favourite food to curb cravings?
Check out these articles for inspiration:
- Top 10 Cruciferous Vegetables Benefits
- Complex Carbs List – Foods to Include In Your Diet
- 7 Tips for Cutting Out Sugar for Weight Loss