Sugar sends messages to the brain, activating its reward system. It’s a similar effect on your brain to hanging out with friends, sex, and even drugs. This reward system is a series of electrical and chemical path systems across several different regions of the brain.
The main chemical involved in this biological reward system is dopamine. In people who experience cravings for sugar, the dopamine receptors are sent into overdrive causing the individual to constantly seek that “high” effect. The end result is addiction although sugar addiction is not nearly as extreme as in the case of other addictive substances.
Over-consumption of sugar can lead to a vicious cycle of intense cravings. It also impairs memory and learning skills. It may also cause or contribute to depression and anxiety. A sugar-heavy diet is risk factor for age-related cognitive decline and dementia.
So what can we do to change our sugar cravings?
1. Acknowledge our fondness for sugar and acknowledge it’s unhealthy.
2. Talk to a nutritionist or research sugar-free recipes.
3. Watch the sugars in processed food and learn to have fun cooking meals from scratch.
4. Explore new ways to activate the brains reward centre with new hobbies and experiences, such as walking in nature, meditation, visiting friends, going to the cinema, practicing yoga or getting a massage or Reiki session.
To find out more about Indian Head Massage, Reiki and Yoga can help mind your mind, visit www.relaxfromstress.ie, contact Tracy on 086-2202734 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Published in the Connaught Telegraph on 21 Mar 2017
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