Sugar Cravings

Many people suffer from sugar cravings. It is that feeling when a bar of chocolate appears in our minds eye and we want to devour one right away. People who suffer from sugar cravings usually have diets that contain a lot of food made of refined sugar, processed food and fast food. Sugar cravings are also linked to deficiencies in certain vitamins and minerals.

In extreme cases certain people may have a condition called hypoglycaemia. This is a condition where the body’s blood glucose level is very low. People who have this condition crave sugar even more and over time this can lead to serious health complications.

The problem with eating too much refined sugar in your diet is that it causes an imbalance in your blood sugar levels. It can create this seesaw effect that when you eat a candy bar or a slice of cake your blood sugar level shoots up giving you a quick energy boost. The only problem is this energy boost is short lived. Your blood glucose level suddenly drops, making you feel tired and lethargic. This will make you crave even more sugar to get a boost. This turns into a vicious circle where your blood sugar levels reach extreme highs and lows.

The only way to stop this happening is to cut out sugary and processed foods from your diet and replace them with healthier alternatives. This can be done the cold turkey way when you cut out all sugar from your diet immediately. This way you will probably feel more side effects. You can be less extreme and gradually wean yourself of the sugar over a period of 2 weeks.

As you wean yourself off your dependency on sugar you need to introduce healthier foods in to your diet. These foods need to be high in nutrients, vitamins and minerals to balance and regulate your blood. Particular minerals that help with balancing the blood and reducing sugar cravings are iron, manganese and chromium. These can be taken as liquid supplements are naturally in green leafy organic vegetables.

Other foods that can help you stave off those sugar cravings can be found in foods that are high in wholegrain and vegetables. Particular good ones are sweet potatoes. These are a root vegetable but unlike the common potatoes they are orange in colour and are low in starch. They also have a sweet taste and taste absolutely delicious when they are roasted in the oven. Even though they are called sweet potatoes they actually do not increase your blood glucose level and therefore, help to lessen your sugar cravings.

If you have a health condition or you are on medication always seek the advice of doctor before making any changes to your diet

By Health Care on June 14, 2010 | Nutrition

Raw Chocolate and Cacao Nibs

When people think about chocolate, one word comes into mind – fattening. Well, sure, most would say that chocolates are fattening, but this has nothing to do with the fact that they contain powerful antioxidants. What makes chocolate fattening is the other ingredients that are incorporated when they are manufactured commercially. Raw chocolate or cacao nibs on the other hand are the pure forms, which mean that they still contain all of the natural nutrients and benefits.

Cacao or more familiarly known as cocoa by many is actually a fruit. And what’s even more surprising that the taste of cacao in its pure, unprocessed form is actually very far from what you may be used to. Raw chocolate is not sweet, not even a little; it’s actually very bitter which might initially turn you off.

You don’t even have to consume large amounts to start benefiting from raw chocolates, a single cacao nib a day will do. So what do you really get from eating raw chocolate or cacao nibs?

Just to give you an idea of all the benefits that you can expect, here as some that have been tested and proven by research:

Anti oxidants: Cacao beans come highly packed with anti oxidants which have been proven to slow down the process of aging as well as help the body eliminate unwanted harmful chemicals and wastes. In actuality, the antioxidants percentage present in chocolate is found to be one of the highest. This makes it twice as effective in breaking down free radicals in the body, which may already know, can cause cancer.

Flavanols: Research has also found that raw chocolates contain high levels of flavanols which is a chemical responsible for regulating and clearing blood vessels. The flavanols found in chocolates are in fact so concentrated that they have been found to be very effective in preventing cardiovascular diseases and can even help people that are already dealing with the problem.

Sulfur: Cacao beans has also been known to contain sulfur in high percentages which is responsible for promoting healthy and radiant looking skin as well as help build healthy nails and hair. Aside from these visible benefits, sulfur has also been found to be beneficial in detoxifying the liver as well as help in optimizing pancreas function.

Increased sensitivity to insulin: Individuals who consume cacao nibs daily has also been found to be more sensitive to insulin making them less prone to blood sugar issues such as diabetes. This is also a great way to enjoy chocolate without all the refined sugar.

Apart from all of the benefits that have was mentioned above, there are other benefits that raw chocolate can give. So what are you waiting for? Learn more about preparing cacao nibs and raw chocolate. As bitter as they might be, you can enjoy eating it if it’s prepared correctly. Remember, the closer the chocolate is to its natural, unprocessed form, the healthier it will be for you.

This article was written by Arthur Martin who has been an expert on health foods in general, and has owned a health food shop for several years. He has now become one of the leading and most trusted sources of Raw Chocolate and Cacao Nibs in the UK.