What is Sugar Doing to Your Brain?
We all know that getting off the sugar can be very difficult. If you have ever done a real food plan or detox protocol, you know what we are talking about, So what is sugar doing to your brain?
The “good” sugar is actually needed within the body, particularly within the brain (this is the sugar that occurs naturally in fruits and vegetables). Glucose is crucial to cell function and survival, however; it also stimulates the reward pathway in your brain so too much sugar can be addictive.
When we eat sugar, our brain's nucleus accumbens receives a signal from dopamine (our pleasure neurotransmitter), so as our reward pathway keeps getting stimulated, the dopamine receptors become desensitized and requires more and more dopamine to get the same pleasant feeling. This can lead to excessive cravings and an uncontrollable desire to eat more refined carbohydrates or sugar.
Attempts in trying to break the addictive cycle can lead to mood swings and irritability. Eliminating all additive sugar from your diet can lead to some of the same symptoms of drug withdrawal. Sugar withdrawal symptoms include headaches, anxiety, cravings and even chills.
What to do?
Instead of sugar, try adding more heathy fats and protein to your diet to balance your blood sugar. Avocados, olives, coconut, and wild-caught fish are some sources of fats to fuel your brain and metabolism. You can also opt for whole food starchy tubers like sweet potatoes to get your carbs in a whole food form.
It is also important that you support your body's natural detoxification pathways when you are coming off of sugar. Focus on eating cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower etc.
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· Dr. Axe, What does sugar do to your brain?
· William Cole, D.C. The 9 Biggest Problems You'll Run Into When Trying To Quit Sugar (And How To Solve Each)