Are sugar cravings simply a matter of willpower?
As it turns out, your daily sugar fix may have more to with biochemistry than desire.
Your Inner Ecology and It’s Link with Sugar Cravings
Your inner ecology is made up of bacteria, yeasts, cells that line the intestinal wall, and cells that make up the immune system.
When the inner ecology of your gut is in a state of balance, good bacteria and beneficial yeast thrive.
When we eat sugar, we literally feed the Candida yeast and other harmful microorganisms living in the gastrointestinal tract. They work synergistically with your intestinal cells, soothing away areas of inflammation. They also contribute to your digestive fire and help to detoxify poisons from the gut.
When the inner ecology is out of balance, this harmonious environment breaks down. Once your inner ecology begins to deteriorate, the gut becomes wounded. And two things may happen:
- Candida overgrowth can take over your appetite.
- Nutritional deficiencies can develop.
Both Candida overgrowth and nutritional deficiencies can feed a voracious appetite—particularly one that demands sugar!
Candida Overgrowth Fuels Sugar Cravings
Candida overgrowth and nutritional deficiencies can fuel limitless sugar cravings. Even worse, eating too much sugar can damage your digestive system and immune system.
Candida is yeast that is normally present in the gastrointestinal tract.
In order to maintain a healthy inner ecosystem, good bacteria compete with Candida for space within the gut. This competitive environment keeps Candida overgrowth in check. If there are not enough good bacteria in the gut (for example, after antibiotic use), Candida can quickly grow and overtake its environment.
When we eat sugar, we literally feed the Candida yeast and other harmful microorganisms living in the gastrointestinal tract. Foods that contain sugar include bready foods, sweet desserts, fruit, and even starchy vegetables. According to the Body Ecology Principles, sugar is expanding in nature. Without proper balance, it can drive the body into an acidic and pro-inflammatory state.
In other words, a diet full of sugar can damage your inner ecology. The more sugar that you binge on, the more you feed Candida overgrowth. The more Candida overgrowth you have, the more you crave sugar. It’s a vicious cycle.
Too much sugar does not only damage the digestive system. It also damages the immune system. Research tells us that when you eat too much sugar, you throw your immune response system out of balance. (2)
Because sugar damages your immune response system, the body is not able to stop the growth of aggressive microorganisms like Candida. Once the immune system is thrown out of balance, Candida yeast is more likely to irritate the intestinal wall, destroy the inner ecosystem of the gut, and move into the bloodstream.
Nutritional Deficiencies Drive Us to Eat Sweets
When the inner ecology of the gut is damaged, the cells of the intestine become inflamed. We end up absorbing very little from the food that we eat.
The cells of the intestine lose their ability to do work. This means that food might sit stagnant in the small intestine, where it ferments and putrefies. The large intestine may lose motility, or the ability to move. Most importantly, the wall of the intestines becomes irritated and leaky.
A leaky gut allows large particles of food, toxins from bacteria, and Candida to pass into the bloodstream. When the gut wall is healthy, these particles, toxins, and yeast remain in the digestive tract.
Unfortunately, Candida overgrowth does not just happen in the gut, the mouth, and the birth canal. It can happen anywhere in the body.
Candida yeast can steal the small amount of sugar that your cells need for energy. This leaves you feeling exhausted. As much as you may try to give your body the raw materials that it needs to produce energy, when there is systemic Candida overgrowth you never feel quite right.
This could mean:
- Constant infections and allergies
- Reoccurring skin disorders
- Brain fog
- Bloated belly and gas
- Joint pain
- Insatiable hunger
- Need for caffeine
- Constant low energy
How to Get Over Sugar Cravings in 3 Steps
Before tackling any nutrient deficiencies, always address Candida overgrowth first.
If you have Candida overgrowth, feeding the body the best foods possible can be like refilling a bucket that has a gaping hole. No matter how often you go for water—even the highest quality water—your bucket will always be dry. Unless you fix the leak.
Sometimes, removing all sweet foods from the diet is too shocking to handle. After a lifetime of eating sweets, we can be emotionally and biochemically addicted to sugary foods.
Go easy on yourself. In 2008, one study found that sugar affects opioids and dopamine in the brain. These are the same neurochemicals that are involved in heroin addiction. Addictive behaviors to sugar—like binging, withdrawal, and craving—are all related to neurochemical changes.
1. Introduce The Right Strains Of Beneficial Bacteria
Since good bacteria compete with Candida for space in the intestinal tract—in one study done on mice, the probiotic Saccharomyces boulardii was found to reduce levels of Candida—it is important to introduce the right strains of beneficial bacteria into your diet. For example, cultured vegetables and probiotic liquids include beneficial bacteria and saccharomyces boulardii.
2. Find other ways to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Once you are consuming fermented foods, find other ways to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Here at Body Ecology, we love using Liquid Stevia Concentrate, a sweetener made from the stevia leaf. Stevia is naturally 300 times sweeter than sugar—without all the noxious side effects. While your sugar cravings will drop as you incorporate more fermented foods into your diet, you can use stevia during those times when you would like to taste something sweet.
3. Focus on healing the gut.
As you add good foods to your diet, be sure and remove those foods that may irritate the lining of the gut. At Body Ecology, we recommend removing wheat gluten, milk casein, and sugar from the diet. We also recommend removing those foods that may be uniquely irritating to you.
Healing the lining of the gut may require additional support, like glutamine, found in some green powder products. Researchers have found that glutamine is the preferred fuel source for the small intestine. In fact, studies show that glutamine supports the regeneration and repair of intestinal cells.
Source: Hungry for Change