Feeding Your Sweet Tooth, Sugar Free!
We all know that sugar- like most things- in excess can hurt the body. But did you know that sugar, even in smaller quantities, can still affect the body adversely? If you've been dealing with fatigue, restlessness, or simply "feel a cold coming on," read on for some reasons you may want to avoid sugars for a while.
Sugars in your system naturally do not allow the calcium we consume through food to be used the way it is supposed to. We know that calcium is incredibly important for bone health, but it also builds your immune system and is important for muscular health. Calcium helps the body's muscles to contract properly. When we consume sugars, the body isn't able to use the calcium we eat to the fullest and we become fatigued. We can't seem to calm down at night after sugar intake because calcium helps to relax our muscles, making it harder for us to fall asleep. There is a healthy balance of calcium usage in the body and if we have too much calcium in our blood, then our intestines will not absorb it from the food we just ate. Even though we may NEED this calcium in our bones and muscles, your body will simply not use it. To much calcium in your blood is a result of, you guessed it, eating too much sugar. Just because there is too much calcium in your blood, does not mean you have enough calcium throughout the rest of your body.
Interestingly enough, immune challenges also feed off of sugar, which are viruses, bacteria, etc. If you're fighting off a cold or infection, avoiding sugar will help your body overcome the illness by weakening the pathogens and hampering their reproduction.
Avoiding sugary foods and replacing them with natural sugars or replacements is easy! Rather than sugar in your coffee or tea, try Stevia or honey. Try searching the Internet for recipes that use honey or even maple syrup as natural sugar replacements.
If you're looking for a quick fix, try Quest bars made with Stevia, and avoid aspartame. If you're a chocolate lover, try Lilly's chocolates, also made with Stevia and available at your local supermarket. Homemade ice cream made with Stevia or honey is a great alternative to processed desserts, and a fruit smoothie or protein shake is a great on-the-go pick me up that won't leave you fighting a sugar low later!