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The Sugar Rush of Anxiety: 3 Foods to Avoid It

The Sugar Rush of Anxiety: 3 Foods to Avoid It
Kevin Cleary

We all know that sugar can be bad for us, but did you realize that it can affect your mental health also? Sugar affects us physically and causes us to constantly diet to lose weight or even deal with the effects of diabetes among other negative effects. These physical effects of a sweet tooth can have long-lasting damaging results on our body and health and are well studied and understood, but it is the effect on our mental health that is not as widely known to the public. HPFY can introduce 3 alternative foods to help you overcome your sweet tooth.

What are the Effect of Suger Rush?

Every one of us has been told by our doctors, parents, or friends about the negative effects of too much sugar in our diets. Unfortunately, even with this knowledge approximately 75% of Americans still eat too much sugar. To be fair, sugar is just about everywhere in our foods. It’s even in places you would not think it would be. Some negative effects of sugar are:

  • Sugar highs and lows: After a sugar rush, there is the inevitable crash. It is this roller coaster ride that can lead to feelings of nervousness, irritability, the jitters, and fogginess.
  • Increase anxiety: While sugar may not cause your anxiety, the sugar crash can make you feel shaky, irritable, and tense. As you can imagine, this will not help those who suffer from anxiety and could make symptoms worse.
  • Increased chance of depression: For those susceptible to depression, food can be a form of self medication and sugary treats could be the worst of all. Over indulging in sugar can lead to imbalances in certain brain chemicals.
  • Withdrawal: Sugar and the withdrawal from it can really impact those who are susceptible to panic attacks. Anxiety, irritability, and fatigue can all be symptoms of withdrawal.
  • Minimize brainpower: Sugary beverages such as soda can hamper brain function, which can hinder memory and learning. High amounts of fructose in these beverages can harm the brain!!

The enticement of sugar is powerful (and sometimes tasty), but its effects to our physical and mental well-being are bad, if not dangerous. While eliminating sugar from our diet may seem nearly impossible, is there a way to get our sugar fix without the need for sugar itself? The answer to this question may actually be yes.

How to avoid Sugar Rush of Anxiety?

Ok, we know that the sugar in our diet is bad for our bodies and our mental health. So what do we do about it? Well, when the urge to reach for a sugary treat becomes overwhelming try to substitute these three options to squash your sugar cravings. These can include:

  1. Smoothie: You control the ingredients, so make sure to choose healthy options such as low fat vanilla yogurt, fresh fruits, and protein powders. Be sure to have a good balance of nutrients and avoid processed sugars.
  2. Dark Chocolate Strawberries: It may seem counterproductive, but dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa contains polyphenols and flavonoids which can protect your body against the effects of free radicals. You can even substitute other fresh fruits for a healthier, sweet snack. Who knew, tasty and good for you!!
  3. Oven Roasted Sweet Potatoes: Sweet potatoes are a great source of fiber and phytonutrients. This healthier option only takes roughly 20-25 minutes to bake. You can flavor the sweet potatoes with everything from salt/pepper to miso paste.
Nutiva Organic Hi-Fiber Hemp Protein Powder
Nutiva Organic Hi-Fiber Hemp Protein Powder

Processed sugar can be our enemy, both for our body and minds. It is a well-known fact that sugar can negatively affect our bodies, but now we realize the negative effects it has on our mental health. By replacing sugary sweets with alternative, healthier options we can not only stay healthier physically but also mentally.

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HPFY Kevin Cleary

Kevin Cleary

Kevin Cleary has been a Health Products For You contributor for many years and has a degree in marketing. His health and wellness journey has a very personal meaning and has guided him in his content writing for HPFY.

In 2006, ...

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