The Truth About Sugar & Depression: What’s The Connection?
We’ve all been told that sugar is bad for us. The issue seems to be that we 1) aren’t really taught just how bad it is for us and 2) we don’t realize that it is very addictive. In fact, it’s been compared to opioids in the depths of the addiction and withdrawal that we face when trying to give it up. Sugar is like quicksand that slowly starves your body but keeps dragging you back into its clutches.
Put down the brownie and read this article as we teach you what sugar does to your body, how it creates pain and feeds sickness in your body, and keeps you caught in a cycle of addiction and poor health. It may even be hereditary.
What is sugar?
Sugar is a refined carbohydrate. This means that it hits your bloodstream quickly, causing your body to go into overdrive to metabolize all the sugar. All carbohydrates cause a similar reaction in your body. Carbohydrates include cakes, crackers, sugary snacks and so forth, but they also include fruits and vegetables, which we are told are good for us. Confused? Don’t feel bad, many people are. Fruits and vegetables are complex carbohydrates because they also contain natural fiber and digest more slowly. Refined carbs, like cakes, biscuits, and sugary items, metabolize rapidly and hit your bloodstream like a blowtorch.
Sugar has been found to stimulate the pleasure centers of the brain, making it even more addictive than cocaine. Therefore, when you eat these cookies, cake, and candies, you are left wanting more. It turns into cravings that subtly stimulate you to go make impulse purchases. Drinking coffee and finding yourself wanting a donut? These are sugar cravings. Some people are more susceptible to them. There’s a fair amount of research that points to having more propensity to this addiction if your mother also had a sweet tooth, as they say.
Sugar feeds inflammation in the body – inflammation is linked to depression
Many health issues are linked to chronic inflammation. These issues include asthma, cancer, metabolic disorder (often a precursor to type two diabetes) and is linked to chronic depression as well. Chronic depression can include issues with sleep patterns, a loss of appetite or even overeating, and a very heightened perception of pain that leaves you feeling sore all over at times. Depression does cause physical symptoms and those who suffer from it know this all too well.
Doctors are beginning to see depression as less of a condition and more of a sign of other issues, such as underlying chronic inflammation. In fact, doctors have found that inflammation is so directly related to depression, that they’ve begun treating it with insulin. Many patients have had a remarkable change, improved moods and depression and feel better physically, after just 12 weeks of being treated with insulin. The biggest issue with this type of therapy is that it isn’t often affordable to all patients. Those who are under-insured or without any insurance simply cannot afford insulin. This leaves people looking for other options to treat their body for chronic inflammation, in order to relieve their symptoms of depression.
Natural alternatives to help
Many things are known to help with inflammation in the body. Turmeric, for one, has been used to help with the pain of arthritis, as well as gastrointestinal inflammation for many generations, going back to the early days of civilization. Green tea is full of antioxidants that are known to help fight inflammation and bring relief to physical pain. Many people have learned of the healing properties of green teas, thanks to the herbal traditions of Chinese medicine.
Capsaicin is a product that is wonderful to help with inflammation naturally. It’s even included in modern-day body ache gels and pastes that you can rub directly on that help incredibly with arthritis. You can eat red chili peppers that have capsaicin in them and naturally feed your inflammation away. Black pepper is said to also help lower inflammation in the body and you can easily add this to your diet. Bromelain in pineapple is another natural food that you can consume that helps with pain and inflammation.
Last, but certainly not least, cannabis has shown immense ability to help fight inflammation and also beat addictions. It has been used to help some people give up addiction to cocaine, improve appetite and moods, and fight the inflammation in your body by going straight to the source, at a cellular level. Resveratrol is a naturally occurring chemical in grapes and other foods. It can also help reduce your chronic inflammation, resulting in a reduction in depression. Some people find that by changing their diet to eating less sugar and more of the listed types of foods and spices, they can begin to naturally improve their depression by treating the underlying inflammation that is the ultimate cause of your depression.
You will have some withdrawals when you give up refined sugars and starches, which make up refined carbohydrates. As you move away from this diet to one of natural whole foods that help you become healthy, it’s important to make changes gradually and understand that the cravings will become worse as you try to leave these foods behind.
That’s your brain telling you that it wants that pleasure again; that high that you were experiencing when eating sugars and carbs in the form of cakes and goodies. These cravings can be tamed with cannabis, either in the form of CBD or medical marijuana. Choose what works best for you in your current situation and know that there is a way to feel better. Don’t give up on yourself. Make some changes and learn what others before you have discovered. You can eat yourself healthy.
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