(NaturalNews) Refined sugar, which has been found to be four times as addictive as cocaine and as addictive as heroin, has wormed its way into virtually all of the processed foods that make up most of the calories Americans consume. Little wonder, then, that so many are dependent on this dangerous substance just to make it through the day. To manage daily cravings and blood sugar swings and reduce addiction long-term, add these health-promoting cures to your wellness arsenal.
The micromineral chromium, a major player in the regulation of blood sugar, has been depleted from American soils for over 100 years. The result: a population 90 percent deficient in the mineral with uncontrollable carb cravings. Taking 800-1,000 micrograms per day of chromium stabilizes both high and low blood sugar, promotes fat burning and improves cholesterol levels.
The brain consumes 20 percent or more of your daily glucose intake, but when glucose is scarce, its emergency fuel, glutamine, keeps your marbles together. When blood sugar levels drop low enough to trigger cravings, taking a teaspoon of glutamine powder usually silences the inner sugar addict.
Antioxidant-rich cinnamon has been shown to have many beneficial effects on health: eating as little as half a teaspoon a day can reduce blood sugar levels by 24 percent and cholesterol by 18 percent in diabetics. Cinnamon also positively impacts digestion and blood circulation, reduces inflammation and relieves muscular pain.
Derived from a plant native to South America, stevia has been used to slake cravings for over 400 years. This non-caloric, non-glycemic sweetener is over 200 times more saccharine than white sugar, yet has specific properties that combat diabetes: stevia increases function of the pancreas and may even promote greater production of insulin.
Acidic foods like vinegar drastically slow the rate at which the stomach empties food into the small intestine, leading to a gentler rise in blood sugar. Eating four teaspoons of lemon juice with a meal, for example, will lower the glycemic load of the food by as much as 30 percent.
Found to cause outright aversion to sweetened foods, particularly in those who typically eat a high-carb diet, avocado extract has helped many people shed unneeded weight from taking two tablets one to three times per day. Part of the slimming action of the substance is in its suppression of high insulin levels, present in the 75 million Americans with metabolic syndrome (who are also typically overweight). Since insulin promotes fat storage, normalized insulin levels make weight loss an easier endeavor.
Exercise improves cells' sensitivity to insulin, a key factor in reversing metabolic syndrome. Physical activity is also an ace-in-the-hole for both appetite control and mood: release of serotonin and endorphins gives you a sugar-free high, while the natural appetite-suppressing effect of working out can last for up to six hours.