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Nourishment

What Causes Your Body to Desire Sugar?

Credit: Unsplash
It’s sugary, it’s invigorating, and your body frequently craves more of it.

Similar to numerous individuals belonging to the millennial generation, I have consumed a somewhat concerning quantity of sugar throughout my life. We were not fully aware of the extent of sweeteners present in all the breakfast cereals and sodas we devoured during our younger years. This is the reason why many of us, even as adults, still have seemingly unyielding sugar urges. However, what you may not realize is that the ingrained habit from one’s childhood isn’t the sole reason for the constant craving for sugary treats (although it does play a significant role).

Your brain, apart from being fueled by electrical impulses from your nervous system, is also steered by a intricate network of chemical receptors. Consuming sugar and sweeteners sends empowering substances up to your brain, which is why individuals with sugar sensitivities experience bursts of happiness and hyperactivity, albeit temporarily until the sugar is digested. When specific chemicals are deficient, your brain seeks sugar to compensate, even if only momentarily.

Credit: Unsplash

One instance of a critical substance is serotonin. Serotonin is a compound that regulates mood; individuals with lower serotonin levels tend to experience depression and anxiety more frequently. When feeling down, a desire for something sweet arises because your brain seeks the serotonin boost from sugar. Another example is ghrelin, a hormone that aids your brain in managing hunger cues. A diet lacking balance results in decreased ghrelin production, making it challenging for your body to discern between hunger and satisfaction, leading to excessive snacking.

There exists an array of explanations why your brain may yearn for sugar, but the key is to maintain moderation in your consumption. A bit of sugar now and then isn’t harmful; sugar is enjoyable, and it’s alright to indulge occasionally. However, refraining from developing a habit is essential to prevent altering your body chemistry.

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