Treats May Be Bad for Mental Well-being

If you are anything like us, you are still surrounded by the remnants of the holidays. It can be hard to dig out from the detritus of holiday cheer. There’s gift wrap still hanging around, tons of dishes and quite a lot of treats leftover. Here at Neuliven Health, we have made a lot of New Year’s resolutions for better health: working out, eating better, working on strengthening our relationships and better mental well-being. Feeling great mentally in your everyday life helps motivate you toward your other goals.

In the name of health, we are clearing the decks and getting back on track after the holidays — starting with the sugary leftovers. New research from the Univ. of Kansas says that, in addition to being bad for our weight goals and heart health, sugar is terrible for mental well-being as well. According to their research, “sugar can trigger metabolic, inflammatory and neurobiological processes tied to depressive illness.”

When we consume sweets, they act like a drug,” said Stephen Ilardi, KU associate professor of clinical psychology. “They have an immediate mood-elevating effect, but in high doses they can also have a paradoxical, pernicious longer-term consequence of making mood worse, reducing well-being, elevating inflammation and causing weight gain.”

Prof. Ilardi continued, explaining, “Parasitic microbes [found in the brain] thrive on added sugars, and they can produce chemicals that push the brain in a state of anxiety and stress and depression. They’re also highly inflammatory.”

Avoiding sugar can help people who suffer from seasonal depression lessen symptoms and help people who don’t suffer from the condition stay positive and healthy. Cookies may be comforting when you enjoy one, but eating too many can leave you suffering — much like wine. In that way, sugar is similar to drugs.

While we like holiday sweets, it’s time to swear them off. If you’re aiming to lose weight or just be healthier, sugar can be a severe stumbling block. Sugar is also like a drug in that it’s addictive because of the feel-good chemicals it releases. Experts have gone so far as to suggest it might be as addictive as cocaine.

Addiction is a strong word,” says Dr. Alan Greene, an expert in children’s health and wellness. “So, I’m serious when I say that evidence is mounting that too much added sugar could lead to true addiction.”

Much like drugs, the rushes from dopamine can tell your brain to eat more sugar. And, as time progresses, your brain feels the impact less and, so, demands more.

Join us in throwing the leftover cookies away. We want 2020 to be a healthy year for all of us. If you are craving sweets, take a look at the blog for our sister supplement, Glucocil. There, we share recipes every week, and we feature lots of sweet treats that are low in sugar and carbs!
January 02, 2020

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