Brain Fog, Irritation and Grumpiness: Perhaps it’s your Sweet Tooth

Have you ever woken up in the morning feeling positively grumpy, out-of-sorts and “fuzzy-minded” for no apparent reason?  It happened to me this morning but the “no apparent reason” was a five-letter word – SUGAR.  It doesn’t take much of the sweet stuff for me to OD. Dessert two times in a row (it was my birthday after all), followed by a piece of extremely sweet key lime pie last night.

Aside from raising insulin levels, depressing the immune system and causing triglycerides to rise, sugar has been observed to cause mood swings, contribute to depression and anxiety, and cause mineral imbalances. For these and numerous other reasons, it’s a good idea to limit your sugar intake. An excellent substitute is stevia.

Stevia is an herb with extraordinary sweetening power.  It has a mild licorice-like taste and is actually many times sweeter than white sugar.  Unlike other sweetening agents, stevia is completely calorie-free, never initiates a rise in blood sugar, contains no chemicals or artificial ingredients, is completely nontoxic, can be used in baking and actually inhibits the formation of cavities and tooth plaque.  Although it’s a plant indigenous to South America, stevia has been used by cultures all over the world for hundreds of years.  It’s especially popular in countries like Korea and Japan, where people are very cautious about the use of artificial sweeteners.

In his book Natural Health, Natural Medicine: The Complete Guide to Wellness and Self-Care for Optimum Health Andrew Weil, M.D., advises people to avoid the use of artificial sweeteners which he regards as more hazardous than food preservatives.  Anne Louise Gittleman shares a similar perspective in Super Nutrition for Women (Revised Edition).  Both books describe numerous health problems that many researchers believe are associated with artificial sweeteners, including headaches, dizziness, seizures, allergies and even cancer.

My favorite book on tips to reduce your sugar intake is Anne Louise Gittleman’s Get the Sugar Out, Revised and Updated 2nd Edition: 501 Simple Ways to Cut the Sugar Out of Any Diet. For example: chew on a cinnamon stick to help curb your sweet tooth.

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