Did you find yourself or your children particularly burnt out yesterday? Feeling sluggish and drained? You, my friend, most likely have a sugar hangover from all that Halloween candy. How did you get there? Well, when you eat sugary foods your body turns that sugar into glucose, so your pancreas makes insulin to deal with the influx of glucose. What happens next? The crash…after your body has used up all that sugar, your blood sugar levels drop dramatically. This triggers the release of stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol, raising your heart rate, clenching your stomach in anticipation of an attack (your body goes into fight or flight mode). This leaves you feeling shaky, and nauseous once your body realizes there is no danger to respond to. You have put your body through quite the trip.
How do you cure the horrible feelings of a sugar hangover?
- Get re-hydrated; sugar robs your body of water, so you need to replenish. Add a little lemon to your water to help alkalize your body. You should be drinking 2-3 litres daily. But if you’re way behind, work your way up to that.
- Boost your immunity; your immune system is on standby during a sugar influx. According to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers found that your white blood cell count was reduced for up to five hours after eating 100g of sugar. This means after a high consumption of sugar you are more susceptible to sickness and disease. So how do you fix it? Increase your intake of natural immune boosters (ie. garlic, onions, ginger, spinach, plain yogurt, turmeric).
- Increase fibre; get it out! Help your body sugar-detox by increasing your intake of hearty fibres (spinach, kale, collards, arugula, beans, quinoa, lentils). This cleans your body of all that dirty sugar by literally pushing it out; almost all of us could use more fibre in our diet. Studies show a diet high in good quality fibre (not brown bread!) prevents colorectal cancer, heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Remember this next time you have a big sugar craving; the aftermath of a sugar high is bad for your health!