We Bet You Had No Idea What This Element Does To Your Brain!
Colorfully glazed doughnuts, hot and creamy sweetened latte drinks, the best variety of chocolates in the world – all these thoughts are enough to make one salivate. And not just desserts, our world is full of sweet and ‘sugary’ things – from ketchup to salad dressings to marinara sauce. And while we don’t need to tell you what sugar does to your weight, neuroscience experts believe it can do a lot to your brain.
Science says that the brain treats sugar as a rarity. What’s more, our bodies are programmed to like sweets as they’re a great source of energy. Haven’t we all noticed that we start forgetting the little stuff when we’re low on glucose or start looking for a place to curl up and nap? As such, it’s only natural to crave something sugary every once a while, right?
Yes, it’s true; but there’s a flip side to this warm and fuzzy story. If there is too much sugar in the body, it can set off really bad stuff in the brain. And don’t take our word for it, that’s what neuroscience experts say.
We know you want to find out more, so let’s begin.
What happens in the brain when you eat sugar?
When sugar hits the tongue’s taste buds, a signal is sent up to the cerebral cortex, releasing dopamine, thereby activating the body’s reward system. Dopamine is a feel-good hormone that inadvertently pushes you to eat more sugar (yum, I want some more).
In fact, not just sugar, dopamine is released whenever we eat something new. Why? Because it makes you pay attention in case you get sick.
Even so, sugar is the most unique of dopamine-releasing foods, because the hormone is released every single time you consume it. Thereafter, since the body’s dopamine levels don’t balance out, you keep eating more and more of sugary foods. Eventually, your brain adapts, and your cravings increase further.
This phenomenon has been proven by research on rats. According to a study, high sugar diets can cause less release of chemicals that help the body put breaks on the sweet intake, making it a lot more difficult to stop eating it. The same study also discovered that sugar-high rats were not too good with memory-related tasks, which suggested impairment in the hippocampus and prefrontal area (important areas for memory and retention) with increased sugar intake.
To cut a long story short…
There’s a strong connection between your gut and your brain, and that’s why you crave brownies and candies. However, more sugar in your system can land you in trouble.
Now you might be wondering if it’s possible to retrain your brain to crave less sugar. Well, surely it’s possible. Just start cutting back on artificial sweeteners, and your brain will start to readapt. You may try the 7-day detox plan. And afterwards, you can of course, celebrate your success with a tiny, reasonable sweet treat.
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