You’re doing so well with eating healthy—you’re munching on all the salads and drinking all the green juices. Then, that familiar 3pm slump hits and you find yourself hankering for something sweet. You tell yourself you’ll just have one cookie, or one slice of your co-worker’s birthday cake and that it won’t hurt. But before you know it, you’ve awoken the sweet tooth gremlins and are feverishly searching for your next fix.
Sound familiar? Yep, sugar cravings are a surefire way to derail an otherwise healthy diet. Because unlike foods like burger and pizza, sugary treats like cookie, cakes and lollies actually have literally zero nutritional value. Then there’s the fact that sugar is seriously addictive, stimulating the reward system of the brain much like a drug. So, once you enter the cycle of eating sugar, it can be hard to break out of it.
Of course, there are some people out there that can get away with getting the occasional sweet fix from a piece of fruit or row of chocolate. But for those of us with a serious sweet tooth, it’s important not to feed those sugar cravings. The good news is, by keeping these 7 herbal ingredients at hand, you can keep sugar cravings at bay before they strike. You may even already have some of them in your pantry!
7 natural ingredients that fight sugar cravings
Various studies have shown that the polyphenols in this naturally sweet spice can help ease sugar cravings by regulating your blood sugar levels. This can help minimise the insulin spikes that lead you to crave sugar. Try sprinkling some into a plain yoghurt, or over some sweet potato.
Unlike most of the other ingredients on this list, this native shrub found in the tropical forests of India doesn’t actually regulate your blood sugar. Instead, what it does is dull the taste of sweet things, making them less appetising. It’s a key ingredient in Krave Gone, a natural spray that helps control sugar cravings.
While you may not have heard of this herb, you’ve probably tasted it before—it’s often used in Indian and Middle Eastern cooking. According to studies, fenugreek has been known to regulate blood sugar and improve insulin levels.
Fruit herbal teas
This one isn’t an ingredient, per se, but it’s an effective way to stop yourself reaching into the cookie jar when sweet cravings strike. It’s also great if you’re someone who craves sugary beverages, like soft drinks or ‘soda.’ You can enjoy them hot, or a number of brands like Real Seal and Twinings do cold herbal infusions you can use to make your h20 taste delicious (it’s an awesome way to trick yourself into drinking more water, too!). Just make sure you opt for a brand that’s naturally sweet, with zero sugar.
This pantry staple is seriously underrated when it comes to fighting sugar cravings. In a study, cloves were found to significantly reduce the serum glucose levels of type 2 diabetics. Not only that, but they have powerful anti-inflammatory properties and are loaded with calcium, magnesium and vitamins C and K. They’re great for adding to curries, or for making in chai tea.
While vanilla ice-cream or cupcakes aren’t likely to do your sugar cravings any good, vanilla can work wonders in its natural form. The spice is commonly used in healthy baking as a natural sweetener that won’t spike your blood sugar, or you can also consume it in tea form (it’s a lovely addition to Rooibos!).
One of the most versatile adaptogenic herbs, ginseng has been used for centuries do everything from boost the immune system, reduce the risk of certain cancers, reduce stress and improve mental performance. Turns out, it’s also great for fighting sweet cravings, with various studies revealing it stabilises blood sugar levels.