Sugar is addictive. And, when we feel down, stressed, or, anxious, sugar is probably the first thing we reach for. It makes us feel good, instantly. But what goes up must come down, and the crash from sugar rushes are exhausting. As well as sugar crashes, sugar promotes ill-health. Sugar promotes inflammation, the largest cause of cancer, as well as cardiovascular problems and diabetes. Sugar makes you pile on the pounds due to sugar triggering insulin in the body, a response which stimulates fat cells to store more fat. And, by eating sugar regularly; you find yourself lost in a vicious circle of eating sugar, crashing from sugar, feeling tired, and then eating more sugar to make you feel good. Repeat.

So how do we quit the addiction? The key is having high protein, high fiber and high fat foods at every meal and in every snack. In every meal, try to aim to make a quarter of what you’re eating consist of quality proteins and fats. And, this should help stave off the cravings and, balance our bodies with nutrition. Here are eight plant-based foods to help replace sugary snacking. 

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1.  Cacao

Full of flavonoids and antioxidants that make your health boom, cacao releases endorphins which make you feel good without spiking your blood sugars. Cacao makes desserts or drinks both nutritious and scrumptious, snack on this Raw Cacao Avocado Mousse, Raw Cacao Milk and indulge in these Raw Superfood Energy Bars Made With Cacao.

2. Blueberries

Blueberries are so sweet and full of fiber, vitamins and minerals that look after your body. When you get one of those cravings for a quick, sugary snack, simply have a handful of blueberries in-between meals! For recipe ideas, check out these 25 recipes for blueberry lovers.

3. Hemp

Hemp is an incredible source of protein. Also, protein sends signals to the brain telling us to stop eating. Snacking on hemp or including hemp seeds or powders in our meals will make us feel fuller for longer, preventing us from snacking on sugar. Whip up this Creamy Hemp Pesto or satisfy your sugar cravings with these decadent Banana Hemp Seed Sushi Slices.

4. Cinnamon

Sugar is added to make bland-tasting foods less boring. Instead, spice up your coffee, smoothies, hot nut milk, or desserts with a sprinkle of cinnamon. A touch of cinnamon will excite your taste buds and help curb the craving for sugary foods. Munching on these Sweet Potato Pancakes with Cinnamon Maple Sage Butter at breakfast will help keep those sugar cravings at bay during the day!

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5. Almond Butter

The high level of protein and healthy fats in almond butter help maintain your blood sugar levels. A regulated level of blood sugar means that you’re less likely to have a sugar & energy crash!  Slice up an apple or dip raspberries into almond butter for a filling snack. Try this homemade almond butter.

6. Sweet Potato

By name, by nature; the sweet potato is made up of naturally occurring sugars which taste great! But, unlike refined sugars, the sugar in sweet potatoes is slowly released, so, there will be no sugar crash or heightened blood sugar levels which we experience with refined sugars! As well as their natural sweetness, they are rich in Vitamin C, A, magnesium and potassium; a recipe for energized wellness! You can use them in a wide range of recipes; enjoy a Sweet Potato Pie Smoothie, Sweet Potato + Kale Patties or a Spicy Sweet Potato Hummus.

7. Strawberries

Strawberries will engage all senses. They smell sweet and they taste sweet! Plus, they’re super easy to prepare. Strawberries are full of fiber which takes care of our digestive health + keeps us full, potent in Vitamin C and antioxidants which makes our skin glow! Take a read through these 25 Fresh + Juicy Strawberry Recipes.

8. Butternut Squash

Like sweet potato, butternut squash is naturally sweet. And, when you taste its sweetness, you feel like you’re indulging!  Butternut squash is packed with fiber, vitamins and minerals; a perfect combination for curbing sugar cravings! This Butternut Squash, Portobello + Spinach Casserole and this Rigatoni with Roasted Garlic Butternut Squash Sauce are offer comforting tastes and textures!

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Image source: angeloangelo/ Flickr

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