Getting through Easter without the sugar!
Sugar has been confirmed to be the public number one enemy, the truth is; processed sugar does not contain any health benefits. It lacks fibre, minerals, proteins, enzymes, fats or anything that your children’s body needs for healthy development. All it contributes to the body are empty calories and a cranky child.
Because processed sugar does little good or none at all for the body, consumption of sugar may effect the ability of your child’s immune system to fight cold and flu, and is known to cause inflammation and encourages the growth of bad bacteria which can cause a lot of health issues.
Immediately following sugar intake, children feel a sense of enjoyment and hyperactivity as their dopamine and serotonin levels are elevated. They will be bubbly, happy and full of energy. However, what goes up must come down. Following a sugar spike insulin is released to stabilise blood sugar levels. This leads to a rebound low blood sugar level with rebound low neurotransmitter levels and feelings of fatigue, poor concentration, memory and focus, weakness and sugar cravings.
How to avoid the sugar rush this Easter
Ensure the tiny humans in your life are eating a whole foods diet. Make buckwheat pancakes in the shape of a bunny, eggs & toast or homemade chocolate bliss balls full of healthy fats, protein and antioxidants. Try to include the following:
- Fibre: It acts as a bulking agent slowing down glucose absorption. Some foods naturally have higher amounts of fibre – (eg. beans and legumes). It is therefore better to eat whole foods such as brown rice and wholegrain breads rather than their white, refined alternatives. It also means that whole fruit with its higher fibre content is better than juice.
- Protein: Protein will lower the GI of a meal by slowing down digestion and gastric emptying time. Protein also has a higher satiety level meaning you will be kept satisfied for longer. Always include protein with each meal and snack
- Fat: Fat also reduces gastric emptying time and as a result slows down the absorption of glucose from the meal. It is essential to consume the right kind of fats from raw nuts and seeds, fish, avocado and cold pressed oils.
- The Easter Bunny doesn’t have to bring a whole heap of chocolate. The Easter bunny in out house always brings new winter PJ’s and a little Ester themed treat.
- Try making healthy homemade chocolate treats with raw cacao.
-BENEFITS OF CACAO
Cacao contains several important nutrients including vitamins A, C, and E, along with magnesium, calcium, iron, manganese, potassium and zinc. It has been discovered that raw cocoa has more antioxidants than any other food.
Cacao is a great source of four scientifically proven bliss chemicals – serotonin, dopamine, anandamide and phenylethylamine. These neurotransmitters are associated with cosy feelings of wellbeing, happiness, and can even alleviate depression. A natural, healthy, delicious (and legal) way to get your happy buzz on.
For more delicious healthy kids recipes visit www.nutritionbyginarose.com
Gina is a clinical nutritionist based in Mums & Bubs Clinic in Nundah. Gina has a special interest in infant nutrition, natural fertility, preconception care planning and hormone analysis. Gina is available for appointments if you would like individualised recommendations.
BHSc Nutritional Medicine