Are you part of the generation that has forgotten the age-old hobby of reading and moved on to video games and social media for entertainment? You might want to rethink that choice because reading is making a come back, especially after recent studies have found that reading may help the brain focus on something else other than those sugary cravings.
Disadvantages of Having Too Much Sugar
Sugar is a sneaky substance and can get into your system through various sources. For instance, be wary of an energy bar that claims to be healthy because it can be loaded with sugar.
Some of the main disadvantages of high sugar intake include:
Sugar is the major source of glucose, which provides the body with essential energy, and can get stored as fat around the waist, muscles and the liver if not used immediately.
Sugary foods can make you feel satisfied instantly, but the feeling of satiety does not last for long. Just like some drugs, sugar is known to stimulate the “reward path” of the brain, leading to constant cravings.
Dips in energy levels:
You might be familiar with a sugar rush, but did you know that it can do the opposite too? The dip in energy happens because as soon as we consume sugar, insulin helps transport the glucose to the cells, as energy. Once the cells burn this energy, the sugar high drops low, leading to more cravings.
Sugar can damage collagen, the protein present in the skin, and could lead to the appearance of wrinkles. Apart from this, sugar can also lead to an imbalance in female hormones and destroy the friendly bacteria in the gut. This could lead to the weakening of the body’s immune system and the development of skin problems like eczema.
A diet high in sugar, especially before bedtime, can lead to insomnia. The rush caused by the sugar diverts the body’s focus from resting to being awake.
Benefits of Reading
Did you know that reading is considered a form of meditation? While other activities like watching the television or scrolling through our social media profiles do not need complete attention and allow multi-tasking, reading is one task that calls for complete concentration. And it is this attribute that links it to the benefits of meditation.
Studies show that reading for 20 minutes is considered equivalent to a 20-minute session of meditation, and we are all familiar with the benefits associated with meditation. Meditation is said to, among other benefits, enhance immunity, increase the feeling of empathy and reduce inflammation.
Apart from miming the benefits of meditation, reading can also impact the functioning of the body’s neurological network. One of the major benefits seen is the ability to reduce sugar cravings.
While sugar can induce an addiction, reading can help the brain focus more on creating empathy and understanding that the body is not benefiting from so much sugar. Once the brain focuses away from the “reward pathway” of the brain, it can weaken these pathways, thus reducing the cravings and allowing the brain to focus on more important things.
Regardless of whether you pick up a book or choose to go digital, remember that while reading can help increase your knowledge-base, provide a getaway from the world and improve your mood, it can also help reduce sugar cravings to help overall health.
March, B. (2017, October 13). 7 Signs you’re eating too much sugar. Retrieved from https://www.harpersbazaar.com/uk/beauty/fitness-wellbeing/a44139/effects-of-too-much-sugar/
Moody, L. (2018, May 28). Reading Books Can Make You Crave Sugar Less (Yes, It’s Real Science. Here’s The Deal). Retrieved from https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/health-benefits-of-reading