Many people have a sweet tooth…including me! It doesn’t mean you are bad or weak. It’s just an issue of preference. Different people crave different things… The matter boils down to your choices and the quantities you consume.
Actually, desserts can be good for you, not only for your body but for your mind. I’m not talking about consuming shakes from McDonalds or highly processed products full with high fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners, toxic coloring food dyes or trans-fats. I’m referring to desserts that contain healthy ingredients (fruits, coconut milk, cacao, coconut oil, raw honey, raw nut butters, or clean dairy ingredients) that are organic and provide antioxidants, vitamins, protein or calcium. But no worries, if you eat a highly processed dessert once in a while, it’s not really going to affect you. It’s the regular consumption of unhealthy ingredients that’s problematic.
Advantages of Desserts
Contrary to popular belief, desserts can offer various benefits:
- Improve Your Mood: Desserts can lift your mood, bringing feelings of well-being. These can contain ingredients that improve your serotonin (compound that acts as a neurotransmitter and it’s involved in mood regulation and sleep, among other things) levels. Foods rich in vitamin B complex (whole grains, bananas, dairy products, eggs, mushroom, chicken, etc.), rich in essential fatty acids (flaxseeds, walnuts, salmon, kale, etc.), rich in L-Theanine (green tea, chicken, brown rice), and foods rich in magnesium (dark chocolate, cashews, almonds, peanut butter, avocados, carrots, black beans, etc.) help elevate serotonin. A serotonin-rich diet can help fight depression, anxiety, and sleep disturbances.
- Help Keep You Stay on Track: Most people who have cravings for sweets and get in a strict weight loss program feel deprived. After dieting for a while, they revert back to their norm and binge, sabotaging their fitness goals. If you incorporate healthy sweets into a healthy balanced diet and exercise routine, there is no need to “cheat” because they are already part of your regimen.
- Increase Your Fruit and Veggie Intake: If you don’t consume enough fruits and veggies in your diet, desserts that incorporate fruits and veggies (carrots, avocados, zucchini, sweet potato, pumpkin) can offer an opportunity to increase your antioxidant and fiber intake.
- Increase Energy Levels: Simple carbs enter the bloodstream faster. When glucose enters your blood, insulin is released, which transports glucose into cells is used to generate energy. Keep in mind that overconsumption of simple carbs -just like with any other macronutrient- will lead to fat storage. Sweet compounds provide you with a direct dose of energy.
- Lower Your Blood Pressure: There are foods that help maintain a healthy blood pressure. White beans, yogurt, fruits, red peppers, sweet potatoes, quinoa, avocados, flax seeds, cocoa, and pistachios are some examples. So making desserts containing these food can be an asset.
- Increase Your protein Intake: You can make smoothies, desserts, or ice cream by using a clean protein powder and mixing it with frozen fruit, coconut water or milk. You’ll be surprise of how delicious these can be! I use Nutrition 53 which has digestive enzymes, a fruit/veggie blend, coffee bean extract, and lots of delectable choices!
There are many ways of eating healthy desserts. It’s just a matter of being creative. Yet, keep in mind that the overconsumption of carbs -just like with any other macronutrient- will lead to fat storage.
It’s not only about the choices you make but the amount of food you consume!!
Guilt Free Desserts
To a Fitter Healthier You,
The Fitness Wellness Mentor