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If you have wondered why you crave sugary treats and often find yourself with quite the sweet tooth, the answer is quite simple: sugar is addictive. But with TICM, we can look at this issue a little differently. In TICM, the flavour of sweet corresponds to our Spleen and Stomach, the organs responsible for our digestion. When we crave a certain flavour like bitter, salty, sour, spicy, etc we know that it is a message directly from our organ system needing some TLC. So if you constantly crave something sweet, it may be because your meals are not satisfying you as they can be lacking in fibre, complex carbohydrates and proteins, and the Qi (energy) of the Spleen is low or deficient. Sugar is a tricky flavour however, because though its flavour is sweet, it is also highly addicting. Sugar activates the opiate receptors in our brain and affects the reward centre, which leads to compulsive behaviour, despite the negative consequences like weight gain, headaches, hormone imbalances, candida, thrush and more. The sweet essence that nourishes our body and what the Spleen/Stomach crave is the sweetness that naturally occurs in root vegetables like carrots, sweet potatoes, squashes; whole grains, legumes and even proteins like poultry or wild fish. Processed sugar, however, further depletes Spleen energy, and is not what we aim for when we think of sweet. Often, magnesium deficiency is present in someone who craves sweets because magnesium regulates glucose and insulin levels, as well as the neurotransmitter dopamine. A deficiency will cause intense sugar cravings, especially for chocolate.

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