I adore herbs and spices of almost any kind, and there are many wonderful herbs and spices out there that can actually help curb a sweet tooth if you have a huge one like I do! I used to live off refined sugars, artificial sweeteners, breads, and anything sweet you can think of. When I gave sugar up for good, I discovered just how many wonderful natural foods out there actually have a sweet taste without any sugar at all. I like to use these herbs and spices in almost everything I eat each day in some form or another. I don’t necessarily use them all at one time, but experiment and find fun combinations to try. Each of these have been proven to have a positive effect on your blood sugar, digestion, and many other benefits you might not know about until now. If you’re looking to curb a sweet tooth the right way, just open your spice cabinet and go to it!
Cinnamon is by far, one of the most popular spices that can help curb a sweet tooth almost instantly. It has a natural sweet taste to begin with, but it is also proven to lower the glycemic index of other foods when eaten with them. Cinnamon is also recommended for diabetics for this very reasons. It is wonderful to lower insulin levels in the bloodstream. Add in some to your yogurt, smoothies, coffee, tea, oatmeal, quinoa, on eggs, sprinkle it on some raw carrots, and put it on veggies like sweet potatoes, and winter squash.
Fenugreek is a less popular spice, but one I hope you’ll embrace quite quickly. Fenugreek smells like burnt vanilla maple sugar, and if I didn’t love the sweet, maple taste so much, I would be smelling it all day instead of eating it! Fenugreek is used as a natural way to curb a sweet tooth, and has been linked to lower blood sugar levels when used on a regular basis. It is a pretty pale green color and you can find it at almost any health food store like Whole Foods, or online. It also helps with PMS by balancing out estrogen in the body as well. Sprinkle it on anywhere you would use cinnamon, since it complements many of the same foods.
Oh, how I adore cardamom! I love cardamom so much because it tastes really sweet and so light, unlike cinnamon which tastes more spicy than sweet. Cardamom has this unique smell to it that just can’t be described. It reminds me of a lemony vanilla smell, and it truly is delicious. I put it in smoothies, yogurt, oats, homemade raw puddings, in energy bars and bites I make, and in hot tea and cocoa. Try it and I have a feeling you’ll become a quick fan too!
I associate nutmeg with pumpkin pie, what about you? Nutmeg is extremely great for your whole body. It is a natural serotonin booster, so it can enhance your mood and leave you craving less carbs to get a serotonin boost. It also reminds us of comfort, like the smell of pumpkin pie that contains nutmeg. Nutmeg can also help your digestive system and fight bad bacteria in the body as well. It has a sweet, peppery tastes that goes great anywhere you use cinnamon. Just don’t use too much, since it is very, very powerful! It makes a great combination with anything chocolate and vanilla flavored.
Ginger is a rock star spice that I hope you’re already using. If not, let me share with you how it can curb your sweet tooth fast. Ginger doesn’t taste sweet, but instead very strong and spicy, yet it has sweet undertones that work well with spices like cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom that are naturally sweet tasting. Ginger has an anti-inflammatory effect on the body, and it helps with digestion. It can also help lower your blood sugar and enhance your mental focus. Carbs can make you spacey, sleepy and just make you crave sugar all over again. Ginger wakes you up and rejuvenates your whole body, so you won’t need to turn to sugar for that sense of alertness. Ginger is great when added to hot tea, in anything sweet or savory, and honestly, I’ve never had a better smoothie than one I’ve had with some fresh ginger included.
Cloves naturally smell sweet, and have a depth to them that helps curb your sweet tooth. They also have anti-parasitic effects on the body, helping to keep away bad bacteria and yeasts that worsen your sweet tooth since these yeasts feed off sugar, making you crave it more. Cloves are also higher in antioxidants than blueberries in just 1/8 tsp. of cloves! Use ground for the easiest form, and like nutmeg, a little goes a long way so use very, very sparingly. You can use them anywhere you want to add a touch of sweetness, or that comforting taste you crave. Many people even cook meat and fish with them, so experiment and see how it works for you.
Cayenne does not taste sweet, yet has been proven to curb appetite, and a sweet tooth. Because it is so intense, the tongue is satisfied very quickly, and you won’t crave sugar as quickly when you eat cayenne. Cayenne pepper also cleanses the blood, the digestive tract and can even alleviate a mild headache. It is also an anti-inflammatory agent since it neutralizes pain in nerve endings, much like caffeine does. I like to use cayenne in my hot tea each morning with lemon and it truly does help to curb that sweet tooth many of us have early on in the day.
I adore mint! Spearmint and peppermint are my two must-haves at all times in my kitchen. I love them so much, because not only do they taste sweet, but they also smell sweet. Mint has been proven to lower the need to consume sugar, and can help halt the appetite very quickly. It has been linked to relieving headaches, stress, anxiety, constipation, digestive distress such as gas and bloating, and best of all, sugar cravings! I love to combine cocoa powder and mint leaves in my smoothies for a chocolate mint treat, plus I love to drink mint tea and use peppermint extract with some cocoa in my coffee to make my own version of a Starbucks Skinny Peppermint Mocha at home. Try having mint and experiment with what tastes work for you. Fresh mint is the best, but the dried tea leaves in tea bags are also great. If I don’t use the tea bag to drink with, I just tear it open and sprinkle a little mint in a shake or smoothie.
Lastly, the most popular herb known to taste incredibly sweet like sugar, yet still curb a sweet tooth is the almighty stevia leaf! There’s a lot of confrontational talk over stevia, but I like it. For one, it’s not artificial, actually comes from a real plant and is a real herb. It also has no calories and if you buy it from the right brand, it has no fillers. I buy Now Foods Organic Better Stevia pure white stevia powder, which has nothing added at all. I also like NuNaturals liquid stevia, as well as green leaf stevia by Frontiers Natural brand, which is even less processed. Stevia lowers the glycemic index in the body, and curbs the need for sweets. It also has digestive benefits as well. If you can find the actual whole herb, feel free to use it too! It is a lovely green plant that has small white flowers.
If you have a crazy powerful sweet tooth, just try adding any of my 9 favorite herbs and spices to use to curb a sweet tooth the healthy way. Diet products and all artificial sweeteners just make you crave sugar more. Don’t turn to those, and turn to nature instead! What’s your favorite herb or spice to use?