Our bodies produce thousands of chemicals that control impulses necessary for everyday function and sensory navigation. Endorphins, a multi-functional chemical, are emitted to counteract and deal with sensations by transmitting electrical impulses through the body to the nervous system. One of their duties is to help combat pain, much in the same way as morphine or codeine does. Endorphins are also responsible for producing the euphoric feeling one usually experiences after sex, or after an intense work out (often referred to as “runners-high”). Rigorous work outs not only keep us in shape, but also decrease our stress level due to the endorphins released into the body during the exercise. Other ways to trigger the release of these hormones is through the practice of meditation, acupuncture, and massage therapy.
Food and Endorphins
Certain foods have a direct effect on one’s mood. Like exercise and meditation, food such as cookies, cake, chocolate, candy (known as pleasure foods) can bring a person out of the worst mood. This occurrence is not simply due to the delightful sensation of dessert on the tongue together with the awakening of our taste buds. It is largely due to the chemical reaction that occurs in our brain when we eat sugar. The signal causes the body to release endorphins and dopamine giving the consumer a sense of exhilaration, otherwise known as a “sugar rush”. The addiction felt by those who eat these types of foods regularly is the result of the body craving not only the sugar, but also the wonderful euphoric feeling that is brought on by the brain’s reaction to the sugar being consumed.
Low endorphin levels make us crave fatty foods and or sweet foods.
High concentrations of endorphins in the brain produce a sense of euphoria, enhance pleasure, and suppress pain, both emotionally and physically. When endorphins are low, people feel anxious; they are also more aware of pain. They have an appetite for fat and fatty foods, such as fries, cheese, creamy sauces, margarine, butter, fried chicken, potato chips, and chocolate, to name some of the most popular examples. Upon eating some fat, they will notice a change in mood, feeling more pleasure. This feeling is related to a higher concentration of endorphin. Exercise, by releasing fat from within the body, raises endorphins and causes the same mood changes.
When we have cravings for potato chips and chocolate, it may mean that we need an endorphin pill rather than all the empty calories from chips. Well, there’s a problem. We don’t have an endorphin pill. But we have something even better; knowledge of how to deal with these specific types of cravings.
Low serotonin levels make us crave sugar
Similarly, another hormone, serotonin and sometimes Dopamine makes us feel calm, poised, confident, and relaxed. When our serotonin/dopamine levels are low, we feel nervous, irritable and stressed. We don’t crave fat, now we crave sugar.
When we have cravings for sugar, we can use frozen yogurt or popcorn may help raise serotonin/dopamine levels with far less calories.
Low dopamine make us feel foggy. Mentally “foggy” at times? This just may be caused by low dopamine levels. When we don’t get adequate protein, dopamine levels drop and this makes us mentally sluggish. When we feel mentally sluggish, we crave sugar and fat.
The best way to raise dopamine levels, get plenty of lean protein in you diet, with moderate fat and carbohydrates
It’s a mistake to think that exercising without adequate carbs in your system will help you lose body fat.
Many people mistakenly believe that if they limit their carbohydrate intake, and then exercise, their body fat will be broken down. What happens, in fact, is that they are lowering their capacity to burn fat, and will lower their metabolism. The reason for this is that the body will break down muscle to form carbohydrate. In addition, the muscle breakdown raises stress hormone levels and causes carbohydrate cravings.
Studies show that gluten contains certain proteins called opioid peptides or “exorphins.” And just like opium, these peptides can interfere with brain function. Also, in sensitive people, gluten causes inflammation, which also can irritate the brain and cause it to malfunction. But as the results of this study show, the brain fog that gluten causes does not actually damage the brain. All you have to do is to stop eating gluten and you’re good as gold.
As one of the authors of the study put it, “People who promote an anti-grain or anti-gluten agenda sometimes cite our work in celiac disease, drawing far-ranging conclusions that extend well beyond evidence-based medicine. We know brain fog’ is a serious symptom commonly reported by our patients, and it’s understandable that people have been worried about a possible connection to dementia. Fortunately, our work with Dr. Ludvigsson provides concrete evidence that this particular worry can be laid to rest.”
So if you’re suffering from the symptoms of brain fog, it’s not a bad idea to stop eating gluten for a month to see if the symptoms get better
Dr. George Grant, Ph.D. | LinkedIn
View Dr. George Grant, Ph.D.’s professional profile on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is … Research related to Beta Endorphins, Stress Management, Biofeedback. Authors:.
About Prof. Dr. George Grant [The Caring Doctor/Teacher …
He pioneered the research on Beta Endorphins at the faculty of Pharmacy, University of Sask. in 1981. Dr. Grant organized and presented at the International …
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Dr. George Grant participated in early research in isolating Beta Endorphins in neonates at the faculty pharmacy, University of Sask. and the neonatal unit …
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Dr. George Grant ~ Proper nutrition and a… … He pioneered the research on Beta Endorphins at the faculty of Pharmacy, University of Sask. in 1981. Dr. Grant …
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Jul 30, 2015 – Citation: Grant G (2015) Beta Endorphins & Wellness. … different endorphins with possible benefits and uses that researchers are investigating.