What We Eat, Serotonin and Food Cravings:
What we eat, how we sleep, and how much we move have a tremendous affect on how we feel. Serotonin is one of the better-studied neurotransmitters because it affects our personality in such a profound way. Serotonin is connected with mood, drive, ambition, decision-making and the ability to experience pleasure. Research in the journal of Science suggests that low levels of this brain chemical can cause psychological symptoms like depression, impulsivity, suspiciousness, shortsightedness or aggressiveness. Fortunately, increasing levels of serotonin quickly improves confidence, restores rationality and boosts feelings of happiness.
Serotonin is used mainly in your gut; 80% to 90% is found there, the rest is found in our brain. This is why what we eat is so important. Grabbing pre-packaged foods filled with dirty ingredients destroy proper gut health and cause metabolic clog. Inadequate amounts of serotonin in the brain can amount to debilitating conditions such as anxiety, depression and obsessive-compulsive mood disorders. Other symptoms include carbohydrate-cravings, PMS, eating disorders, allergies, arthritis, backache, constipation, diarrhea, headaches, migraines, insomnia, premature ejaculation, tinnitus, yawning, lack of pleasure, being a loner, OCD, perfectionism, rage, shyness, lack of concentration, and slow reactions.
Low serotonin levels cause the body to crave carbohydrates and sweets. Carbohydrates will increase insulin in our blood stream. Insulin will then reward us with an extreme feeling of gratification, which our brain is screaming for, but not for long. Soon after the carbohydrate binge, our serotonin will diminish and the cycle will continue. Eating these foods in an attempt to relieve the cravings leads to weight gain; which can also cause depression. Eating a balanced diet of carbohydrates, proteins and fats will lead to higher serotonin levels and less food cravings! See our next blog “Ways to manage food cravings” for more information!