Food - Are you addicted?
Let’s just take a moment to think about food. Can we actually be addicted to food? Some people claim to be and there are various studies supporting this theory. However, it would be difficult to imagine being addicted to broccoli or carrots. What about eating a full pound of sugar? No? Well this suggests that it is not FOOD itself that is addictive. Whilst it is true the body recognises and rewards for the consumption of energy (sugars/starches & fats) on their own this is not enough for us to want to keep eating the same item over and over.
Real FOOD is anything natural, anything that is grown or has absorbed the sun’s energy in some way – essentially containing only 1 ingredient, like fruits, vegetables and legumes. Whilst fruits contain sugar, they contain very little proteins/fat (plus contain fibre to control the release of those sugars), and nuts/seeds contain protein/fats, they contain very little carbohydrate (sugars). So the brain rewards for us eating sugar/starches with a rush of serotonin, improving our mood considerably. And the brain rewards us for eating proteins by releasing dopamine and norepinephrine, enhancing mental concentration and alertness.
What do you think happens when foods are processed in our modern worlds, to contain protein, fats and sugars…? Overload of feel good hormones flooding the brain. Acting LIKE an addiction these “foods” (I use the term lightly) cause the body to become desensitised, requiring more and more to keep getting that feel-good fix.
Most foodstuffs (including processed) are not bad for you – in moderation. Your body is a beautiful, hardy and amazing thing. It can process and disregard most unwanted items that you may choose to put into your body, but overload with anything (including chocolate!) and parts will start to suffer!
To avoid going down the over-eaters path – try to eat more whole, natural foods. Anything that is essentially 1 ingredient, that you can then create your own meals from, will always be far and above more nutritionally sound and rebalancing for your body. Eventually your cravings will subside and you will need that junk food feeling less and less. It takes some preparation and a little dedication, but with a little investment into yourself – you can reap the massive rewards. Like maintaining your car, putting in the right fuel is essential.
You only have one body, and as fantastic as it is, it runs like clockwork if you put the best fuel in!