Each of us knows perfectly well the feeling of an inexorable desire to eat something sweet, salty, fast food. According to studies, 100% of women experience carbohydrate cravings (even when full), while men have a 70% craving. In this situation, most people satisfy their inexplicable but all-consuming need simply by eating what they want. This is understandable, because such a craving activates the hormone dopamine and opioid receptors in the brain, forcing a person to satisfy the desire at all costs. In a way, food cravings are akin to drug addiction. If you are an avid coffee drinker, just imagine how you feel without drinking the usual 2-3 cups a day? We may not fully understand why food addiction occurs, but we must know that it is caused by a combination of physical, emotional, and even social causes.
- Lack of sodium, low levels of sugar or other minerals in the blood
- is a powerful factor. In your subconscious, any products (chocolate, candy, a sandwich with condensed milk, etc.) are associated with a good mood, satisfaction, and a sense of harmony once obtained after their consumption. This trap is important to understand.
- With frequent use of not the most useful product in large quantities, the body weakens the production of enzymes for its digestion. Over time, this can lead to undigested proteins entering the bloodstream and an inflammatory immune response. Paradoxically, the body craves, as it were, what it has become sensitive to.
- Low serotonin levels can be the culprit behind cravings for food. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that regulates mood, sleep, and the appetite center in the brain. Low serotonin activates the center, causing cravings for certain foods, which stimulate serotonin synthesis. Women experience lower levels of serotonin before menstruation, which explains their cravings for chocolate and sweets.
- “Eating” stress. Mood swings and factors such as stress, aggression, sadness, depression can act as triggers for excessive food cravings. Cortisol, which is released during stressful situations, causes the craving for certain foods, especially fatty foods. Thus, chronic stress can be the cause of unhealthy cravings for sweets, which literally lead us into a trap, stimulating the production of serotonin.