If you’ve been reading my articles, you probably already know quite a bit about stress, hormones, the immune system, and how lifestyle choices influence health. While the guidelines for a healthy lifestyle are quite simple, creating new habits is difficult and often impossible for many people. Sweets, baked goods, comforting carbs, fast foods, processed foods, fried foods, and carbonated beverages ruin the best of intentions. Before telling you about a successful way to reprogram unhealthy food cravings, let’s look at what influences food choices.
Our hunter-gatherer ancestors were the most successful group of humans on the planet. They traveled about, picking up fruit, vegetation and/or animal proteins. If something tasted good, they ate it. Similar to these ancestors who ate real food, our taste buds are programmed to like what’s good for us and repelled by what’s bad for us. The problem is that most people eat very little real food these days. Between GMO’s, artificial coloring, flavorings, and added hormones, it’s hard to find food that hasn’t been altered.
Many people experience ill health as the result of poor food choices. They eat fast food because they don’t have time to cook and buy convenience foods because crafty advertising gimmicks convinced them that the food will taste amazing and be healthy, which it rarely is. The bottom line is that there’s no substitute for real food that your body recognizes – and appreciates!
New research on probiotics (good bacteria) provides insight into what draws us to unhealthy foods and can help guide us in making better choices. The biggest game-changer is that we now know that taste buds are influenced by the bacteria in the body. Bad bacteria feeds off junk food and good bacteria feeds off healthy foods, such as raw fruits, vegetables, clean protein and carbs. It’s easy to get into a vicious cycle when eating junk food because the more junk foods we eat, the more bad bacteria that will be created which reinforces our cravings.
Craving unhealthy food is only part of the problem. Bad bacteria leads to a wide range of disorders including obesity, neurodegenerative issues, cardiovascular disease, irritable bowel disorders, and other inflammatory processes. Gas, bloating, and flatulence are common symptoms which generally clear up with the proper probiotics and digestive enzymes.
Over half of the human body is comprised of microscopic colonists, such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Since this ratio was originally thought to be only ten to one instead of approximately 50/50, the influence of these microscopic bacterial colonists is much greater than previously thought. The wide diversity of bacteria living within the body is vitally important to health but our highly toxic world kills off many of the species that keep us alive and healthy. This is why it’s essential to frequently inoculate the body with healthy probiotics, especially after a round of antibiotics that kills both good and bad bacteria.
In addition to the functional and inflammatory diseases associated with an unhealthy microbiome in the colon, gastrointestinal problems have been associated with depression, anxiety, insomnia and many other diseases once thought to be mental. Research now confirms the association between bacteria in the gut and one’s emotional balance, shaking the belief that mental illness is purely a chemical imbalance in the brain.
The term “gut-brain axis” evolved in 2004 after Japanese studies discovered that friendly bacteria (probiotics) influenced the stress response in mice. By 2013, findings suggested that specific probiotics could have a positive influence on mood in humans. Around this time, researchers were also discovering that microbes can produce almost every neurotransmitter in the human brain, including the feel-good chemicals, serotonin and dopamine.
Scientists previously thought the “blood-brain barrier” prevented microbes from entering the brain. This notion was dispelled in 2017 when researchers discovered that special cells in the gut lining allowed the microbes to enter the brain through the vagus nerve. Now the gut is commonly referred to as the second brain. Other scientists have said that stimulation of the vagus may also improve gut health, thus the relation between the brain and gut can be considered a symbiotic one.
Ongoing studies demonstrate that a healthy gut microbiome has many positive effects on emotional stability, mood, and even food cravings. This means that by improving the health of your gut microbiome you can stop or reduce your cravings for unhealthy foods and reprogram your body to want healthy foods!
Yes, the reintroduction of the probiotics necessary to reestablish a healthy balance in the body can now be accomplished. A combination of diet and specific supplementation is the fastest, best way to do this. I recommend a high quality supplement based on the latest research that provides a therapeutic dose of probiotics designed to clear the gut of bad bacteria and increase good bacteria. This product has 100 billion CFU (colony-forming units) Probiotics and 1.25 billion CFU patented Stabilized Heat Resistant Probiotics per serving in an enzyme based delivery system.
Besides adding specific probiotics to increase the good bacteria in your gut, the best results are obtained by eating healthy fruits, especially berries, vegetables, good proteins, and usable carbs. Another important component for eliminating food cravings and increasing good bacteria is the addition of enzymes with any meal that contains cooked food. Cooking food over 114 degrees destroys the enzymes that are essential for digestion.
Perhaps just the thought of bad bacteria multiplying in your body when eating unhealthy foods will help dissuade you from eating them. The more bad bacteria in your body, the more toxic chemicals that are created which lead to disease, inflammation, fibrosis, and even death.
Studies show that it takes 21 days to create new habits. If you can eat healthier foods for 21 days, you’ll significantly raise your chances of sticking with your new lifestyle for the rest of your life. Another reason for a 21 day program is that taste buds live 10 days. If you make it through 2 sets of taste buds, something magical will happen on the 21st day! Why not try it and see? Call our office to learn about our new 21 day program which includes the specific supplements and guidelines to help you successfully reprogram your cravings!