Author: Dr. Michelle Durkin on 16 February 2016
The different foods we crave can be a clue as to which neurotransmitters in the brain we are needing more of.
Ask yourself the following questions:
Depending on your answers you may need more serotonin in your brain or dopamine.
Serotonin is our “happy hormone”. It’s the one that easily gets depleted when someone is experiencing a lot of stress. When you perceive a lot of stress, you are sucking up your serotonin just like a vacuum cleaner would suck up dirt. The most commonly prescribed group of anti-depressants today are called SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors).
Dopamine on the other hand is our “reward hormone.” Ever get that great feeling when you finally checked the last to-do item off your list? I know I do. Sometimes I make lists just so I can cross things off. That is giving yourself a little hit of dopamine. Other ways of increasing dopamine, which can be very destructive in our lives, include drinking, gambling, crack book (I mean Facebook), drugs, and sex.
So which foods are related to low serotonin? Here’s a hint, what do many stressed-out women crave during PMS? That’s an easy one…chocolate. Bread and sweets are also in the same category.
That leaves cheese, nuts, and wine. Your craving for something savoury could be related to lower dopamine levels.
Luckily there are also different natural supplements that can increase your levels of these hormones too. Have a proper assessment with your ND to discuss some of these possibilities.
And now I would love to hear from you…do you have any weird cravings that aren’t on this list? How many of you are serotonin-loving foodies? Which of you are more dopamine foodies? Leave your comments below and I’ll have a new article for you next week on Doctor as Teacher Tuesdays!
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