The body has the capacity to produce a large number of hormones that dramatically alter our mood, and form the underlying foundation of our brain function. There are hundreds of different hormones, so in Spiritual Adrenaline, we focus on those that are critical to people in recovery and explain why they are so important.
Endorphins are chemicals produced naturally in the brain that trigger the sensation of pleasure. The brain regulates both the production and release of endorphins. The use of alcohol and drugs stimulates the production, and then overproduction, of endorphins. Over time, the body loses its ability to naturally produce endorphins, as alcohol and drugs overstimulate production in the brain. The brain simply cannot keep up, and production of endorphins slows as the body loses its ability to produce them.
In recovery, with the passage of time, endorphin levels in most people will stabilize.. Spiritual Adrenaline can help with this, as through proper nutrition and an exercise regimen, brain chemistry can be restored naturally. Folks need to speak to their doctor about the specifics of their situation and overall health.
How to Stimulate Endorphin Production
Exercise regularly: Endorphins are released from the pituitary gland during strenuous exercise because exercise is a form of “healthy stress” upon the body. The endorphins then have the ability to bind to opiate receptors throughout the body, helping to minimize the pain that is incurred as the exercise becomes longer in duration and intensity. Many serious athletes experience a “runner’s high,”which is a state of euphoria that, for some, is similar to a drug or alcohol high, which can continue long after the exercising is completed.
Eat Spicy Foods: These foods help stimulate the production of endorphins. Research studies have determined that when the “spicy” part of the food comes into contact with the taste buds on your tongue, a “good pain” signal is sent to the brain, which stimulates endorphin production. This may explain why eating spicy food seems to be so “addictive” to some people. Look for foods rich in capsaicin. These foods include hot peppers, tobacco peppers and ginger.
Eat Foods Rich in Tyrosine: During the biochemical process, which permits the body to create endorphins, tyrosine is needed. Without tyrosine, the body’s ability to create dopamine is severely compromised. Foods rich in tyrosine include meat and dairy products.
Sex and Laughter: Studies confirm that sex and laughter also stimulate endorphins in the brain. This makes sense, given that these two behaviors stimulate the pleasure center in the brain.
Recommended reading: Depression Free Naturally, Dr. Joan Mathews Larson, Random House, 2001; Good Calories, Bad Calories, Gary Taubes, First Anchor Books, 2007; Nutritional Supplements, Joe Cannon, MS, Infinity Publishing, 2008; Eating Right to Live Sober, Katherine Ketcham and Dr. L Ann Mueller, Signet Books, 1986.
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