What type of food do you crave most? Ice cream? French fries? Pizza? Burritos? Chips? Chocolate? Doughnuts?
It can be very difficult to steer away from these certain high sugar, high fat craving temptations. Especially since these foods have become so easily available.
Fortunately, there are some ways to help you conquer these certain food cravings.
Of course, having a food craving is only natural. And when you get this really strong craving for something you think you get a gut bug in your body telling you that they need something. But, in some circumstances, your bad gut bugs might be trying to trick you instead.
What Makes You Crave a Certain Kind of Food?
There are many of those who believe that food cravings are emotionally driven. You’ve had this feeling before, correct? “If I eat this doughnut, it’ll help me relax, de-stress, or quit my anxiety.” But, it’s most often that you start craving specific food due to low serotonin levels.
Turns out, that having low serotonin levels can affect your brain’s center for appetite. Usually when a serious craving hits you, you usually want a food with a higher sugar level. It’s why you crave ice-cream over a plate of steamed spinach. But when glucose interacts with the opioid receptors in your brain, this can trigger an addictive response. Which is not good.
Why is this bad? When this happens, the sugar eater only wants you to eat sugar. In other words, you’re conditioning your brain to release happiness hormone every time you give in that sugar craving.
So, the trick to staying healthy is leaning to recognize the difference between the cravings you should listen to and ignoring the negative ones. Knowing what your gut bugs really want to eat and how to feed them is half the battle.
What Should You Feed Your Good Gut Bugs When They’re Hungry?
So, first off, you want to eat more resistant starches. Resistant starches are the undigested starches that pass into the large intestine. Inside the large intestine the resistant starches help fermentation. They also help your friendly gut bugs produce ketones and short-chain fatty acids.
You may have heard of ketones before but are not sure what they do in your body. Ketones are the fats you absorb from your gut. They are the ones you can use as your fuel.
The following lists are the resistant starches you want to be getting more in your diet to help your negative food cravings.
- Green plantains
- Tara root
- Celery root
- Raw oats
- Jerusalem artichokes
- Green bananas
- Unripe mangoes and papayas
Also, all of these resistant starches can help to improve satiety (feeling hungry), insulin sensitivity, and decrease fat storage. The bottom line is that resistant starches are a good-go-to when your gut bugs wants to be fed and to resist unhealthy cravings.
Don’t let this name frighten you. So, let’s call it FOS for short. An FOS is a type of indigestible sugar in the form of inulin or yacon.
Your friendly gut bugs need indigestible sugars to properly function and grow. In fact, they help feed the cells that line and guard your gut. These indigestible sugars are called prebiotics. They are not to be confused with probiotics.
Probiotics are friendly bacteria that help your gut. Prebiotics are the food that feed the bacteria and gives them what they need to grow.
Inulin helps your good gut bugs because it’s a prebiotic fiber they can eat to stay healthy. Yacon on the other hand, is a tuber; its syrup is prebiotic in nature. Yacon might actually help reduce your appetite as well. You can’t actually digest a FOS, but your good gut bugs thrive on breaking them down.
Some Foods Rich in FOS Are:
Note: Figs and dates are a great substitute for sweeteners.
Alternative Ways to Stop Your Junk Food Cravings
Here are some other natural alternatives to feed those hungry gut bugs.
Juicing isn’t as healthy as some of you may think. This doesn’t mean you have to throw away your juicer. You can use it to increase your good bacteria in your gut.
A great way to do this is to eat more polyphenols in the pulp form. Polyphenols are antioxidants found in natural plant food sources. This is what you do. Simply juice the fruits you want to drink, then throw the juice out. The juice actually contains way too much sugar. Once you get rid of the juice, you will have leftover pulp. The pulp is the good stuff. You can add the pulp to your salad, yogurt, or just eat it plainly.
Your good gut bugs love nuts. But, not just any nut. You gut bugs want nuts that are rich in polyphenols.
Important note: Did you know that by eating nuts can help you live longer? Generally speaking.
The Takeaway Message
Your friendly gut bugs are begging for the foods listed above. So, its your job to feed them what they are calling for. To recap, you want to fit more of these food items into your everyday diet, if you can. Remember, it’s a PRACTICE.
- Resistant starches: jicama, parsnips, and turnips
- FOS foods: onions, mushrooms, garlic, and radicchio
- Polyphenols-rich fruits and vegetable pulp from juicer
- Polyphenol Nuts: walnuts, pecans, macadamias and pistachios
These are the food sources you want to feed for your food cravings. These foods will help you feel satisfaction and will help you steer away from those toxic processed sugars.