Neuro-regulation of Appetite (What you put in, you get out)

Post by Adam Sayers

Our health took a huge turn for the worst the day that people decided to eat for enjoyment rather than because we have to. The focus shifted to how our food tastes and not what the nutritional value of it is. There are various issues with this concept ranging from too much sugar or salt intake to colourants, preservatives and flavourants (which all have hormonally disruptive effects on our body) and so much more. But what we are going to discuss here is that our body, stomach and brain do not regulate our appetite according to how nice the food looks or tastes but rather how many nutrients it has absorbed from each particular meal.

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More nutrients equals a more satiating effect on the body and brain. Our stomach and the food that we eat have effects on many hormones which our brain is completely in tune with. These hormones are constantly letting our brain know how much energy we have in store. Our brain is concerned with survival and so, if it registers less nutrients then the brain decreases our thyroid production which in turn decreases our body temperature in order for us to burn less calories. Basically, trying to conserve our energy because it is being starved and does not know when the next meal will come. Neuro-regulation can often also be disrupted due to increased stressed hormones because of things like lack of sleep or just a stressful environment. Add on to this the mixed signals the brain gets with chemicals in, or on, our foods, low fat and high fibre diets or just the cardboard like quality of junk food and it is easy to see how the brain is unable to regulate your appetite as well as it should and tend to always feel hungry. But there are changes that can be made to improve our neuro-regulation of appetite and these are simply to give your body the right foods and it will rebalance itself.

Protein has a good satiating effect as it releases and enhances the signalling of all the right hormones. Fat also has a great satiating effect, whilst it does have a lot of calories, it makes you feel full for longer which means more time to burn the calories. Carbohydrates are much less satiating than protein and fat and it also possibly promotes hunger due to its effects on Leptin. So, the biggest change you can make is by eating a more balanced meal made up of lean protein (good quality, hormone and anti-biotic free), add fat (good, natural fat) and add lots of vegetables (this is not to add volume but to add more nutrients). A meal like this is much more satiating leading to better regulation. Also, chiropractic improves the connection between your brain and body and thus, regular chiropractic care would help your brain better regulate everything mentioned above. Make the conscious effort to control what you put in your stomach and reap the benefits!

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Dr Adam Sayers is a Chiropractor at both the Greenside Clinic and Pure Health Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa where he has been practicing for 5 years. He has special interests in family wellness and pediatrics and his passion for improved general health and the empowerment of people to make the right health and lifestyle choices. You can follow him on Twitter or contact him direct by mail

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