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Chocolate, cookies, chips … oh my! Seventy percent of Canadians are at the mercy of their food cravings, according to a survey by Nestle Canada
Chocolate, cookies, chips … oh my! Seventy percent of Canadians are at the mercy of their food cravings, according to a survey by Nestle Canada. Fifty-percent of us give into food cravings sometimes, nine percent almost always, or five percent always, while only eight percent claim they never lose control.
We generally prefer sweet over salty foods, and women are one-and-a-half times more likely than men to choose sweet over salty.
Whatever the reason, cravings and the empty calories they represent can cause weight gain. Fortunately, nutritional supplements can help you kiss cravings goodbye.
Known as our “happy” hormone, serotonin—in this case, low serotonin—is linked to food cravings. By increasing serotonin, it’s believed that food cravings and appetite can be suppressed at the same time that your mood lifts.
The supplement 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) supplies a precursor that the body uses to produce serotonin. Research has shown that 5-HTP oral supplementation reduces food intake, particularly carbohydrates and fats, and promotes weight loss.
In another study in patients with sleep disorders, an amino acid formula containing 5-HTP reduced time to fall asleep, decreased sleep latency, increased the duration of sleep, and improved quality of sleep. Though the two things may seem unconnected, experts say lack of sleep may be associated with a tendency to overeat.
Garcinia cambogia is a serotonin-enhancing, appetite-suppressing herb. In one study, 60 volunteers took either a placebo or 2,800 mg of Garcinia cambogia daily. After eight weeks, food intake and total cholesterol were significantly reduced, while serotonin levels significantly increased in the Garcinia cambogia group.
The mood/food connection
Cravings are often linked to mood, so another intervention strategy to lower our desire for junky foods is to elevate mood. A review of natural mood enhancers noted that the research on 5-HTP for mood is promising, and that the herb Rhodiola rosea can be helpful for depression, and may be combined with conventional antidepressants.
The researchers also stated that chromium has a beneficial effect on eating-related symptoms of depression.
In other research, chromium has been found to regulate the intake of food by reducing hunger and increasing satiety. In one study involving 42 overweight women, supplementing with chromium for two months reduced hunger, reduced food intake, reduced fat cravings, and tended to reduce body weight as compared to placebo.
Curb your cravings with safe, effective nutritional supplements including 5-HTP, Garcinia cambogia, Rhodiola rosea, and chromium, and whittle down your waistline too.