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FOOD AND ACTIVITIES THAT BOOST YOUR ENDOCANNABINOID SYSTEM

The endocannabinoid system is important in many different levels of health. An unbalanced endocannabinoid system can lead to many diseases and ailments. By boosting or toning the ECS, we’re able to maintain a proper health balance in our body.

CBD is not the only thing you can take to boost your endocannabinoid system. Scientists believe the connection between the foods we eat and the endocannabinoid system could be at the heart of the obesity and the diabetes epidemic of today. Now that you’ve read about the infinite ways that the endocannabinoid system balances the body and improves health, here are a few ways you can boost your endocannabinoid system:

RUNNING & Physical Exercise

Have you ever experienced a “runner’s high”? You know that feeling you get at the end of a long run where everything feels amazing? That’s your endocannabinoid system at work. For many years, scientists believed the pleasant experience that came on as a result of running was caused by endorphins. Turns out this is not the case. Anandamide, one of the most prevalent endocannabinoids produced in your body, is responsible for that ‘runners high’. Named after the Sanskrit word for “bliss,” anandamide produces many of the joyful feelings you experience. Scientists believe anandamide creates the blissful feeling associated with runner’s high, meditation, yoga, acupuncture, and unstructured play time. When you engage in all of those activities you get an amazing feeling of natural bliss. You are also boosting your body’s natural anandamide level – which provides many benefits for your health. Isn’t it amazing that your body rewards you with a blissful feeling when you engage in healthy activities?

Herbs

Some of the most popular health supplements available today provide support to the endocannabinoid system. Here’s a list of some below:
  • Turmeric
  • Black Pepper
  • Coneflower
  • Liverwort
  • Echinacea
Add one or all of those into your diet if you want a nice boost to your ECS functionality.

essential fatty acids

OGood Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids contain a large amount of cannabinoids. You can find them in meat, poultry, walnuts, flax, and certain oils like sunflower oil. Endocannabinoids are produced by omega-6 fatty acids. However, the typical Western diet has an excess of omega-6 acids – which can result in a downregulation of the production of endocannabinoids.1 The best way to ensure proper endocannabinoid production is to balance out your diet with an equal amount of omega-3 fatty acids. Good sources of omega-3s include grass-fed beef, walnuts, chia seeds, flax seeds, wild salmon, omega-3 enriched eggs, and sardines.

chocolate

Anandamide is present in chocolate.2 The great feelings people get when eating chocolate is not just from a sugar rush, but also from our body’s own bliss molecule, anandamide.

The discovery of anandamide is totally unexpected and may be relevant to the well-known ‘chocolate craving.’

– Raphael MechoulamProfessor of Medicinal Chemistry Hebrew University

coffee

Multiple studies indicate that caffeine may have a positive impact on the endocannabinoid system. The exact mechanism of how it works is unknown, but caffeine has been shown to bind to work on GABA receptors that alter the stimulation of CB1 receptors. Learn more under Neuro Section

probiotics

Probiotics alter the functioning of cannabinoid receptors throughout the body. Ever had an upset stomach and felt like everything in your body wasn’t working quite right? Probiotics seem to alter more than just the functioning of the gut, they may alter the entire endocannabinoid system and have wide ranging effects. Mice who were given probiotics showed improvements in the activity of the cannabinoid receptors in their intestines. Along with the intestines, cannabinoid receptors in the brain also showed improved activity after people received probiotics. Mice showed changes in their brains after receiving probiotics as well. When Mice had too much cannabinoid activity going on, probiotics brought the activity down to a normal level. When mice were not experiencing enough cannabinoid activity, probiotics increased cannabinoid activity.3

massage

If you want to increase the number of endocannabinoids present in your endocannabinoid system, massage may be the perfect solution. A study discovered that massage increased anandamide levels significantly.4 Anandamide, also known as the “bliss molecule,” appears to be responsible for balancing out the endocannabinoid system and producing the wonderful feeling that comes after exercise, yoga, and meditation.

THINGS TO AVOID THAT CAN HARM YOUR ENDOCANNABINOID SYSTEM

avoid foods high in pesticides

If you’re attempting to keep your endocannabinoid system in good health, you’ll want to try to eat organic foods as often as possible.5 Some studies have discovered that CB1 receptors can be inhibited by certain types of pesticides.6

alcohol

Excessive alcohol consumption may lead to a reduction in CB1 receptor sensitivity and an alteration in the amount of endocannabinoids present in the body.7c To improve endocannabinoid functioning, it is best to use alcohol in moderation or avoid it.

chronic stress

If you want to let your endocannabinoid system flourish, you may want to squeeze a stress ball. Multiple studies indicate that high levels of stress reduce the number of cannabinoids found in the body. One good way to tell if something you’re doing is going to help or hurt your ECS is to notice how you feel after doing or consuming it. Do you feel a light, natural bliss? Or do you feel more stressed out and low? Anandamide is responsible for producing that blissful feeling, so when you engage in an activity that increases anandamide, you’ll likely feel calm and a sense of general satisfaction after. If you want to improve your endocannabinoid system, look for ways to support wellness in your life like eating healthy foods, unstructured play, yoga, meditation, and exercise. Follow that feeling you get after exercising, and your health may just improve.