One of the most popular cravings I have noticed with myself and my clients is cheese. You eat it and sigh afterward because it tastes so good. Why do we crave this dairy mold?
The principle protein in dairy is casein. When we digest casein, something called casomorphins are formed, and they have an opioid effect on us. Not as powerful as other opiods, but still has the similar effect in the pleasure part of our brain.
Cheese is produced by curdling the milk by adding and enzyme called rennet. The curds become cheese and the liquid, the other dairy protein called whey, is discarded. Doing this causes the casein concentration to be much higher in cheese than in milk.
Cheese also contains an amphetamine-like chemical, phenylethylamine (also found in chocolate) which is often called an aphrodisiac and is even used as an anti-depressant because of its mood-elevating qualities. That is why we all go for it in the mid-day or evening, when the stress levels calm down and you want to “recharge” with the cheese or chocolate.
Before you grab the cheese drug, try implementing these suggestions:
- Purchase raw, whole fat cheeses, especially goat. Goats have less disease than cows and can be easier to digest for some people. Some people with lactose intolerances may have less symptoms with raw cheeses.
- Stop and take a second to observe your nervous system experiencing any anxiety. Your nervous system and brain may be looking for a release, and thus the cheese and chocolate craving is so strong. Write down 3-5 things that cause you just as much or more pleasure than the cheese and chocolate.
- Drink a cup of hot water either by itself or with a Myers lemon. This will ignite heat in your stomach for digestion and offer your body nourishment and hydration.
- Lay down & rest and listen to a visualization or meditation, or just sleep. Most likely your nervous system is over worked and exhausted.
- Eat the quality raw cheese choices, smile & enjoy every minute of it!
Thanks to Didriks for the cool cheese photo!