The comfort foods of my choosing are:
Did I mention bread and cheese? And of course, we crave all of these when our energy level is crashed, the immune system is depleted or our gut is in turmoil. If your Food Relationship Type is a Rebel-er, Comfort-er, Numb-er, or Guilt-er, your thoughts and emotions may be causing you even more stress than these comfort foods. How do we find balance while NOT focusing on restriction and deprivation? When I go on road trips, especially in California, I crave a protein-style burger at In-and-Out. Instead of it being ‘off limits’, I say yes and truly decide if I want it. Recently I was having a burger craving and reflecting on my last experience with that burger. It feels like it was yesterday, but it has been over 3 years. Besides lockdown and fewer road trips, my emotional and physical chemistry found more balance and less need for the drive-thru.
Dreaming of a burger is an umami craving. The sensation of biting into something ‘meaty’ with texture versus having a smoothie. Glutamate is also commonly found in many umami-rich foods.
Glutamate is a neurotransmitter that sends signals in the brain and throughout the nerves in the body and assists in brain development, memory and focus. Glutamate was the single largest contributor to intestinal energy generation. Our body makes glutamate and a recent study showed, dietary glutamate appeared to be a specific precursor for the biosynthesis of glutathione, arginine, and proline by the small intestinal mucosa
Other umami suggestions:
- Mushrooms: all types and grilled, sautéed, or roasted.
- Seaweeds: A great source of umami flavor due to their high glutamate content. Here are sources of the seaweed, kombu and amount of glutamate.
- Rausu kombu: 2,290–3,380 mg
- Ma kombu: 1,610–3,200 mg
- Rishiri kombu: 1,490–1,980 mg
- Hidaka kombu: 1,260–1,340 mg
- Naga kombu: 240–1,400 mg
- Soy-Based foods: Fermented soy products have higher glutamate amounts. (3.5 oz=100 grams)
- Soy sauce: 400–1,700 mg
- Miso: 200–700 mg
- Natto (fermented soybeans): 140 mg
- Soybeans: 70–80 mg
- Anchovies: 630 mg of glutamate, brainpower, WOAH!
- Tomatoes: Regular tomatoes contain 150–250 mg of glutamic acid per 3.5 ounces (100 grams), while cherry tomatoes provide 170–280 mg in the same serving
- Green Tea: Dried green tea leaves contain 220–670 mg of glutamate per 3.5 ounces (100 grams).
The initial list of comfort foods I mentioned is all cravings signaling that my neurotransmitters are depleted!
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter or chemical messenger, that’s involved in many processes throughout your body, from regulating your mood to promoting smooth digestion.
If you have low serotonin, you might: -feel anxious, low, or depressed -feel irritable or aggressive -have sleep issues or feel fatigued -feel impulsive -have a decreased appetite -experience nausea and digestive issues -crave sweets and carbohydrate-rich foods
Most lists of serotonin foods are actually lists of foods that contain tryptophan, an amino acid that’s a precursor of serotonin. Serotonin doesn’t cross the blood-brain barrier, so you need some tryptophan, which can cross, in your diet to create serotonin. When the dietary intake of tryptophan is low, serotonin levels drop.
Here is a list of foods high in tryptophan:
- Turkey (which was my #1 craving when Quarantine swept in):
- Salmon & canned sardines
- Edamame, boiled
- Pumpkin seeds
- Oatmeal (gluten-free)
And another important piece of the puzzle is trying NOT to always combine starches with proteins.
Research shows that separating these can help you absorb the essential nutrients for optimal neurotransmitter communication.
YAHOO! The Conscious Nutrition Food Tree does just that. We experiment with the 4 different Meal Types to help us absorb nutrients properly in our gut to help our brain THRIVE!
And with the 4 Meal Types, we also get to tune into that emotional thing…COMFORT.
I created the above chart for us to take a moment to connect with our hunger and comfort cues. As we all practice being the ADVOCATE of ourselves, the more we can support these cues and signals.
For 5 days in a row, we will practice this!
Is it an all or none-and-done process? Nope.
It is a consistent experiment of YOU!
JOIN me for the spring Free 5-day course!
We begin April 12th, and tune in each day on how we can up-level our nutrition, one bite at a time. The value is $97 and it is yours for FREE!
Coupon Code: EASEIN
We will be nourishing our taste buds, both umami and crunchy. Check out this video below for a quick recipe for leftover cabbage.
P.S. Come ease in and join my complimentary Facebook Group. We will be hosting the live events there, click below!
with abundant nourishment,
Heather Fleming, C.C.N.