trigger foods

Managing Trigger Foods and Satiety with Mycotherapy

8 minutos

Satiety is a complex concept for those with eating issues.

The feeling of satiety is controlled by a carefully constructed cocktail of hormones and bodily responses. This occurs when the brain recognises the presence of adequate nutrition. Unfortunately, it’s possible for feelings of satiety to be diminished, or overlooked by those who have more complex relationships with food. A reduced please response in the brain, or a continued feeling of hunger can promote overeating.

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Trigger foods are substances in the human diet that cause us to crave certain items. Trigger foods can have a significant impact on the brain, overriding feelings of satiety and prompting additional food intake. The demands created by trigger foods contribute significantly to obesity.

What are Trigger Foods?

Progressive trends in food culture perpetuate the issues created by trigger foods, prompting people to eat more food than necessary for greater feelings of pleasure, or release positive hormones in the brain. People can respond to different kinds of trigger foods.

Some of us automatically avoid foods that we know will negatively impact our impulse control. For example, salty foods, fast food, or sweets. Most trigger foods are particularly effective at causing triggers because their ingredients cause chemical and hormonal changes in the body. After eating a sweet food, like a cookie or chocolate bar, the brain’s reward system, the mesolimbic dopamine system, is activated. This gives our brain a positive rush.

The more we expose the body to sugar, the more it takes to get the same dopamine rush. This perpetuates a consistent cycle of over-eating.

trigger foods mycotherapy

How to Overcome Trigger Foods

The body’s craving for substances like dopamine is difficult to overcome. However, it is possible to reduce the reliance on trigger foods to create the reward response. Mushrooms and mycotherapy are areas currently being explored as a solution for reducing overeating tendencies. These substances can help to strengthen the satiety effect and reduce the need for large dopamine doses.

Mycotherapy has the potential to reduce unhealthy cravings, helping people with poor food relationships to recode their responses to certain trigger substances. Supplementation with medicinal mushrooms allows the brain to unlock oxytocin more easily and other “happiness hormones”, without a reliance on additional calories.

Lion’s mane powder, for instance, improves the digestive system, which has a direct impact on our ability to respond to smaller doses of dopamine-boosting foods. The digestive system is responsible for 50% of the dopamine and 95% of the serotonin in the human body. When our digestive system isn’t operating as it should, it’s difficult to send the brain the information required to convey satiety and reduce overeating.

Which Mushrooms Help with Trigger Foods?

All mushrooms have benefits to offer in the form of nutrition, vitamins, and minerals. However, some are more effective than others at supporting the dopamine response in the brain and triggering feelings of satiety. Some mushrooms like Maitake can also assist with weight control, helping the metabolic system to deal with periods of overeating more effectively.

  • Reishi mushrooms support the central nervous system and reduce feelings like stress and anxiety. These mushrooms can also increase positive levels of HDL cholesterol to encourage oxytocin development. Reishi further improves gastrointestinal performance.
  • Lion’s mane mushrooms are effective at overcoming digestive disorders, as a powerful prebiotic. Supporting the inner workings of the gut improves dopamine and “happiness hormone” responses.
  • Cordyceps sinensis mushrooms offer plenty of antioxidants to eliminate some of the negative side-effects of trigger foods. They can also offer Vitamin D and C to assist with the development of oxytocin and happiness hormones.
  • Oyster mushrooms, similar to lion’s mane mushrooms can support the digestive system and encourage the better management of “satiety” hormones that let people know when to stop eating.

The correct mushroom supplementation will offer patients a higher dosage of vitamins and minerals to support an effective digestive system. The proper functioning of the digestive system can then lead to improved feelings of satiety, and quicker pleasure responses when people do eat certain trigger foods, like sweet or sugary items.

Because supplementation is also fat-free, it’s an easy way to adjust the diet without creating another “alternative” trigger food. 

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Hania is a Mycotherapy specialist with an extensive background in the Natural Medicine field. She is qualified Naturopath, master coach, a life alignment healer and teacher, and she has worked with thousands of clients for many years as a traditional Chinese medicine acupuncturist, wellness consultant, and healer. She has developed a passion for food as medicine, functional plants and mushrooms. After years of clinical practice in acupuncture in London, Melbourne and the South East Asia, Hania returned to the UK where she works as a Mycotherapy specialist and coach.