You probably have not heard of anandamide, but you would have certainly felt its effects. The “bliss molecule” is a natural neurotransmitter and endocannabinoid that creates a sense of happiness, an article on Be Brain Fit stated.
Anandamide stimulates the same pleasure receptors as the main cannabinoid in marijuana. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol, this endocannabinoid is naturally produced by your body. It can also be found in some foods.
Endocannabinoids can also shield against psychiatric diseases like major depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. Anandamide itself helps the brain consolidates memory. It can work alongside marijuana in stimulating brain receptor, thereby protecting the brain from neuroinflammation, strokes, and the loss of memory.
A lack of endocannabinoids is theorized to increase the risk of various maladies such as depression, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson’s disease. A deficiency in anandamide itself can make a person unhappy, fearful, anxious, and unable to handle stress. (Related: Turn up your happiness dial with these simple tips: From sleeping more to eating chocolate, easy ways you can be happy NOW.)
Chocolate contains plenty of “bliss molecules”
One of these sources is black truffles, one of the most expensive foods in the world. The 2018 price for a single ounce of black truffle is close to $100. The rarer white truffles go for twice as much as the black ones.
Fortunately, the other food is chocolate. Specifically, the cocoa that makes up the very popular sweet is a rich source of anandamide.
Chocolate contains hundreds of biochemicals. Caffeine, theobromine, and phenylethylamine are three of the better known substances in the food that can improve moods.
Furthermore, theobromine stimulates the brain to release more anandamide. Other compounds extend the effects of anandamide.
To get the most anandamide out of chocolate, eat the less refined products such as cocoa powder or cacao nibs. These minimally-processed chocolate have plenty of the beneficial compounds and no unhealthy sugar to boot.
There are also foods with compounds that boost anandamide. Some of these are as follows:
- Common black pepper, long pepper
- Apples, blackberries, grapes, peaches, raspberries
- Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, lettuce, potatoes, spinach, squash, tomatoes
- Green tea
Olive oil also contains precursor chemicals that can be transformed into anandamide.
Other means of raising anandamide levels
There are several supplements that improve the production or activity of anandamide. Palmitoylethanolamide is produced by the body, but it can also be extracted from some foods. It is considered to be very safe.
Cannabidiol (CBD oil) is derived from the cannabis plant, but it does not have the psychoactive properties of marijuana. It extends the lifespan of anandamide. CBD oil should not be mistaken for hemp oil, which is a very different product that doesn’t improve anandamide.
You can also increase the anandamide in your body by doing certain intense activities that demand your exclusive focus. When you are in this “zone,” your brain gets lots of brain chemicals that make you feel good – chemicals like anandamide.
Or you could exercise until you get the feeling of “runner’s high.” Some studies suggest that endocannabinoids are responsible for this feeling. Exercise may make brain receptors more sensitive to anandamide.
Get lots of physical touch, such as hugging, cuddling, massaging, or even lovemaking. These acts increase oxytocin, which stimulates anandamide production. Other activities with similar effects include meditation, relaxing music, and yoga.
If you hunger for more stories about the health benefits of chocolate, visit Chocolate.news.