Wheat Addiction-Is it A Vicious Circle?
Since Diwali I had been traveling and trying to avoid wheat as much as possible without any success. Then I realised that it is really a very difficult task to stop eating wheat. I know it well that I get breathing problem once I start eating Roti and paratha yet my brain goes numb seeing hot Roti with freshly cooked dal and vegetable. Each time I promise half a roti for myself but land up eating more than that…. not only that the wish to eat half Roti slowly begins to convert into craving and then into full blown addiction. The other day I was reading that sugar and carbohydrate cravings have the same effect on brain as that of a drug addiction. I shuddered at the thought that I was getting into the labyrinth of the wheat addiction again. Why do we get addicted to wheat?
Wheat is tasty and who doesn’t love warm roti or garma garam poori halwa? It is irresistible. The problem arises when we start consuming it just a bit more than we realize as we can’t really resist it. Why it happens with wheat only is very interesting.
The scientific explanation is that the proteins in wheat get broken and penetrate both the gut and the blood-brain barrier. There those peptides bind to the brains opiate receptors. This that sets off an internal fix and it keeps asking for more and more of wheat. This happens because of gluten from wheat. Wheat provides the easy calories and the addicting exorphins to make us addicts. And we get fat, overeating wheat.
Our IWB Weight Loss Program team reports that the clients find it really difficult to control cravings for wheat as they find it relaxing and calming. When they do not eat these foods, they become anxious and stressed. Eating wheat stimulates serotonin and dopamine which are neurotransmitter substances cause pleasurable sensations and reduce stress, pain or anxiety. Isn’t it any lesser than an addiction?
Improper bowel flora
Most of the times a craving for wheat is associated with improper bowel flora. Presence of candida albicans in the intestines is one of the common reasons. The presence of intestinal yeast achieves a balance with these harmful organisms that live in the small and large intestines. These organisms feed upon sugars and starches in most cases, making people wheat addicts. When these addicts do not eat wheat for some time the yeast begins to die. This causes a die-off or Herxheimer reaction resulting in feeling hungry, anxious, tired, or irritable.Whenever there is a craving if wheat is consumed, the withdrawal symptoms vanish and one begins to feel well again. This sets up a very powerful addiction.
There are so many of us who stay tired all the time and eating wheat and sugar gives a boost in energy. The causes of fatigue include impaired energy production in the cells of the body, low thyroid and adrenal hormone secretion or other kinds of hormone imbalance. Other causes are the presence of toxic metals, chronic infections, poisoning with toxic chemicals, nutrient deficiencies, lack of sleep, or overwork. Those who suffer from all these issues are the ones who generally fall into the trap of wheat addiction.
Lower intake of protein
One more very important reason to make people wheat addicted is the low intake of protein rich foods. This happens especially with vegetarians and vegans who lack proteins in their meals due to the absence of animal proteins. A low intake of protein can definitely cause carbohydrate cravings.
Glutemorphines are protein fragments from the incomplete digestion of gluten found in wheat. They get absorbed into the body due to the leaky intestines. From there, these Glutemorphines drift into the brain causing a sedating or morphine-like effect. So, do you still think that wheat is not addictive?
Wheat, in fact, all the wheat products are very high in the amino acid glutamine which has a stimulating or inflammatory effect on the body. Recent research reveals that another substance in wheat products called wheat germ agglutinin or WGA that is an excitotoxin and neurotoxin. For some of us eating wheat products, can give a quick energy boost due to the presence of these chemicals. Don’t we know that these can cause an addictive effect also because who won’t want more of the quick energy pick up that they give? But like the simple mechanism for all addictions, they weaken the body and increase the craving.
How to overcome wheat addiction?
The first and foremost step for overcoming wheat addiction is to start eating healthy with more of fiber and proteins.
Including probiotics in daily meals can correct the intestinal flora which can be a step towards overcoming wheat addiction.
Improving eating habits like eating after short intervals can be a big step for coming out of this addiction.
Removing toxins from the body using timely detoxifications also can help.
Finally a strong will power to say NO to wheat is the best way to do away with wheat addiction. Try to stay away from wheat for two days and observe yourself. Then eat wheat for a day again and observe again. Ask yourself what makes you addicted to wheat? Self-diagnosis is very helpful in coming out of wheat addiction.
Remember, you can lose more weight without wheat than with it. And I can personally vouch for it that you are not going to lose anything by not eating wheat.
When are you going to come out of the vicious circle of wheat addiction?
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