The Reasons Why Is Food Better Than Melatonin

I won’t keep you in suspense: the answer is “fewer side effects.” But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Melatonin could be called the sleep hormone. The pineal gland secretes it, darkness stimulates its production, and light inhibits it.

When it’s released, melatonin binds to hormone receptors that regulate the body’s internal clock and circadian rhythms. In short, it’s a sleep-inducer.

In recent years, melatonin in supplement form has become popular. Some users choose it as a substitute for prescription sleep meds. It has also developed quite a following among travelers who swear by its ability to prevent or reverse jet lag.

So What’s the Down Side Of Melatonin?

Apparently, the above claims haven’t been conclusively proven.

Another problem is that dosing is vague and unregulated. It’s easy to take too much, which can lead to side effects. Those effects can include headaches, dizziness, daytime sleepiness, stomach cramps, depression, irritability and more.

Chronic use can also result in down-regulation, a reduction in the number and sensitivity of existing melatonin receptors. That can reduce the effectiveness of any naturally produced melatonin, and may eventually worsen insomnia.

Over 23 years ago, Richard Wurtman, M.D., issued a warning not to self-medicate with melatonin. I’m most familiar with Wurtman’s work on insulin resistance and how it can reduce serotonin and lead to depression. In any case, he’s a reputable source.

Is There a Natural Way to Increase Melatonin?

I’ve always believed it’s a mistake to jump into the middle – or in this case, jump to the end – of a biosynthetic chain. It seems to me that’s how and when the side effects happen. This is where food enters the picture.

The “food formula” would be to eat protein foods throughout the day. Then have an all-carb (specifically all-starch) snack about 60 to 90 minutes before bed.

The insulin triggered by the carbs allows tryptophan to reach the brain. Tryptophan is an amino acid; amino acids are the building blocks of protein, as you may have learned in 7th grade biology! (Or not… )

Anyway, tryptophan is the precursor of serotonin. The brain can and will use the tryptophan to make serotonin. And serotonin is the precursor of melatonin. It’s that straight-forward.

The process is natural – more natural than just having melatonin. And it starts at the “beginning” of the chain – with protein foods during the day to provide tryptophan, followed by timed carbs at night when we want to sleep.

The best part is that we can bypass the side effects. That’s the part that makes me recommend food over melatonin supplements.

But Aren’t Carbs Bad?

For those who shun carbs, I’d recommend being realistic. It doesn’t take very much starch to trigger a little insulin and change brain chemistry. And it’s much more natural than jumping over the whole process and landing on melatonin supplements – with all those side effects.

If gluten is your concern, gluten-free starches are always available. Examples include quinoa, sweet potatoes, potatoes, rice, and many others.

Why not give this sleep method a try? It’s quite effective.

You Should Read This – Gut Health and Inflammation

Some pass it off as aging; others suffer from ongoing health issues; however, there’s a chance your chronic inflammation means something else entirely: poor gut health. It might sound like we’re a broken record, but we’ll never stop repeating it, your gut has an enormous impact on your overall wellbeing.

Your stomach is filled with trillions of living bacteria and yeast which is called your microbiome. In fact, your gut houses eighty percent of your immune system and is often called the body’s second brain. Everything from moods to hormones to weight to genetics falls under the gut’s control.

We all know what we eat impacts our health, but many vastly underestimate the connection between diet and inflammation. Whether you’ve cut your finger or manage an autoimmune disease, no matter what form it takes, inflammation is your body trying to heal itself.

Inflammation in Overdrive.

However, while it’s your body’s natural response to injury or disease, inflammation can go into overdrive and become chronic when fighting an ongoing imbalance or deficient lifestyle. There are many changes you can make to start cultivating better gut health, read through our top solutions below.

Leaky Gut.

One possible cause of excess inflammation can be damaged intestinal lining. When your gut starts leaking, undigested food particles can pass through and lead to inflammation throughout the body. Eating clean and cutting out some foods we know to be inflammatory for many people like gluten, sugar, and alcohol may be a good place to start. If that doesn’t work, an elimination diet could be the next step toward figuring out what’s triggering your system.

Stress.

No matter how exemplary your eating habits are, the healthiest diet cannot overcome excess stress. Chronic stress sabotages your immune system and hampers your body’s ability to heal itself. To combat everyday stressors try taking up practices like yoga, meditation, nature walks or mindfulness.

Foods that Fight Inflammation.

Above all, focus on eating as many whole foods as possible. Real, nutrient-packed food is powerful medicine. Cut out processed junk and fast food, and add more plants, healthy fats, nuts, seeds, and fermented foods into your daily meals. You are what you eat, so make sure you’re eating things that enrich your body.

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Read Rhis – Eat This Warrior Root to Boost Your Energy And Libido

The Peruvians have known about this particular root for thousands of years. It was said that this root could revive a weary libido, increase energy, stimulate fertility, improve memory and relieve depression. It was also once reserved for the exclusive use of royalty and warriors. It sounds too good to be true, right?

This amazing root is called maca, and it is a member of the cruciferous family, like broccoli and kale. It has also been called Peruvian Ginseng and is strong adaptogen. Adaptogens help the body combat daily stress such as busy lives, illness or demanding jobs by supporting our adrenal glands and reducing cortisol. You’ll typically find this root sold in powder form. Let’s have a look at the benefits of consuming this warrior root!

Benefits

Overall Health
Maca is loaded with vitamins and has a high mineral content which makes it especially appealing because our typical diet is deficient in these essential nutrients. Maca’s most abundant nutrient is potassium which is critical for regulating our heartbeat, aiding in the transportation of oxygen and other nutrients to the brain, regulating blood sugar, calming the nerves and more. When our bodies get adequate nutrition we have more energy and can manage stress much more efficiently. Maca is also high in fiber which is important for a healthy heart and it prevents constipation.

Energy
Maca has been known to boost stamina, energy and enhance athletic performance. When you’re nourished with this root you’ll have more focus too. Try having this at least 1 hour before exercise to boost your energy.

Libido
This root helps restore libido and is often described as an aphrodisiac. Maca’s effect on the hypothalamus promotes a healthy sex drive and the proper functioning of the thyroid, ovaries and testes. It may take a week or more to notice the difference (everyone is different) but it essentially works on the root of problem, pun intended, as opposed to taking a pharmaceutical medication that acts as a band-aid and has potential side effects. There are currently no known side effects of maca. Of course, always consult your healthcare practitioner first though.

Hormones & PMS
Maca can help both men and women balance important hormones in their bodies along with enhancing fertility. It especially helps to regulate estrogen – high estrogen can cause debilitating premenstrual symptoms (PMS) in women.

Mood
As you can see maca has the power to balance hormones in the body which also leads to decreased feelings of anxiety and depression.

How To Consume It
Start slowly and gradually by adding 1 teaspoon per day to smoothies, puddings, yogurts, etc., then work your way up to 1 tablespoon daily. You can even add some maca to your applesauce, it dissolves right in. An easy way to get your daily dose of maca is to make a smoothie! Try this:

In a blender add:
1 cup frozen mixed berries
1 handful fresh spinach (you won’t taste the spinach and it’s a serving of vegetables!)
1 ½ cups unsweetened almond milk, rice milk or coconut milk
1 scoop protein powder (your choice of flavour)
1-3 tsp maca powder
Blend all ingredients together in a high-speed blender and enjoy!