Getting to the guts of cravings
The good news is the greater the number and diversity of microflora species in your gut, the less likely you are to have cravings. So re-establishing a healthy ‘inner ecosystem’ may be one tool in your toolbox to help free yourself from cravings as well as maintain a healthy weight.
n. A food craving (also called moreishness or selective) is an intense desire to consume a specific food, and is different from normal hunger.
Do you blame your own willpower when it comes to holding off the urge to consume sweet treats or junk food? Perhaps it feels like some foods are just too addictive to resist?
In practice, there are a number of reasons why we experience cravings – some have physiological origins, others are emotional and some come down to habit.
However, have you considered that your gut bacteria may have a role to play?
Studies have found that the 100 trillion bacteria that occupy our guts feed off the food we eat – and they can become manipulative in order to survive.
These tiny but powerful microbes can in fact influence our feeling of fullness, change taste receptors in our mouth and make us feel bad until we have eaten that particular food that bacteria needs to survive.
The fewer microflora species in your gut, the more likely you are to be controlled by a species request for its food source. So while you might think your sugar and carbohydrate cravings are due to a lack of willpower, it could be that microbes in your gut are exerting their willpower over you.