15 May Endorphins: The Secret to Happiness
Endorphin is a combination of the words “endogenou” (produced within the body) and “morphine”.
Endorphins are endogenous opioids released from the pituitary gland that are believed to mediate analgesia (pain relief), induce euphoria, and play a role in the reward system in the gut-brain axis.
Most often they are released from the brain during periods of strenuous exercise, emotional stress, pain, and orgasm.
It has been suggested that endorphins are responsible for creating the relaxed psychological state known as “runner’s high.” (World Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences)
Endorphins are an amazing part of our bodies survival mechanisms. They are what allows human beings to perform at very high levels when they are in extreme situations. They allowed our ancestors to survive very hostile circumstances by blocking pain long-enough for them to escape whatever threat they were under.
What Happens if Your Endorphins Level is Low (endorphin deficiency)
-Chronic pain: back and neck
-Chronic headaches and migraine
-Painkilling medications don’t work
-Low pain threshold
-Tendency to tear up very easily
-Not having fun in life, depression
-Craving pleasure foods like chocolate, sugar, and wine
How to Boost Endorphins Levels Naturally
Ginseng: benefits people who are feeling fatigued and over-stressed and those recovering from a long-term illness. Ginseng may also enhance the production of endorphins, ‘feel-good’ chemicals produced by the brain. Many long-distance runners and body-builders take Ginseng to heighten physical endurance. There is some scientific evidence that Ginseng improves mental performance, including memory and concentration, and is useful in reducing blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes.
Group exercise class: All exercise is good, whether solitary or with others! However, according to a recent study, the shared effort of group exercise may give your endorphin levels an extra boost. Researchers in 2009 found that college crews who rowed in synchronization had an increased rush of these feel-good hormones compared with those who rowed alone.
Regular Sun Exposure: The sun’s rays not only help to boost vitamin D levels, but also stimulates the production of these feel good endorphins. Look for opportunities to get in the sun more regularly. Additionally, going barefoot on grass, dirt, or sand will ground your body and stimulate a larger endorphin release.
Consider Acupuncture: Acupuncture has been shown to stimulate bursts of endorphins which is why the needles don’t cause pain to the individual. The endorphin release from acupuncture is so good when done correctly that many people opt to use this instead of other anesthetics for surgeries.
Savor some chocolate: chocolate-lovers will be delighted to hear that dark chocolate provides protection against heart attacks and strokes. Thanks to its high content of polyphenols and other antioxidants, dark chocolate reduces inflammation, lowers blood pressure, reduces ιbad᾿ LDL cholesterol, boosts ιgood᾿ HDL cholesterol and protects the health of your arteries. It also contains chemicals that prompt the release of endorphins, the body’s pain-relieving and pleasure-promoting hormones. A sense of wellbeing is vitally important to keeping your cardiovascular system in top condition.
Eat something spicy: Good news for curry lovers! The hot, spicy taste of foods is not, in fact, a taste sensation but a feeling of pain. Capsaicin – the chemical compound that makes chili peppers hot – binds to proteins, or pain receptors, of nerve cells in the mucous membranes of the nose and mouth. The nerve impulses produced in this way pass via the trigeminal nerve into the brain, creating a painful burning feeling. The same receptors also react to heat, so that when heavily spiced food is eaten hot, the effect is even more intense. However, the pain is offset by the body’s reaction, which is to release endorphins – naturally occurring opioids that produce a feeling of wellbeing – which could explain the popularity of hot, spicy food.
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World Journal of Pharmacology and Pharmaceutical Sciences