What Is Your Endocannabinoid System?
The endocannabinoid system is an important communication network in your body. The ECS delivers the signals that allow your body and your brain to synchronize and respond to stimuli. The endocannabinoid system is responsible for regulating sleep patterns, appetite and general mood. Cannabinoid receptors are found on almost every one of your body’s organs.
They’re also found on immune cells, which help them navigate your body’s response to illness. There’s a lot you can do to support your body’s endocannabinoid system, and one of those things is eatin’ the right stuff.
Your morning cup of Joe is more than a great caffeine boost – it’s also an easy way to support your endocannabinoid system. Regular caffeine consumption has been shown to enhance the activation of CB1 endocannabinoid receptors.*
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Olive oil has a plethora of health benefits – its a strong anti-inflammatory, and it’s a source of healthy fats. This is important to note, because endocannabinoids are actually a product of fat. Consuming more healthy fats is vital for the health of your endocannabinoid system! Olive oil has even been shown to help regulate CB1 receptors, *
Tea contains catechizes, which are antioxidant compounds with powerful anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects. Research has shown that catechizes in tea target and bind to cannabinoid receptors in the central nervous system! Green tea in particular is rich in the catechin epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG).
Echinacea is a traditional Native American medicinal herb. It’s still prized today for its ability to reduce flu symptoms and shorten the duration of the common cold. Some folks even use the herb to calm anxiety and fatigue. Compounds in echinacea works with your endocannabinoid system to reduce inflammation and increase the effect of endocannabinoids.*
Kava root is a natural botanical prized for its medicinal and spiritual properties. This herbal remedy treats anxiety and promotes sleep and relaxation. Kava is also wonderful for facilitating meditation. New research shows that a compound in kava root actually binds to your CB1 receptor, stimulating your ECS and reducing anxiety!
Most chocolate enthusiasts know that a daily dose of dark chocolate is actually good for you. Dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants which reduce cortisol and oxidative stress. An added bonus? Dark chocolate contains the endocannabinoid anandamide (also known as the Bliss Molecule). That’s why eating a square of dark chocolate can help boost your mood!*
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fats that your body cannot produce on its own. Omega-3’s are necessary for healthy brain and nervous system function. They also increase the synthesis of endocannabinoids and endocannabinoid receptors. Cold water fish (such as salmon, black cod, sablefish, sardines and herring) are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. If you’re not a big fan of seafood, try a krill oil supplement.