The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a complex network of receptors, endogenous ligands, and metabolic enzymes that play a key role in maintaining optimal health. It is named after the plant that led to its discovery, cannabis. While cannabis can be used to stimulate the ECS, there are other foods and activities that can also help it to function optimally.
Hemp Seeds, Chia Seed Oil, Walnuts, Flaxseeds, and FishHemp seeds, chia seed oil, walnuts, flaxseeds, and fish are all excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids which can help to strengthen the endocannabinoid system.
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for the production of endocannabinoids and can help to increase their levels in the brain. Additionally, sardines and anchovies are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and can also help to stimulate the ECS.
EggsEggs are another great source of omega-3 fatty acids. To get the most benefit from eggs, it is best to choose eggs that are either grass-fed or enriched with omega-3.
Dark ChocolateDark chocolate is a great source of flavonoids which can help to slow down the breakdown of anandamide, an endocannabinoid that stimulates the ECS.
Eating dark chocolate or raw cocoa can help to increase the amount of anandamide in the body.
CurcuminCurcumin is a compound found in turmeric that has been found to reduce depression by binding to the CB1 receptor and increasing endocannabinoid levels in the brain. Taking curcumin supplements for four weeks has been found to be effective in stimulating the ECS.
KavaKava is a plant native to the South Pacific islands that has been used for centuries as a natural remedy for anxiety.
Research has found that kava contains a compound called yangonin which binds to the CB1 receptor and stimulates the ECS. This may explain why kava is so effective at reducing anxiety.
AlcoholAlcohol consumption can have an effect on the ECS so it is best to be moderate when drinking or avoid it altogether for optimal health and endocannabinoid function.
ExerciseExercise is another way to stimulate the ECS.
However, it is important to note that too much exercise can actually have a negative effect on the ECS as it considers forced exercise to be a type of stress. Therefore, it is best to stick with moderate exercise for optimal endocannabinoid function. In conclusion, there are many ways to stimulate and support the endocannabinoid system which can help to improve brain and mental health. Eating foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as hemp seeds, chia seed oil, walnuts, flaxseeds, sardines and anchovies, eggs (grass-fed or enriched with omega 3), dark chocolate or raw cocoa, and taking curcumin supplements can all help to increase endocannabinoid levels in the body.
Additionally, kava has been found to bind to the CB1 receptor and stimulate the ECS while moderate exercise can also help to improve its function.