Drugs most especially the hard ones are very potent when it comes to addiction. They have the ability of arousing your brain to be conditioned in a particular way that will make you want to consume more and more. While that has been said, not only drugs have the ability of exciting your addiction. Most food can as well be very addictive because they tend to stimulate the same region of the brain just like the hard drugs, thereby arousing your addiction towards it - making you yearning for it quite a lot.
Ice cream arouses the same part of our brain as drugs. Over time, we will need to eat more ice cream to maintain that arousal. When we don’t, we become depressed, just as drug addicts do when they do not get drugs.
Kyle S. Burger and Eric Stice from the Oregon Research Institute studied the effect of ice cream addiction on the human brain. While scanning the brain activity of 151 teens, the researchers showed these young people a cartoon of a milkshake to measure their cravings before giving them actual milkshakes to consume during the scans.
The researchers noticed that the teens who had consumed a lot of ice cream in the weeks leading to the study were not as excited by having a milkshake as those who hadn’t eaten much ice cream previously. This was measured by activity in the brain’s pleasure center while having a milkshake.
As with using hard drugs, the teens who ate ice cream prior to the study needed more milkshakes to reach the same level of satisfaction as those who did not eat ice cream before the study.
Cheese is another addictive food we shove down our throats from time to time. It is found in many junk foods including pizza. It could even be the reason why some of us are addicted to pizza. This is because cheese contains the opiate molecules casein and casomorphins.
Casomorphins are fragments of casein and have the same effect as morphine in the body. They attach themselves to the brain receptors that drugs like morphine and heroin do. In response, the brain releases dopamine in the same way as when someone takes drugs.
Cheese makers know these facts and take advantage of them to sell more of their products. Although cheese will not turn you into a crackhead, it will make you high and addicted, although at a lower level than drugs.
The United States tops every other nation in caffeine consumption. The average American drinks three cups of coffee a day, and that is without counting their intake from other products like energy drinks and soda. Why do Americans drink so much coffee, you might ask? It could be the result of an addiction.
This beverage contains caffeine, which has been crowned the “world’s most addictive and widely used drug.” It triggers the release of dopamine, making us feel good in the same way that drugs make users feel good. Caffeine also causes a serious addiction that can only be cured by drinking more coffee.
Have you ever wondered why it is so hard to quit eating those bags of potato chips? According to a study, this is because they are as addictive as hard drugs. So once you pop the contents of a bag of chips, you might not stop.
Like cheese, potato chips trigger the release of dopamine that messes with our bodies and gives us the same effect as drugs do for users. Research by Dr. Tony Goldstone of Imperial College London revealed that pictures of potato chips and junk foods in general excited the same part of the brain as images of alcohol do for boozers and pictures of drugs stimulate for drug users.
Chocolate turns out to be another innocent food as addictive as drugs. This is because it contains sugar, fats, theobromine, and enkephalin, the caffeine of the cacao world. Theobromine and enkephalin are stimulants. Theobromine is known to trigger the expansion of our blood vessels and a drop in our heart rate and blood pressure to create a relaxing feeling, just like drugs.
The effects of enkephalin need more study because most of the relevant research was done on rats. However, unlike rats, humans are not easily influenced by enkephalin. Researchers discovered that rats fed M&M’S candies experienced a spike in enkephalin secretion, which excited the opioid receptors of the brain just like heroin and morphine. At the same time, this made the rats crave more chocolate to keep the secretion going.