I recently decided to branch out (from a more paleo-ish regimen) and try to include some legumes in my diet, because I wanted the protein and also some more carb. I figured it would help with keeping my moods in a good place as both the protein and carb contribute to serotonin production. So, I tried some chickpeas.. Well, damn if I didn't notice some sort of "die off" symptoms.. At first I wasn't sure totally. So, I googled chick peas to see if they had any anti-fungal qualities..
I found out that chickpeas contain chitinase, an enzyme that can be effective against candida. Candida can exist in two forms in the body and in one form for it creates a protein layer or shell made of "chitin" which is like the hard shell of an insect. Because of the hard shell, it makes them hard to be impacted by other types of anti-fungals. So, chitinase breaks down this shell and can help flush it from the system.
Why does any of this matter? I think it matters because I feel that an imbalance of bad bacteria can negatively affect our consciousness. It can contribute to brain fog, bad moods, food cravings and more. It can also affect normal serotonin levels. There is a lot of research being released that also seems to confirm this.
Ancient teachings and practices seem to point to this too. For example, Kitchari is a common cleansing food from Ayurvedic practice which consists of Mung Beans (which contain Chitinase) and Rice.
(link: What's so amazing about Kitchari? )
There are even Kitchari cleanses, where a person eats only Kitchari for 30 days or so... mmmm
"Brain, Heart, Gut - What drives us really?"
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Just a personal note: There is nothing new under the sun. I am just attempting to present info. here that has helped me. I hope to present it in a clear way based on my experience with anxiety which was a spiritual, psychological and emotional awakening for me. In retrospect of this experience I have been reading as much as I could to come to a deeper and more grounded understanding of this seemingly mystical thing that happened to me (so that I could share it with you). I'm not a doctor or a scientist. Please know this is only my experience. Yours will obviously be different, but since my experience was so similar to others I've talked to, I am hoping this may be helpful or useful to you in some way. It's also a way that I hope to share the love with you. That is my purpose here.