Dopamine is a simple chemical that plays a big role in our mental health and fitness. It’s naturally produced in the brain and it’s responsible for regulation of our mood and energy levels.
In short words, dopamine is a chemical that signals pleasure and excitement to the brain. Low levels of dopamine are known to cause depression, sadness, laziness, lack of interest in certain activities, food cravings and even chronic pain.
On the other hand if our dopamine levels are in check, we are in good mood, feel pleasure, stay focused and we have normal appetite.
What can you do to control dopamine levels ?
The first thing you need to do is start some sort of physical activity. It doesn’t matter if you play some sport, run, lift weights or do some physical work. The most important thing is to be active. Numerous studies demonstrate how physical activity can increase dopamine production and fight depression.
The second thing you need to do is to get your diet in check. Although numerous different elements may impact the amount of this chemical, such as genetics, hormones, drugs and alcohol, a few studies have shown that dopamine in the brain is produced under the influence of some foods – actually it is produced by components of these foods. So eating the right foods may play a crucial role in controlling dopamine levels and fighting depression.
10 foods that will increase Dopamine levels:
– Protein rich foods. High protein foods foods like chicken, lean meats and cottage cheese contain complete that provides all the amino acids which help produce dopamine and norepinephrine. Eggs can be used as a substitute for people that don’t eat meats.
– Omega-3 fatty acids found in seafood such as sardines, mackerel, salmon, tuna, striped bass and herring have many functions in the body, including a part in the secretion of neurotransmitters. Seafood has quickly digestible protein, many trace nutrients, high quality essential fatty acids, low cholesterol levels and low saturated fat.
– Apples. A substance found in apples called “quercetin’ is an antioxidant that research has shown may not only help in prevention of cancer but may also play an essential role in prevention of neurodegenerative disorders.
– Watermelon. Its juice is rich in vitamins such as C, A and B. While Vitamin C improves the immune system while protecting the body from free radicals, vitamin B (especially B6 ) is important for the production of dopamine, melatonin and serotonin.
– Foods high in tyrosine. Tyrosine is a nonessential amino acid the body makes from another amino acid called phenylalanine. Dopamine on the other hand is made from tyrosine. So eating foods high in tyrosine will increase the production of dopamine. These include: all the protein foods we mentioned earlier, bananas, avocado, nuts and almonds.
– Foods high in phenylalanine. Phenylalanine is an essential amino acid found in the brain and blood plasma that can convert in the body to tyrosine, which in turn is used to synthesize dopamine. Foods high in phenylalanine include: meats, dairy products, some seeds and wheat germ.
In a few words, you should eat a balanced diet, rich in unprocessed foods, protein, fruits and vegetables.