Dopamine is a potent chemical that functions as a neurotransmitter throughout the body. It has wide reaching effects on many body functions and is important in mood and cognition, it also helps to allow humans to feel pleasure and passion. Eating specific foods can boost your body's production of this critical substance.
Certain foods can increase production of dopamine and stabilize levels in the body. The following list shares the most beneficial foods to consume to ensure proper dopamine levels.
Proteins are an important precursor to dopamine and many other substances in the body. The amino acids found in proteins serve as the building blocks for creating other chemicals and neurotransmitter.
Meats such as chicken, beef and eggs provide a complete form of protein the body can use to generate dopamine. Other non-meat foods such as tempeh and fermented soy products are considered incomplete protein sources. When eaten with other grains, they are able to provide the necessary amino acid supply to produce dopamine.
2. Certain Vegetables
Vegetables provide a variety of amino acids in addition to their potent antioxidant effect. Beets are an excellent source and avocadoes and artichokes also help regulate dopamine production.
Quercetin is a potent antioxidant found in apples and is found to stimulate dopamine production and helps prevent neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's. The amino acid tyrosine is plentiful in ripe bananas and also helps to stimulate and control dopamine levels. This correlates to improved memory and alertness. Strawberries, prunes and blueberries also boost dopamine levels.
4. Nuts and Seeds
These gems of the natural food world provide an excellent supply of amino acids for dopamine production. Raw unsalted almonds, pumpkin and sesame seeds are a great tasting snack and help maintain appropriate dopamine levels.
5. Wheat Germ
Phenylalanine is an essential amino acid and is converted into tyrosine. Tyrosine then in turn stimulates the brain to release more dopamine. Those sensitive to wheat or gluten should avoid this product though.
Fenugreek, milk thistle, ginseng, red clover, nettles and peppermint are perfect to consume and brewing tea from them will boost dopamine levels.
7. Other Foods
The listed foods are rich in tyrosine and boost dopamine concentrations in your brain. Shop for: chicken, duck, oatmeal, ricotta cheese, fava beans, edamame, dark chocolate, seaweed, and mustard greens. Try to add one to each meal throughout the day for the most dopamine generating effect.
Tips about Dopamine-Increasing Foods
Enjoy Dopamine-Boosting Recipe
This recipe is rich in tyrosine and eating it on a consistent basis will curb food cravings and boost dopamine levels.
Fava Bean Dopamine Delights
- Brown rice crackers
- 1 cup of shelled fava beans
- 3 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil
- Freshly ground black pepper and salt
- 1/2 small Spanish onion
- 1 organic garlic clove
- 1 teaspoon of finely diced red pepper
- 10 pitted large black olives
- 6 sprigs tarragon, leaves only
Boil the fava beans for 2 minutes to fully cook them. The drain and rinse under cold water. Use a food processor to puree the beans, onion, garlic and olives. Add in the olive oil and tarragon leaves. Finish by seasoning with salt and pepper to your desired taste. The last step is to spread the mixture onto the brown rice crackers. Use a spear of the red pepper as garnish.
Avoid Certain Foods
Certain foods should be avoided at all costs. Basically anything in a wrapper is most likely refined and full of white flour, cholesterol, sugar and saturated fats.
Dietary supplements are a quick way to ensure adequate nutritional support if you can’t get it from your diet. Always check with your doctor before adding additional iron supplements and keep it away from small children, as it is toxic in large doses. Supplementing with vitamin B, C, E, folic acid and tyrosine stimulate dopamine release. Niacin and iron are also beneficial. Niacin may cause flushing as a side effect and does not signal an allergy.