We all get the blues from time to time. Some, more than others. Unless it’s a clinical depression which needs special medical assistance, our down moods can be improved in a natural way. A low level of dopamine in the brain can trigger episodes of mood swings, anxiety, sadness, insomnia and other serious symptoms that affect our normal functions. We want to share with you a list of super foods that increase dopamine level in the brain and help elevate the moods, improve mental health and increase the level of “feeling good”. Here they are:
Apples contain quercetin, a powerful antioxidant that promotes brain health. Apart from preventing neurodegenerative diseases, apples also stimulate dopamine, which helps you feel pleasure. Another great antioxidant that is found in apples is polyphenols which protects the dopamine cells from damaging. If you want to get the best nutritional values, eat an apple a day including its peel.
All types of nuts are considered super foods that increase dopamine but almonds are the best. They contain phenylalanine, which is an essential amino acid that is essential for the production of dopamine. Almonds are also a great source of good fat and fiber, both very important for maintaining a healthy brain. Eat raw almonds daily as a snack between meals.
8. Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate is not only extremely delicious but it’s also known for relieving stress and lifting the spirits. Just like almonds, dark chocolate contains the amino acid called phenylalanine which plays an important role in the production of dopamine. You should eat the chocolate that has more than 85% cocoa. Next time you feel down, eat some dark chocolate and think of something nice.
Bananas are a great source of tyrosine, an amino acid that regulates and stimulates dopamine levels in the brain. This helps you fell happy and improves the memory, concentration and alertness. They are also packed with lots of minerals and vitamins which make them great for your overall health. Try to eat bananas that are ripe and sweet as they have the highest content of tyrosine.
Eggs are one of those super foods that increase dopamine because they are high in amino acids that help stimulate dopamine levels. Eggs are also rich in vitamin D, an essential vitamin for a healthy body and mind. Fortunately, eggs are delicious in any way we cook them: boiled, scrambled, omelets and so on.
Strawberries are a super source of vitamin C which is very important for maintaining our brain healthy. Vitamin C fights against the free radicals in the brain so that it can access dopamine easier. Strawberries are also packed with phenol antioxidants like ellagitannins and anthocyanins that protect the dopaminergic neurons from being damaged.
Salmon is a great source of fatty acids, especially omega-3, which has an important role in the functioning of the brain and its development. Omega-3 fatty acids are necessary for producing neurotransmitters like dopamine which helps against depression and mood swings. Other deep water fishes like tuna, mackerel, halibut, and sardines are super foods that increase dopamine.
3. Super Foods That Increase Dopamine – Beetroot
Betaine, which is an amino acid that beetroot contains, acts as a natural antidepressant stimulating the production of dopamine. Moreover, beetroot has few calories and it’s very rich in iron. Try to drink fresh beetroot juice daily to boost your mood naturally. You can add other fruits if you don’t like the taste of beetroot.
Watermelon is a great source of the tyrosine amino acid which converts into dopamine and boosts your mood. Watermelon is also fat free and contains a high amount of vitamin B6 which our body uses to transform into dopamine.
1. Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds are also rich in tyrosine and help increase our dopamine levels. They are rich in vitamin E which stimulates dopamine and protects the brain against the damage of the free radicals. Eating pumpkin seeds can make us more alert and, because they lower the cholesterol level, pumpkin seeds can reduce the risk of cancer and prevent kidney stones.
Other super foods that increase dopamine are:
Blueberries, poultry meat, artichokes, avocado, wheat germ, ginseng.
This was our selection of super foods that increase dopamine levels. Any tips and trick on how to lift our mood when we’re feeling down? Please share with us in the comment section below.