You are trying hard to get in shape, eat right, hit the gym, but you just lack motivation, don't feel good and despite all good intentions, things just don't work out the way you like. Maybe it's all in your head...literally.
What is dopamine and why is it so important?
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter, produced in the brain. Put simple, neurotransmitters are chemical messengers that transmit signals from one neuron (nerve cell) to another across synapses. Dopamine affects:
• Motivation, focus, attention and concentration
• Motor control of the body
Dopamine also has its role in stimulating the metabolism, so if you’re trying to shed body fat and lose weight, having adequate levels of dopamine is crucial.
What does Dopamine Deficiency leads to?
• Lack of motivation
• Inability to concentrate
• Sleeping disorders
• Weight gain
How comes Dopamine is so important for weight loss?
If you suffer from low dopamine levels, you probably crave foods and stimulants such as candies, chocolate, coffee, energy drinks, and there’s a strong reason behind that. Each of these foods and beverages actually boost dopamine production. One research found that dopamine-induced behavior leads to repeated cravings and overindulgence. Without the right amount of dopamine, you’re never physically and emotionally fulfilled by food, no matter how much you’ve eaten. So you keep eating and eating and eating...
So maybe you shouldn't be so hard on yourself when you can't resist that candy bar. Maybe the reason is hiding behind your dopamine.
Are there Natural ways to increase Dopamine levels?
Yes! Eating dopamine-containing and dopamine-boosting foods will increase your dopamine levels, making you feel better, perform better and get in shape! Most of these foods are also part of my personal meal plan.
Which are the Dopamine-boosting foods?
Foods rich in Tyrosine
• Almonds • Bananas • Avocados • Pumpkin seeds • Blueberries and strawberries
Foods rich in Vitamin B6 and Folate
• Leafy greens • Broccoli and cauliflower • Watermelon
Foods rich in L-Dopa
L-Dopa is the immediate precursor of dopamine. L-Dopa promotes motivation, feelings of enjoyment, supports healthy life style, improves energy levels and lean muscle mass. L-Dopa is also used in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease.
• Fava beans
Foods rich in Omega-3
• Salmon, Herring, Mackerel • Tuna
Consuming foods high in protein helps triggering dopamine production and stimulates your metabolism. Eggs, fish, poultry and red meat are all rich in protein.
It may surprise you, but the production of neurotransmitters is affected by the health of your gut. Too much bad bacteria in the gut leaves toxic byproducts called lipopolysaccharides which destroy the brain cells that make dopamine.
Foods high in natural probiotics can also increase natural dopamine production. The best choices of probiotic foods are:
• Kefir • Raw sauerkraut
Food for thought
Finally, to increase dopamine levels, just go for a walk, listen to a favorite song, read a good book, go workout ‒ all these activities are found to increase dopamine levels and…happiness. Eat right and Enjoy life!