Dopamine is an important neurotransmitter that is essential for optimum brain function. Dopamine helps the brain generate sufficient energy to run the body. It stimulates the heart, regulates the flow of information through our brains, controls movement, and allows humans to experience feelings of passion and pleasure. Dopamine production is boosted by the consumption of certain foods, especially those containing the amino acid tyrosine. Eating these special foods adds to our ability to respond optimally to our lives both physically and emotionally.
Proteins are high in amino acids, which are necessary for dopamine production, and they Include foods such as fish, eggs, chicken, turkey and red meat to supply your body with adequate amino acids. Soy products and other legumes are considered incomplete proteins; however, form complete proteins when eaten in combination with grains, becoming excellent sources for dopamine-related amino acids.
Certain vegetables in particular are excellent sources of amino acids that stimulate dopamine production. Artichokes and avocados have also been found to increase dopamine levels.
Ripe bananas are a major source of tyrosine, and as they continue to ripen and become sweeter, their tyrosine component becomes more potent. Tyrosine helps regulate and stimulate dopamine levels, increasing memory and alertness.
Apples are recommended for being high in antioxidants and aid in the prevention of neurodegenerative diseases by triggering the production of dopamine in the brain.
Strawberries, blueberries and prunes to round out the best fruits supplying nutrients that trigger dopamine release.
Nuts and Seeds
Raw almonds, sesame and pumpkin seeds make a great snack and help regulate dopamine levels.
Wheat germ supplies the essential amino acid phenylalanine, that’s converted to tyrosine, which then stimulates additional dopamine release.
Several common herbs are known for helping to regulate dopamine levels. These include nettles fenugreek, ginseng, milk thistle, red clover, and peppermint. They are best consumed as herbal teas.
Adding supplements to your diet to increase dopamine levels may be helpful if you’re unable to get those nutrients from foods. Tyrosine, plus several vitamins such as B, C and E as well as iron, folic acid and niacin all help to trigger dopamine release.
For a healthy brain and body a balanced diet must be included in an everyday meal. All foods eaten should ideally be organic to avoid the effects of pesticides, chemicals and genetically modified organisms, or GMOs.