5 foods that increase dopamine, according to one RD

Llet’s face it: we don’t exactly live in carefree times. In a world where there is so much beyond our control, taking care of ourselves in small ways can make a huge difference. First example: eating foods that nourish our body And our souls. In addition to giving you the freedom to listen to your hunger signals and eat what you want, when you want, a great way to invest in your mental health is to add certain foods to your plate that increase your body’s production of the happiness hormone. (Oh, hey, dopamine!) Whether you want something sweet or salty, Kylene Bogden, RDN and co-founder of FWDfuel, is about to give you the 411 to make your brain day.

“Dopamine is a neurotransmitter known as ‘happy chemicals’ or ‘pleasure chemicals,'” says Bogden. The mood-boosting hormone has earned this reputation because it helps nerve cells to send messages to each other so different parts of the brain can communicate properly. When you accomplish something rewarding or do something you really love, dopamine helps you feel pleasure, which helps ensure you’ll try to repeat the same activity in the future, says Bogden. These activities can include having sex, meditating, hitting everyone at Scrabble or having a really cool run. However, dopamine isn’t just a key to joy; it also contributes to your memory, sleep and your ability to concentrate. It’s kind of a … a very (er) amazing chemical.

In general, you can control your dopamine levels by eating a variety of dishes that you find delicious, adds Bogden. After all, eating what you love naturally arouses joy. But if you are looking for certain foods that are linked to increased dopamine in the body, you are in luck. Below, Bogden shares five key foods to work with in your health meals and snacks And happiness.

5 foods that increase dopamine, the “chemistry of happiness”

1. Foods rich in B vitamins, such as salmon, leafy vegetables and eggs

“If our bodies are low in B vitamins, we can’t adequately produce dopamine,” Bogden explains. Vitamin B6, in particular, is the key to the synthesis of many neurotransmitters, including GABA, serotonin, dopamine, and even melatonin. Fortunately, most types of B’s ​​are fairly easy to find. You can get yours from nuts, beans, fish, poultry, and many other sources. (Just make sure you are especially aware of taking B6, which can be found in citrus fruits, starchy vegetables, poultry, fish, fortified grains, and organ meats.)

2. Nuts and seeds

Your high-protein snack also contains a key amino acid that works hand in hand with dopamine. “Nuts and seeds contain L-tyrosine, often referred to as tyrosine, and when the tyrosine is broken down, it converts to dopamine,” says Bogden. Peanuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds, and sesame seeds are a great source of tyrosine, according to Mount Sinai and Bodgen, so bring nut butters and trace mixes when you’re looking for a happiness-boosting snack.

3. Dairy products

Like nuts and seeds, dairy products contain that good amino acid L-tyrosine, so enjoy your milk, yogurt, cheese, and ice cream (you don’t have to ask us twice about the latter).

4. Chocolate

I mean, obviously chocolate makes you happy. “Chocolate contains small amounts of phenylethylamine (PEA), a compound that signals our brain cells to release dopamine,” explains Bogden. PEA is also associated with falling in love. As you see? It’s all connected. Try these clean and delicious chocolates for a spin.

5. Coffee

“High-quality coffee in moderation can also raise our dopamine levels as caffeine can signal our body to produce more dopamine,” says Bogden. You can also reap the same benefits from other caffeine sources such as matcha, chocolate, green tea, and other forms of caffeinated tea. Consider waking up mid-morning and investing in your afternoon mood.

Wondering the difference between matcha and green tea?


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