How To Naturally Increase Your Dopamine Levels
What Is Dopamine?
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter the body produces and it communicates by exciting a neuronal pathway in the body. It is predominantly made in a part of the brain called the substantia nigra. Dopamine is produced from the amino acids tyrosine and phenylalanine, both of which can be obtained from protein-rich foods.
The Benefits Of Dopamine
- Helps with weight loss
- Makes you feel more alive
- Improves memory
- Inhibits self-destructive behavior
- Combats depression
- Aids in resisting impulsive behavior
- Helps avoid Parkinson’s disease
There are also “shortcuts” to increase dopamine levels, substances such as nicotine, caffeine, and sugar-laden, foods are effective at increasing dopamine levels. However, these substances that give a quick temporary boost, end up disrupting the brain’s natural dopamine levels, resulting in decreased dopamine production overtime.
So What Can We Do To Naturally Boost Dopamine Levels?
- Eat tyrosine rich foods. Your body needs tyrosine to produce dopamine. Suggested foods are almonds, bananas, avocados, eggs, beans, fish, and chicken.
- Get regular exercise. Aside from the obvious physical benefits, studies have shown that getting enough exercise also helps increase dopamine production.
- Meditation. ‘Finding your center’ actually also helps with dopamine production as studies have shown, leading to improved focus and concentration.
- Get a massage. Studies have shown that massage therapy has been found to increases dopamine levels by as much as 30%, while also decreasing stress levels.
- Get enough sleep. Oftentimes because of our busy 9 to 5 schedules, we find ourselves getting less than 7 hours of shut-eye, leading to increased levels of cortisol in our brains. Getting at least 7 hours of sleep helps rejuvenate the mind and body, as well as regulate dopamine production.
- Listen to your favorite music. It is easily one of the most accessible ways to improve one’s mood and dopamine levels. Queue up those tracks that pump you up and ride the natural dopamine high.