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10 Dopamine Boosting Foods You Should Include In Your Diet

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter found in the brain that serves many purposes. It is linked to memory, attention, productivity and weight loss along with an important role in restricting impulsive behaviour and preventing Parkinson's disease.

According to a study based on COVID-19, the coronavirus is likely to alter the dopamine pathways in the brain. [1] Another study on SARS says about the change in neurons and nerve fibres in the brain causing problems like encephalitis. [2] As COVID-19 is believed to be similar to SARS, it is likely to affect the functioning of the brain negatively.

Boosting dopamine levels in our body through diet is the best way to prevent such viral diseases. When dopamine level are high, it affects the pleasure centre in the brain causing improved mood and motivation. Lack of dopamine in our body can lead to a lack of enthusiasm, depression, cold feet, low sex drive, mental fatigue, lack of focus and others. Take a look at the foods that help boost the dopamine levels in our body.

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1. Almonds

Protein is essential for increasing the dopamine levels in our body. Tyrosine is an amino acid that helps in building proteins, which in turn, helps in the production of dopamine. Almonds are packed with tyrosine, which is why it is considered the best snack for the production of ‘happy hormone' in our body. [3]

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2. Banana

Fruits like banana contain tyrosine along with a flavonoid called quercetin. Both of them excessively help in the production of dopamine. Apart from that, banana also contains multiple vitamins that help in maintaining good health of the brain.

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3. Dairy

Dairy products like milk and yoghurt contain important amino acids like phenylalanine, tyrosine and pregnenolone. They are the building blocks of dopamine as well as essential hormones in the body. The best thing is these products are easily available and are cost-effective. [4]

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4. Fish

DHA or Docosahexaenoic acid is a type of omega-3 fatty acid mostly found in fish like salmon, mackerel, sardine and herring. DHA helps improve the dopamine level in the body along with treating medical conditions like ADHD and dementia.

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5. Coffee

Coffee contains caffeine which is known to act as a stimulant of the central nervous system. This is because the caffeine helps in the release of dopamine in the brain causing alertness and focus. Tea, green tea (with caffeine) and dark chocolates are also the best sources of caffeine. [5]

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6. Grapes

Grapes contain a vital antioxidant called resveratrol which helps to spike up the dopamine levels in the brain. Antioxidants also help in preventing cell death by reducing the oxidative stress in the body. [6]

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7. Blueberries

They are rich in flavonoids, anthocyanin and antioxidants that help preserve the health of the brain and regulate the production of dopamine. Blueberries also help prevent Parkinson's diseases by reducing the oxidative stress in Substantia Nigra and Striatum regions of the brain. [7]

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8. Spinach

Spinach or other green vegetables are mainly known for the production of serotonin, a similar neurotransmitter to dopamine. They are also packed with tyrosine which plays an important role in stimulating the dopamine levels in the brain. [8]

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9. Mushrooms

Uridine in mushrooms helps restore the dopamine levels in the brain. It plays an active role in the synthesis of new dopamine receptors along with improving memory and alertness. Mushrooms also help treat mental conditions like depression and mood change.

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10. Oats

Oats are rich in complex carbohydrates that regulate the production of tryptophan, an amino acid that helps in the production of serotonin. The neurotransmitter serotonin is also known as a ‘happy hormone' that helps regulate mood, emotional connection, appetite and many others.

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Other Healthy Foods

  • Eggs
  • Watermelon
  • Nuts like peanuts or pistachios
  • Seeds like pumpkin seeds
  • Soy products
  • Wine, in moderation
  • Oregano
  • Fruit juice
  • Olive oil
  • Broccoli
  • Turmeric
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Some Healthy Ways To Improve Dopamine Levels

  • Reduce saturated fats such as butter and coconut oil
  • Increase probiotics
  • Eat a protein-rich diet
  • Exercise every day especially aerobics
  • Maintain a timely sleep
  • Listen to music
  • Get enough vitamin D through sunlight
  • Perform yoga or meditation
  • Get a massage
  • Increase pet contact
  • Do creative things
  • Celebrate small moments