Food is an important part of life—it literally keeps you alive. If your mood is low and you’re going to eat anyway, you might as well eat something that could potentially help to boost your mood.
We’re going to talk a lot about dopamine and serotonin below so what are they?
Dopamine is a type of neurotransmitter that your body makes and uses to send messages between nerve cells. It helps in things like how we feel pleasure, think, and process pain. In order to make dopamine, your body takes the amino acid tyrosine and converts it to a substance called dopa and then that becomes dopamine. Eating a diet that’s rich in magnesium and tyrosine-rich foods can help increase the amount of dopamine in your body. You should be careful though as too much dopamine can be just as harmful as too little. High dopamine levels are associated with mania, obesity, and addiction
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that is believed to act as a mood stabilizer. It is believed to influence learning, memory, and happiness. A lack of serotonin is thought to contribute to the causes of depression, anxiety, and other conditions. There are some new studies that show low serotonin might not be wholly responsible for depression, but since all these foods and drinks are healthy and can help your body in other ways, I’m still going to show the foods that are thought to increase this chemical.
Yogurt with probiotics, specifically Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, can help to improve your mood. It is thought that these good bacteria help to produce the chemicals serotonin and dopamine in your gut.
Grapes can enhance mood and boost energy with their vitamin C and natural sugar
Bananas are full of tryptophan (you know that stuff in turkey that makes you sleepy) an amino acid that the body uses to create serotonin.
Almonds can increase dopamine levels and they have good fats for brain health.
Avocados are packed with tyrosine –which helps the body produce dopamine.
They also contain more folic acid than any other fruit which can help to reduce homocysteine—an amino acid linked to depression and anxiety.
But wait there’s more; avocados are high in omega-3. These fatty acids have been linked to helping with depression and anxiety.
Dark chocolate has been shown to reduce stress hormones like cortisol.
A US study showed that having 40 grams of dark and milk chocolate was a good way to reduce stress in females.
Not a food, but green tea has L-Theanine which is an amino acid that is thought to affect the brain chemicals GABA, dopamine, and serotonin. So, it may help to decrease anxiety and stress
Water is another non-food on this list, but it’s the most important item. The brain’s ability to function can be impaired by dehydration.
Do you have any foods or drinks that help improve your mood?