Dopamine plays an important role in the brain and body. It is one of they key chemicals responsible for our motivation, focus, memory and feelings of pleasure and reward.
Dopamine motivates us to seek out things thing made us happy and the lack or shortage of it can make us feel joyless, depressed, moody, lethargic and create a loss of libido among other things. Factors that will deplete dopamine levels include stress, poor sleeping and eating habits, frequent intake of sugar, caffeine and alcohol, and drug use.
The good news is that dopamine levels can be boosted naturally. Here’s how:
Avoid the quick fix
Stay away from things that only boost dopamine for short periods of time such as nicotine, caffeine and sugary treats. Instead, go for things that healthily boost your dopamine levels long-term and create a consistent sense of health and wellbeing.
Eat foods that are rich in tyrosine such as apples, watermelons, cherries, yoghurt, almonds, bananas, avocados, eggs, beans, fish and chicken.
You should also eat less saturated fats such as those found in animal fat, butter, full-fat dairy, palm oil and coconut oil.
Maintain a healthy exercise routine. Exercise increases the production of new brain cells, slows down brain cell aging, boosts endorphins, and increases dopamine.
You can do this by learning to meditate, doing yoga, spending time with loved ones, doing creative things, getting regular massages, listening to music and partaking in activities that are good for your mind and soul.
Getting enough sleep is of vital importance. A lack of sleep disrupts our body’s natural rhythms. By getting 7-9 hours of sleep every night, having a scheduled sleep routine, reducing noise in the bedroom and avoiding caffeine, nicotine and screen time just before bed will help to increase dopamine, which will lead to you feeling much more alert and high-functioning throughout the day. It’s also important not to spend your days in bed. If you work or spend your days at home, force yourself to get out of bed in the morning and have a separate work or living space.
Spend time outdoors
Make sure that you are getting enough sunlight exposure. Sunshine increases dopamine and vitamin D levels which will improve your mood.
Take probiotics and natural supplements
Taking care of your gut is extremely important when it comes to mental and overall health. Probiotics have been linked to improved mood.
Supplements such as Mucuna pruriens, l-theanine, l-tyrosine, iron, niacin, folate, vitamin B6, magnesium, vitamin D, curcumin, oregano extract and green tea are highly effective in boosting dopamine.
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