If you’re wondering what dopamine is and why the heck you’d be interested in dopamine boosting, then you’ll need to first check out this blog I wrote about cravings.
So I’ve been talking all about neurotransmitters, your brain and how they interact to drive your (sugar) cravings for the last couple of weeks. Dopamine is one such neurotransmitter that’s heavily involved in not just your cravings, but also memory, learning, behaviour, and even co-ordinating your movment.
Sufficient dopamine levels = a happy, motivated human. Your brain just wants you to be happy, so when dopamine levels are low your brain gets you to seek out foods, drinks, flavours or activities that you like and that you feel happy after eating/drinking/doing.
signs you need dopamine boosting
You might consider concentrating on boosting dopamine if you have symptoms like:
- Forgetfulness (especially if you forget what you were saying halfway through a sentence)
- Low motivation and drive
- Mental Exhaustion
- Addictive tendencies
- Low libido
- Restless legs
- Dull dreams
- Sugar & carb cravings
(Hands up who’s thinking, OMG, that’s me?!) 🙋♀️
Of course there may be other factors contributing to these symptoms, like hormones, nutrient levels, food, lifestyle and toxin exposure, so it’s important to talk to a holistic health professional before you start adding or changing supplementation, what you eat or what you do to your body.
Dopamine boosting foods
Foods to help support healthy dopamine levels are all the good stuff:
- Cacao (dark chocolate, or raw cacao powder better)
- Seeds & nuts
- Fermented foods
- Broccoli & cruciferous veges (kale, cabbage, cauli, bok choy, brussels sprouts)
- Garlic & onions
- Turmeric (have you tried my turmeric & ginger paste recipe? Makes turmeric tea easy & tasty)
- Green tea
- Protein is also important for all neurotransmitter production.
That is a fine list of foods, should be easy to get some of them in to meals each day, yes? To make it even easier for you, I’ve got a dopamine boosting smoothie recipe for you. Lots of dopamine boosting foods are ticked off in this recipe. Let me know what you think if you try it – my kids enjoy it, so we are having it often at the moment to keep everyone calm, motivated and in control.
ingredients (makes 4 serves)
- 500mL kefir (or 1 cup yoghurt + 1 cup of water)
- 1 frozen banana (or 1/2 cup frozen dragonfruit + 4 medjool dates)
- 2 tbsp raw cacao
- 4 tbsp pure collagen powder
- 1/4 cup hemp or sunflower seeds
- 1/2- 1 cup blueberries
- 1 cup ice
- 1 handful spinach
- Optional: 1-2 cups of water, 1/2 avocado, and shredded coconut + cacao nibs for serving
What do you think? Easy + tasty + nutritious = winner, winner, right?
one last comment
Dopamine is also converted to noradrenaline and adrenaline in the body. So if you’re feeling like your dopamine levels are lower than ideal, it’s super important to have a holistic look at what’s increasing your adrenaline levels. Check in on your sleep, stress, anxiety, level of busyness etc. You can read more about how stress impacts other parts of your body in this blog here.
And a word of caution: more is not always more! Too much dopamine isn’t a good thing either, so please be careful if you start playing around with herbs, nutrients or foods to try and change your dopamine levels. Working with a health professional (like me!) who has an interest in the brain and neurotransmitters is the safest option. If you’d like to make a time to chat and see how I may help you reclaim your health and well being, then please make a time for a free discovery call.
And don’t forget that I’m hosting a webinar on 27 April, 2020 all about the science of cravings – including why you get them and what you can do to stop them. Find out more here.