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Foods that increase levels of

dopamine and serotonin


Foods that increase levels of dopamine and serotonin to help with PMT and mid
depression. It is especially important to incude these foods in your diet when you
are feeling low or stressed. If you are craving sugary foods try these stress
busting foods instead and notice the diference.
urotransmitters regulate emotional and physical responses by afecting brain
functions. The neurotransmitter dopamine involves energetic moods, such as
motivation, drive, interest and concentration. Serotonin also afects moods. The
neurotransmitter may provide calming efects to help avoid aniety from stressful
conditions and to induce sleep. !ou do not get dopamine and serotonin directly
from foods, but foods have substances that help increase levels of dopamine and
serotonin.
Protein
Protein foods release amino acids as your body digests the proteins. "n amino
acid called tyrosine enters the bloodstream and then travels to the brain,
increasing production of dopamine and other neurotransmitters, such as
epinephrine and norepinephrine. These chemicals ecite you by boosting energy
and mental alertness. !ou need to eat high#protein foods for increased dopamine.
They include meat, poultry, $sh and dairy products. Some protein foods, such as
mil%, cheese and legumes, also have signi$cant amounts of carbohydrates.
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.arbohydrates
/ating more carbohydrates helps increase serotonin levels, according to Middle
Tennessee State 0niversity. .arbohydrates release insulin into the blood. Insulin
bloc%s out tyrosine and other amino acids, but leaves the amino acid tryptophan
alone. ,ormally, other amino acids crowd out tryptophan. +hen left alone,
tryptophan moves from the bloodstream to the brain where it converts to
serotonin. Tryptophan remains in the body at high levels following carbohydrate
meals. This helps bring you relaation. .arbohydrate foods include whole grains,
such as bread, pasta, cereal, oatmeal, brown rice, nuts, corn and oat bran.
Tryptophan Foods
.ertain foods contain tryptophan. /ating these foods may help relieve you from
aniety symptoms, Mayo.linic.com points out. Foods with tryptophan include
mil%, oats, soy, poultry, bananas, cheese, nuts, peanut butter, tofu, pump%in
seeds and sesame seeds. Tryptophan may convert to serotonin at a faster rate
with the help of more vitamin 1#2, found in cereals, liver and $sh.
1alancing Moods
+hether you want increased levels of dopamine or serotonin depends on your
moods or needs. /ating more high#protein foods assists you when you want more
energy or improved mental functions to deal with physical activities or mental
tas%s. If you want relaation or improved sleep, eating more carbohydrates can
help. 1alancing your protein and carbohydrate inta%e can aid you through the
day. !ou may want protein foods to start the morning and eat an e3ual amount of
protein and carbohydrates at lunch for your energy needs, but also to calm you
down. .arbohydrates may wor% best in the evening when you want to rela or
prepare for a good night4s rest to feel better when you start the net day.
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'eferences
Integrative Psychiatry@ The Four MaAor ,eurotransmitters
Psych .entral@ Fre3uently "s%ed 7uestions "bout Serotonin
Middle Tennessee State 0niversity@ Food, Mood and ,eurotransmitters
"rticle reviewed by Bhalid "dad *ast updated on@ May (C, (?DD