Dopamine is a type of neurotransmitter in the brain that plays a role in many functions in the body, including motivation, mood, attention, and memory.
A neurotransmitter is a chemical messenger that transmits signals in the body. It also acts as a hormone, it’s the hormone that keeps you alive because it makes you seek out food when you need it and is related to weight because Dopamine is the reason it feels good to eat food.
Neurotransmitters affect sleep, mood, motivation, memory, focus, energy, libido, weight, and can cause adverse symptoms when they are out of balance. It's been estimated that 86% of Americans have sub-optimal neurotransmitter levels. Stress, lack of sleep, poor diet, addictive substances, and genetic predisposition are all to blame for poor neurotransmitter levels.
Dopamine has a direct impact on the central nervous system, which is made up of the brain and spinal cord. It also plays an essential role in the brain's reward system, where it reinforces feelings of pleasure that people experience when they engage in rewarding activities.
When our brain produces dopamine in response to what we do, we feel good and want to do more of whatever it is that’s making us feel so mentally healthy. That, in turn, leads to even more dopamine production.
The goal for weight loss is to have a dopamine signalling system that regulates and balances your body with sustained energy and motivation. Besides the many pleasures dopamine brings. Healthy levels of Dopamine naturally suppress appetite and aid weight loss. Just be aware that dopamine does decrease with weight loss. It is important to include foods that stimulates Dopamine levels when dieting.
When most people think of weight loss, they don’t usually think of the brain. The brain, however, has a dramatic impact on body composition. Your appetite is not only a product of your physiology, but also your psychology. It is a complex interaction of hormones and neurotransmitters.
Foods that boost Dopamine levels naturally
The nutrients in certain foods travel to the brain and contribute to dopamine production. Eating lots of fruits and vegetables, especially bananas and berries can increase dopamine production.
Another great source of Dopamine is protein, including lean meats, fish, beans, and plant-based protein, as well as foods rich in Omega- 3 fatty acids like salmon, mackerel, oysters, ground flaxseeds, chia seeds, and walnuts.
Research has shown that consuming the amino acid Tyrosine can also increase dopamine availability. Tyrosine can be found in a number of dietary sources, including:
In terms of weight loss, dopamine is the most important of the four brain chemicals. Dopamine is a unique neurotransmitter in that it can be excitatory or inhibitory. It is derived from the amino acid Tyrosine and is released during gratifying activities, such as food consumption, sex and exercise. The function of dopamine is diverse as it plays a role in pleasure/reward, mood, attention, and motor skills.
The problem is that most of the foods and stimulants people crave – chocolate, candy, diet sodas, coffee, or energy drinks lead to unhealthy eating habits and obesity. Each of these substances, actually do boost dopamine production. Research shows that dopamine-induced behavior leads to repeated cravings and overindulgence. Without the right amount of dopamine, you're never physically and emotionally fulfilled by food, no matter how much you've eaten. So you keep eating and eating and eating.
It is very important to choose wisely, foods that boost Dopamine levels naturally with healthy nutritional value to avoid cravings and weight gain.
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