Dopamine, a secretion in the brain, is a neurotransmitter that can affect mood. This conductive substance is mainly in charge of human desire and satisfaction, and transmits information of happiness and stimulation to the brain. There will inevitably be moments of loss or depression in life. How can we increase this “happiness hormone” at this time? Studies have proved that dopamine can be increased through the adjustment of diet and lifestyle habits. Let’s see what we can do!
What is dopamine?
There are two areas in the brain that produce dopamine. One area is a nucleus of the midbrain called ” Substantia nigra “. The dopamine in the substantia nigra can help us move and speak. The function of dopamine is to learn which behaviors can lead to rewards (for example: getting food, or satisfying desires). When the dopamine in this area is insufficient or imbalanced, it will make people lose the ability to control muscles, or lead to inability to concentrate. May suffer from Parkinson’s disease.
Another area that secretes dopamine is the ” Ventral tegmental area (VTA)” . Scientists believe that the ventral tegmental area is the pleasure system or the reward circuit (reward circuit, the main source of reward and behavioral stimulation). a part of. The ventral tegmental area also deals with many kinds of emotions and feelings of security, so it may be related to avoidance and fear-conditioning.
Dopamine will make us have the strength and vitality to complete our desires or goals in our hearts, and give satisfaction and happiness in the process of completion, as well as gain more valuable items or experiences. But it does not only have this function. In some areas, the function of dopamine is to regulate actions or to enhance our attention. Stimulating and promoting dopamine can bring us happy positive emotions and help self-improvement, so some people will call it the “happiness hormone” .
Increase dopamine through diet
Dopamine is more susceptible to oxidation. Foods rich in natural antioxidants can help prevent damage to dopamine receptors. Most fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants, such as β-carotene, carotenoids, vitamin C, and vitamin E.
Dopamine is made in the body by an amino acid called tyrosine, which is converted into dopamine in the body by enzymes. If there is not enough tyrosine, dopamine levels will be affected. Clinical studies have shown that eating foods rich in tyrosine can normalize dopamine levels in the brain.
Tyrosine is found in many foods, especially protein-rich foods such as dairy products, meat, fish, eggs, seeds, nuts, and beans.
A balanced intake of vitamins and minerals
The body needs a variety of nutrients to produce dopamine, especially vitamins and minerals. Insufficient intake may lead to abnormal dopamine levels. Most vegetables and fruits are rich in nutrients, a balanced diet is very important!
Limit saturated fatty acid intake
Medical studies have confirmed that a high-fat diet may destroy dopamine, especially when saturated fat is consumed too much.
Increase dopamine through lifestyle habits
Maintain good exercise habits
Exercise can increase calcium in the blood, and calcium can stimulate the secretion and absorption of dopamine in the brain. Exercise can also promote the synthesis of endorphins. For example, happy laughter and stretching exercise can produce endorphins. The effect of endorphins on the body is similar to increasing the secretion of dopamine.
Make sure to have at least 8 hours of sleep every day . During sleep, the brain consumes less dopamine, so a full sleep can make the body have more dopamine. Lack of sleep can also cause a large amount of dopamine to be secreted, which makes the body tired and manic, so it is difficult to maintain a happy mood.