Both Dopamine and Serotonin are neurotransmitters, they play a role in maintaining peace of mind, elevating mood and satisfaction.
Low levels of Dopamine is related to reduced motivation, decreased enthusiasm. On the contrary, low levels of Serotonin is known to disturb mood and sleep.
Although, the levels of both dopamine and serotonin can be increased naturally by the intake of certain foods.
How levels of both the NTs can be increased?
1. Increase the intake of protein
The amino acid tyrosine plays a role in the production of dopamine as the enzymes in the bodywork convert it to dopamine. Tyrosine can also be derived from another amino acid phenylalanine. So, intake of both these amino acids coming from protein sources like eggs, dairy, soy products and legumes will help in the production of dopamine.
Tryptophan amino acid helps synthesise serotonin, so eating protein foods that offer more tryptophan helps in its synthesis.
2. Consume more probiotics
Probiotics improve gut health, which in turn promote the growth of friendly microbiota responsible for the strengthening of the mucosal membrane and enhance the immune system. Additionally, it helps the synthesis of neurotransmitters. Example curd, yoghurt and probiotic supplements.
Our gut is also at times called our “second brain” as it contains nerves that help produce neurotransmitters like serotonin.
3. Exercise more often
It helps boost endorphin levels that elevate mood and can be observed after 20 minutes of exercise and to see results it should be performed regularly.
4. Get enough Sleep
Lack of good sleep or sleeping less can reduce the dopamine sensitivity in the brain. Having adequate sleep regulates dopamine naturally.
Top 5 Food Choices:
1. Kaunj Seeds (Velvet beans) - It is a natural precursor of L-dopa which acts as a precursor molecule of dopamine and as per few studies are found to be effective in treating Parkinson’s disease and other health disorders.
2. Eggs - It significantly helps boost the blood lams levels of tryptophan. The yolk is rich in tyrosine, tryptophan.
3. Cheese - Cheese contains tryptophan and is considered to be eaten in combination with carbohydrates.
4. Salmon fish - Omega 3 rich fatty acids help regulate the production of neurotransmitters.
5. Soya - Tofu and soya milk are a source of tryptophan, also a good option for vegetarians and vegans.
Other good sources - Pineapples, nuts and seeds, spinach, turkey.
Tryptophan needs carbohydrates to reach the brain and create serotonin, so tryptophan foods should be eaten along with carbohydrates.
Therefore, both neurotransmitters play an important role in maintaining positive mental health and elevating mood.