(NaturalNews) Increase energy, lose weight, feel happier and eliminate depression by raising the levels of the brain neurotransmitter dopamine with simple dietary changes.
Dopamine is naturally produced by the brain and controls the body's movements, stimulates metabolism and proper body weight, supports the circulatory system and governs the brain's information flow. Too little dopamine in the system is responsible for a lack of response in an individual, deadening the ability to feel emotion and creating a sense of indifference. In addition, low dopamine levels slow the metabolism, contributing to weight gain, low energy, sluggishness and depression. Too little dopamine can cause unwanted bodily movements, jerking, twitching and slurred speech. Proper levels of dopamine are necessary to prevent conditions such as Parkinson's disease. In the right amounts, dopamine encourages weight loss and helps the body maintain its proper weight.
Foods that boost metabolism and restore dopamine levels
It's important to maintain proper dopamine levels to enable an individual to experience their feelings of pleasure and have the ability to generate the energy to live life. Adequate dopamine raises the body's energy levels and increases metabolism promoting weight loss and well being. A variety of foods can help boost metabolism while increasing the body's ability to function at its optimal level.
· Proteins are high in amino acids which contribute to the production of chemicals that stimulate dopamine in the brain. Foods such as eggs, fish, poultry and red meats are all high in protein and great for increasing metabolism. Fish in particular, is high in protein and contains healthy Omega 3 fatty acids, which contribute to increased brain function. The best proteins are those that are organic and do not contain antibiotics, hormones or pesticides.
· Red beets restore dopamine levels and produce a sense of well being. Beets contain the amino acid betaine, which acts like an antidepressant, creating feelings of pleasure and joy.
· Apples boost brain power and help with weight loss. Apples are high in quercitin, a potent antioxidant, and may help prevent neurodegenerative diseases and stimulate dopamine production.
· Drink a daily dose of watermelon juice, which is high in vitamin B-6, an important nutrient for dopamine production
· Foods containing folate help the brain produce more dopamine. Good sources of folate are found in most leafy green vegetables, broccoli, cauliflower, lentils, garbanzo beans, black beans, and papaya. Plant sources of folate must be eaten raw to provide enough folate as a nutrient source.
Amino acids, vitamins and herbs boost metabolism by raising dopamine levels in the brain
· Tyrosine is the main amino acid that triggers dopamine production in the brain. Foods high in tyrosine are bananas, strawberries, blueberries and prunes.
· Include a multivitamin containing vitamins B, C and E to help produce additional dopamine supplies in the brain, notes Franklin Institute's, "Science Learning" website
· According to Blessed Maine Herbs, certain herbs are recommended to help the brain produce higher amounts of dopamine, such as fenugreek, ginkgo biloba, Indian ginseng, red clover, nettles, dandelion and peppermint. In particular, green tea contains polyphenols, which can increase dopamine output. These can be taken as supplements or consumed as herbal teas. Because herbs may cause side effects, it is necessary to use care when adding them to any health plan. An herbal practitioner should be consulted for directions how to use herbs and in what dose.
Sluggishness and lack of energy may indicate a serious disease in addition to low dopamine levels. If symptoms continue or do not respond to dietary changes or increased supplementation, see a health practitioner.
JB Bardot is an herbalist and a classical homeopath, and has a post graduate degree in holistic nutrition. Bardot cares for both people and animals, using alternative approaches to health care and lifestyle. She writes about wellness, green living, alternative medicine, holistic nutrition, homeopathy, herbs and naturopathic medicine. You can find her at The JB Bardot Archives at www.jbbardot.com and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/jbbardot23 or on Twitter at jbbardot23 or https://twitter.com/jbbardot23