Looking for ways to increase dopamine naturally? If you want to learn how to increase dopamine naturally, continue reading this article. But first.
The neurotransmitter dopamine is the key factor in our lives. Without even being aware of it, dopamine is the chemical that we are looking for the most throughout our lives. Whenever you crave a piece of chocolate, a cigar, or a glass of wine you are actually craving dopamine. And the good news is that there are ways to increase dopamine naturally. But first, let’s see what dopamine is.
What is Dopamine?
Dopamine is responsible for motivation, productivity, or focus, and it has a direct contribution to our levels of intelligence. Dopamine has the opposite effects of depression because it makes us feel safe. It is a signaling compound in brain circuits that are crucial to creating positive mood states. That’s why we feel good when we eat carbs and fats together (long-term satiating foods), when we earn money, or whenever we have sex. All of these actions release dopamine which makes us feel good about our survival in the future.
Scientists found a link between obesity and low levels of dopamine since fat people often use food as a “drug” to supplement the lack of dopamine. The conclusion is that dopamine is good and necessary for your body. However, you should stay away from temporary and unhealthy dopamine boosters such as sugar, alcohol, and drugs because long-term dopamine use leads to dopamine deficiency, as studies show. Instead, you can use the following healthy ways to increase dopamine naturally.
7 Ways to Increase Dopamine Naturally
1. Velvet Beans
Velvet beans are also called cowitch, werepe, karara, or agbara, aka the dopamine beans because they increase dopamine naturally. Their surface is itchy to touch due to serotonin on its surface. Serotonin, we all know is the happy hormone. These seemingly simple black beans naturally contain l-tyrosine and L-DOPA which are two precursors to dopamine. L-Tyrosine is the first natural dopamine booster to consider. Cooking the beans prevents destroying the trypsin inhibitors in the beans, thus allowing for the proteins in the beans to be assimilated by the body. At the same time, cooking velvet beans destroys L-DOPA.
Scientific evidence shows that velvet beans increase sperm quality and testosterone in infertile men while lowering adrenaline (related to low fertility). In addition, it reduces cortisol, the stress hormone, and has been seen to have beneficial results in reducing Parkinson’s disease symptoms. Parkinson’s patients are known to have extremely low dopamine levels in the brain. Eating velvet beans increase dopamine naturally, by increasing alertness, focus, cognition, overall well-being, and even libido. They make great foods for the nervous system and the brain.
Also known as Curcuma, turmeric has curcumin as the main active ingredient. Studies have shown that curcumin has tremendous health benefits for the nervous system. Today we use it to treat oxidative and inflammatory conditions, including metabolic syndrome, arthritis, and anxiety. Yes, curcumin in turmeric is an anti-depressant because it can model the release of serotonin and dopamine. This means it has the ability to increase dopamine naturally.
However, in order to get absorbed and boost dopamine, you need to take it together with black pepper. Black pepper has piperine as a main active ingredient. Piperine increases curcumin absorption by 2.000%. Another study showed that curcumin is more effective than the commonly used drug Prozac in treating depression. So, yes, taken together with black pepper, turmeric is a natural dopamine booster, safe to use, even for those who don’t suffer from depression or other neurological problems.
3. Herbs that Increase Dopamine Naturally
Ginkgo Biloba. A lab study on rats showed that the acylated flavonol constituents in ginkgo increase dopamine in the medial prefrontal cortex. Perhaps this explains why extracts of Ginkgo biloba improve cognitive function. It was found that taking 100 mg·kg−1/14 days/once daily can significantly increase extracellular dopamine and noradrenaline levels in humans. In conclusion, yes, Ginkgo biloba supplements can help increase dopamine naturally.
Rhodiola Rosea. The extract from Rhodiola facilitates the production and proliferation of dopamine-producing cells. The salidroside found in this medicinal herb is known for its antidepressant and anxiolytic actions. In cell studies, Rhodiola extract directly activated four important neurotransmitters: norepinephrine, serotonin, dopamine, and acetylcholine.
Ginseng. One of the most popular medicinal roots, native to both America and Asia, Ginseng provides neuroprotective effects on the dopaminergic-pathway which can help with ADHD. It is a well-known adaptogen, that reduces stress, adrenal fatigue, and boosts mood. The saponins in Ginseng have mechanisms involved in the neuroprotection of dopaminergic neurons and can modulate the dopaminergic activity of the synaptic receptors and thus increase dopamine naturally.
Omega 3 from Algae. Brain love fats, especially fatty acids derived from plant sources, like algae. Studies show that these fatty acids contribute to the development and maintenance of the brain dopamine system. The 2 acids found in Omega 3 EPA/DHA, are known for their role in regulating dopamine as a natural way to increase dopamine naturally.
4. Foods that Increase Dopamine Naturally
1. Green tea. It contains an amino acid called l-theanine, which can increase dopamine and serotonin naturally, with no side effects. Elderly people who drink green tea regularly are less likely to get depressed, as a study from 2009 confirms. It also snowed improved learning abilities and less depression in healthy individuals. Due to the dopamine release, more studies claim that green tea consumption can also prevent Parkinson’s disease.
2. Avocados. This tasty fruit we love has been reported to contain high levels of dopamine. Avocado naturally contains a compound called tryptophan, which is also found in chocolate. Tryptophan is a precursor to serotonin, which is another feel-good chemical, alongside dopamine, thus it helps increase dopamine naturally.
3. Bananas. Fruits of the Musa genus, including bananas and plantains, contain high levels of dopamine, especially the banana peel. Bananas contain catecholamines, derived from the amino acid l-tyrosine. Cavendish bananas, a type of banana, contain dopamine levels ranging from 80-560 mg per 100 g in the peel and 2.5-10 mg in the pulp, according to this study. So, yeah, go bananas!
4. Fava beans are one of the few foods in the world that contain L-DOPA, which is a direct precursor of dopamine, but L-DOPA only converts into dopamine in the presence of vitamin B6 (avocados and bananas contain B6 naturally).
6. Leafy greens. Spinach especially, but also other leafy greens are rich in folate, a natural form of vitamin B9 that promotes dopamine synthesis in a natural way. Loading up on leafy greens is a healthy way to increase dopamine naturally.
7. Beets. These “feel-good foods” contain betaine, an amino acid with proven antidepressant action, and stimulant for dopamine production.
8. Green peas. Due to their high Vitamin B-6 content, peas stimulate the production of norepinephrine and dopamine.
9. Nuts. Almonds, flaxseeds, sesame, pumpkin seeds contain a combination of Vitamin B, folate, magnesium, and the amino acid tyrosine, all stimulating the production of dopamine.
5. Physical Exercise
Exercise and movement also increase dopamine naturally. The “runner’s high” we get when we run for at least 20 minutes is generated by increased levels of dopamine. That is why physical exercise is such an amazing and safe source of dopamine. Also, did you know that regular exercise is the number 1 immune system booster? Yes, it is.
Recent studies show how meditating regularly can increase dopamine naturally by 65%. Meditation has other amazing health benefits as well, such as reduced anxiety and depression, and overall well-being. It could actually be an increase in dopamine levels.
7. Listening to Music
Studies show that listening to music is also correlated with increased levels of dopamine. It is such a pleasurable act for the mind and the spirit. Most of us go to music whenever we feel sad or need to unwind. Now you know why. Listening to binaural beats and music attuned to 432 Hz frequency (the natural frequency of the Earth) can bring more focus, peace, and happiness into your life and increase dopamine naturally.
Other Ways to Increase Dopamine Naturally
- Cold showers of 14°C/57°F increase dopamine by 250%, as studies show.
- Therapeutic massages increase dopamine by 31%.
- Showing affection. And finally, there are also free methods of increasing dopamine naturally, such as giving someone a hug or petting your dog. More so, petting your dog will also boost their dopamine.
The key is to follow your excitement, not numb your anxiety.
Think about it whenever you’re looking for dopamine sources. There are healthy ways to increase dopamine naturally and to feel good every day. Sugar, coffee, smoking, drinking alcohol, and others of this sort, have a tremendous negative long-term impact. Stay safe and happy and choose your dopamine sources wisely!