I loved chemistry when I was in school.
It was fascinating to me that you could mix several chemicals together, heat them up, and they would create a new chemical.
So when I first started studying nutrition, the idea that foods would create chemical reactions in our bodies made perfect sense.
But what is now emerging from the world of science is that certain foods help our guts produce neurotransmitters that control how our brain functions. How cool is that?!
I want to introduce you to two of may favorite neurotransmitters: Dopamine and Serotonin.
You know dopamine. It’s what surges when you get a text or several likes on your Facebook post.
Dopamine is the neurotransmitter associated with motivation, emotional significance, relevance, focus, and the ability to experience pleasure.
And yes, research is showing us that you get a surge of dopamine when you hear a ding of a text or when you get several likes on social media. This is one of the theories as to why we are all addicted to our phones.
But there are several healthy foods that that will give you the same dopamine high.
Foods that boost DOPAMINE are:
- Beans-lima and lentil
- Meat-fish, lamb, turkey, chicken
- Seeds-pumpkin and sesame
- High protein vegetables-broccoli and spinach
- Protein powders
- Green tea
Then there is the wonderful neurotransmitter Serotonin.
Serotonin is the “don’t worry, be happy” chemical that controls moods, sleep, appetite control, and social engagement.
Unfortunately, this amazing neurotransmitter goes low during a women’s menstrual cycle, making us irritable and depressed. And this is part of the reason that we crave starchy carbohydrates and chocolate at this time. But you don’t have to reach for sugar filled foods to get a serotonin high.
Here are some of the best SEROTONIN stimulating foods around:
- Sweet potatoes
- Oranges & Tangerines
- Dark Chocolate
Serotonin is also produced in the gut, so keeping a healthy microbiome in your gut will encourage your body to naturally produce more serotonin.
So there you go. There is an amazing path to happiness through healthy foods. You don’t have to reach for junk food to get pleasure. Nature has provided us lots of great solutions!
Hope that helps. Cheers to a happy day!!
Reach out if you need anything.