Do you often feel depressed, flat and bored? Are you low on physical or mental energy? Do you feel tired a lot? Is your drive, enthusiasm, and motivation on the low side? Do you have difficulty focusing or concentrating? Do you have cold hands or feet? Do you tend to put on tensions too easily?
Do you feel the need to get more alert and motivated?
If yes; you could have low dopamine levels.
Dopamine has many functions in the brain, including important roles in behavior and cognition, motor activity, motivation and reward, sleep, mood, attention, and learning. Dopamine causes increased heart rate and blood pressure.
How to Increase Dopamine Level (relaxing feeling, happy feelings)
- Bananas contain naturally high levels of the metabolic precursors to both serotonin and dopamine.
- Use green tea
- Use fish oil.
- Sleep deprivation can increase dopamine level but increase in dopamine cannot compensate for the cognitive deficits caused by sleep deprivation.
- Use almonds, avocados, bananas, dairy products, lima beans, pumpkin seeds, and sesame seeds.
What to Avoid
Avoid sugar, saturated fats, cholesterol, and refined foods which can interfere with proper brain function and can cause low dopamine. Consumption of saturated fats and cholesterol should also be reduced because they can clog the arteries to the brain, heart, and other organs. Caffeine must also be avoided by persons with depression. Caffeine is a stimulant which initially speeds up neurotransmission, raises the amount of serotonin, and temporarily elevates mood.
For mood elevation or happy feelings try chocolates and ice cream as well.