Article by Dr Will Cole
Your brain chemistry directly affects your mood by quickly taking you from grumpy to happy. These neurotransmitters are influenced by many external influences. For example, you have probably experienced the rush of endorphins after finishing an intense workout. Just like with exercise, there are many natural ways to boost these neurotransmitters and positively influence your mood.
1. Go Adaptogenic.
These natural herb and plant medicines have been used for years to bring balance to certain areas of the body that need support. Mucuna prurients is my favorite for brain health since it contains the dopamine precursor L-DOPA which increases dopamine through crossing the blood-brain barrier. Rhodiola is also able to keep dopamine levels stabilized. Add these to a smoothie or tea for a brain-boosting elixir!
2. Turn Up The Heat.
The chemical capsaicin, found in foods like peppers, is responsible for the burning sensation in your mouth after indulging in a spicy meal. Your body considers this burning as pain and releases endorphins to help ease the intensity. So, trade your mild salsa for extra hot!
3. Laugh Out Loud.
When you laugh, your abdominal muscle contract like you would during exercise to release endorphins. Take in a comedy show, watch YouTube, or your favorite comedic movie to get in a few extra laughs throughout the day.
4. Listen To Music.
According to a study in Nature Neuroscience listening to your favorite songs trigger the release of dopamine.
5. Eat More Protein.
Protein sources like meat and fish contain the amino acid tyrosine which helps to make DOPA which then converts to dopamine in the body. The best sources are wild-caught salmon and grass-fed beef along with plant-based sources like nuts, seeds, and legumes.
Dr. Will Cole, leading functional medicine practitioner, specializes in clinically investigating underlying factors and customizing health programs for chronic conditions such as thyroid issues, autoimmune, hormonal dysfunctions, and more.
He consults locally in the Pittsburgh area, USA, as well as webcam and phone consultations for people across the country and around the world at www.drwillcole.com.
Dr. Cole is a health writer for international publications such as mindbodygreen and lectures nationally.
*Please note that this blog is not intended to provide or replace professional medical advice.