Express News Service
Happiness is the ultimate goal and it has a special route through the stomach. Food doesn’t just have a sensory purpose. There is also a neurological function. The dopamine diet helps you in that. Dopamine is a type of neurotransmitter. It is also called the happy hormone. Dopamine is responsible for how we experience a pleasure. According to experts, a dopamine diet—essentially a diet rich in dopamine-producing hormones—will not only help you lose weight but also aid in keeping a good mood.
Start by paying attention to what’s already there in the kitchen. Start consuming more dairy products such as milk, cheese and yoghurt as each of these is a great source of probiotics, known to trigger mood-boosting hormone responses.
The diet encourages cutting down on meat but if that’s asking for too much, you can have more lean meats such as fish and turkey. Eggs are a good choice and so are bananas. Why? They both are full of proteins. Protein-rich food is made from building blocks of amino acids that produce dopamine. Sweet cravings? Have dark chocolate. “Chocolate has an important compound called tryamine. This comes from an amino acid called tyrosine, which is a precursor to dopamine release. Dark chocolate also comes with serotonin and endorphins—two hormones that regulate mood,” says Gurugram-based nutritionist Divya Upadhaya.
Those eating whole foods reported fewer symptoms of depression compared to those who ate mostly processed foods, according to a study published in Nutrition Journal. It was also found that people who followed a vegetarian diet reported more positive moods than meat-eaters. “Have whole grains, vegetables, legumes, fresh fruits, beans, seeds, and nuts as they carry a lot of vitamins and minerals, with Vitamin B12 being the main one. They are rich in dietary fibres too,” says Upadhaya.
Whole diets are now associated with better mental health too. “Clean eating changes brain protein. It increases connections between brain cells. Zinc and Omega-3 bolster this process. The risk of depression drops up to 80 percent,” says Bengaluru-based psychologist Asha Mathur.
A Mediterranean diet is known to support dopamine production because it comprises a lot of fresh produce, most of which is cooked in olive oil. It is easy to follow. “Switch to vegetable and plant oils. Eat five portions of fruit and vegetables every day. Carbs are not your enemy so have potatoes, pasta, bread
etc. but only wholegrain versions,” says Upadhaya. The happy hormones will kick soon.
A Mediterranean diet supports dopamine production as it traditionally comprises fresh produce, most of which is cooked in olive oil