Gaining Weight With Pleasure: 5 Foods That Boost Your Dopamine Level and Lift Your Spirits
Everyone has their own feel-good edible favourites. But some release hormones directly related to our mood. Food mitigates post-vacation sadness. It is not a myth. High levels of serotonin and dopamine in the brain produce a feeling of satisfaction and general well-being.
For this reason, in moments of emotional weakness, the body asks for chocolate, ice cream, sugar, and all things that make the mouth reach heaven! Well, that’s because the central nervous system needs glucose and Tryptophan to synthesize serotonin and guarantee its functioning. Low levels of this organic component in the blood cause discomfort, nervousness, weakness and tremors, which naturally translates into a bad mood. Also known as the hormone of happiness, dopamine is naturally produced by the body to make us feel good. However, with adequate nutrition, we can increase its concentration in the body. It is about enhancing the consumption of vitamin B, vitamin C, magnesium and Tryptophan. Here are true treasures of endorphin, serotonin, dopamine and oxytocin, the dream team of natural chemicals that make you happy just a bite away.
#1. Ice Cream, Happiness Guaranteed
With the heat comes the craving for some mouth-watering ice cream! Besides being delicious, this food has become a darling of young and old because it is oh-so-refreshing. That makes it the perfect dessert to enjoy when the temperature rises. Do you need another excuse to go for one? Good news, we’ve got a scientifically proven one that will rid you of the guilt of bingeing on your favourite sundae! According to research conducted by The London Institute of Psychiatry, eating ice cream makes us happy- well, we don’t really need studies for that. Still, this study proves that the consumption of ice cream activates specific areas of the brain associated with happiness and pleasure. A scoop of ice cream triggers the same brain pleasure center turned on by listening to your favourite music.
The study consisted of performing two brain scans of different people: one while the subjects were not doing any activity, and another just after taking a scoop of vanilla ice cream. In this way, they discovered an immediate effect in parts of the brain activated when people are having fun. These brain areas include the orbitofrontal cortex, the “processing” area at the front of the brain. According to the results obtained in the research, ice creams contain an amino acid called Tryptophan, which increases the production of serotonin (the hormone of well-being, directly related to happiness). This helps fight stress, relax, and rest and sleep better. Tryptophan is also found in artichoke, but we crave ice cream more!
So now that you can indulge in a big bowl of ice cream without any guilt, let us know which flavour you prefer the most? You can even try making your own ice cream by buying the finest ingredients at Food Specialties in Mississauga!
#2. Avocado, Green Gold
In addition to being rich, beautiful and perfect for everything, Avocado has high amounts of Tryptophan. This amino acid produces serotonin in the brain by acting on the central nervous system with the sense of well-being. It is also rich in folic acid, the vitamin (B9) that reduces amino acids linked to anxiety and depression. And out of all chemistry, is there anything happier than bread with avocado?
#3. Ginger, Happy from the Root
As the ancient Indian saying goes, ″Everything good is found in ginger”, a proverb praising the rhizome of ginger, a plant originating in the tropical forests of South Asia. Distributed around the world as the protagonist of kitchens, ginger is also a natural medicine due to its richness in volatile oils, phenolic substances, proteolytic enzymes, linoleic acid, vitamins and minerals. Being a potent anti-inflammatory, it acts directly on the throat, one of the places where the feeling of anguish lodges, releasing it and letting it release. Energetic stimulant, used in addition to stoking sexual desire, hence its culinary uses are also aphrodisiacs. Seek your dose and start exaggerating in quantity for a confident smile.
#4. Chicken Soup, Runny Smile
In many cultures and latitudes, it is recognized as the natural medicine that cures everything. A bowl of hot liquid – which in itself and any of its preparations relaxes the body – made of chicken and vegetables (often with noodles included) contains fibres and proteins that improve mood and increase energy. Also known as ‘grandmother’s penicillin’ has an unconscious power, it is related to the loving care of the home, and hence it is the icon of comfort food. If you go from Mafalda and it is not for soups, we know that the chicken at the nightstand can also be synonymous with happiness.
#5. Cocoa Like the Gods
Although the number does not exist, very few are not happy with the appearance of chocolate, even those who do not even have cocoa. The truth is that the food of the Mayan and Inca gods and the seeds that drove the Spanish colonizers crazy contain high amounts of phenylethylamine (PEA) – promoting the release of endorphins in the brain. The same hormone produces being in love and Tryptophan, another amino acid that causes this same organ to produce serotonin, the substance of pleasure. The more cocoa your bar has (from 70%), the more brain activity. Essential tip: always have one on hand.