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3 easy ways to boost your natural feel-good chemical

3 easy ways to boost your natural feel-good chemical

3 easy ways to boost your natural feel-good chemical

Dopamine is a chemical that acts as a messenger in your brain. It’s important for many of our daily behaviours, and it is also known as one of the feel-good chemicals. Here’s how best to give yourself a boost as you head into the New Year.

When dopamine is released in large amounts, it creates feelings of pleasure and reward. At the opposite end of the spectrum, low levels of dopamine are linked to reduced motivation and decreased enthusiasm.

  1. Eat foods rich in tyrosine.

In order to make dopamine, your body needs tyrosine which can be found in bananas and avocados, and protein-rich foods like eggs, beans, fish, and chicken.

  1. Decrease your sugar intake

Research from the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) shows excess sugar consumption elevates dopamine levels, which controls the brain’s reward and pleasure centres in a way that is similar to many drugs of abuse including tobacco and cocaine. However after long-term consumption, this leads to the opposite, a reduction in dopamine levels. “Like other drugs of abuse, withdrawal from chronic sucrose exposure can result in an imbalance in dopamine levels and be as difficult as going ‘cold turkey’ from them,” says Neuroscientist Professor Bartlett from QUT. With a reduction or removal of sugar, it can take four weeks to up to six months for the brain to restore a healthy balance.

  1. Exercise more

Research by the University at Buffalo Research Institute has found that daily aerobic exercise – including any brisk exercise that increases heart rate, breathing and circulation of oxygen through the blood – can help normalise dopamine signalling.

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