How to Eat Your Way Out of Depression With 5 Simple Diet Changes
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter associated with the brain’s reward system. Low levels of dopamine in the body can affect cognitive function, memory, motivation, and mood. If you are struggling with depression and low mood, increasing your dopamine levels can make a big difference.
Take it from Dr. Bikash Chowdhury, a specialist in family medicine known for his commitment to his patients’ health and overall well-being. Below, Dr. Chowdhury explains how making these five simple changes to your diet can boost dopamine production and bring relief from depression.
1. Eat Plenty of Protein
Protein contains amino acids called tyrosine and phenylalanine, both of which can be used by the body to boost dopamine production. Diets low in protein have been linked to an increase in the risk of depression and other mental health problems. Protein-rich foods, including chicken, turkey, beef, eggs, low-fat dairy products, and legumes are all great for increasing dopamine production.
2. Consider Using Probiotics
Researchers have found strong links between the brain and the gut, with increasing evidence showing that a healthy gut is crucial for good mental health. Research suggests that maintaining healthy bacteria in the gut can increase dopamine production and improve your mood, while also helping to prevent digestive problems. Eating or drinking products that contain probiotics are thought to promote the right balance of bacteria in your gut.
3. Cut Back on Saturated Fat
Eating a diet high in saturated fat is also thought to affect dopamine production. While the link between saturated fat and depression is still being investigated, some researchers believe that saturated fat increases inflammation in the body, which can have a negative impact on dopamine production. Cutting back on foods containing saturated fat, such as butter, cakes, biscuits, and pies could play an essential role in managing and preventing depression.
4. Add Velvet Beans to Your Diet
Velvet beans have been the subject of several research studies, mainly due to the bean’s high L-dopa content. L-dopa is an amino acid that boosts dopamine levels in the brain and has been used to treat Parkinson’s disease. Velvet beans have been shown to increase dopamine production and significantly reduce symptoms in patients with Parkinson’s disease.
5. Use Nutritional Supplements
Nutritional deficiencies can make it harder for the body to produce dopamine, as certain vitamins and minerals are essential for its production. Vitamin B6, niacin, folate, and iron are all needed for the body to create adequate levels of dopamine. While it’s usually best to get these crucial nutrients from food, sometimes supplements may be required.
Dopamine is essential for the brain to function properly. Low levels of this important amino acid can cause or worsen the symptoms of depression. You can increase your body’s dopamine production by following Dr. Bikash Chowdhury’s five tips to improve your diet.
About Dr. Bikash Chowdhury:
Dr. Bikash Chowdhury is a family physician and a family man, currently working in a medical center in Ontario, Canada as well as Tillsonburg District Memorial Hospital near London, Ontario, Canada. With hard work and devotion, he graduated from Chittagong Medical College in Bangladesh and moved to Canada in 2003 with his family. After completing his two-year Residency at the University of Western Ontario, he became licensed to practice family medicine in Canada.