There are so many self help books out there on all the best ways to get happy. Don’t get me wrong, I am a self proclaimed self help lover. While these books are loaded with a ton of helpful information, most of them bay be leaving out a few major details. The big detail being that there is actually food for your mood. Yes, crazy as it sounds there are foods you should eat to boost dopamine levels naturally. Dopamine being the “happy hormone” that our bodies naturally produce. Dopamine levels boost naturally with Vitamin D rays from the sun just be smart about how much sun you get.
Our dopamine levels also increase with things like exercise or when we are around people we love. Well, I’m pleased to tell you, you have another source as well in the foods that you eat! So what exactly are the eating requirements for joyful living? Read on to learn more.
You knew I was going to say that, did you? Sorry, it’s not pizza or Taco Tuesdays that get the job done. You maybe knew this was the final answer, but there is a catch. Studies show that between 7 and 8 servings of fruits and vegetables are linked to higher life satisfaction. This is based of a Great Britain study of 80,000 people. The study showing a significant increase in levels of happiness, satisfaction and optimism in those people consuming higher amounts of fruits and vegetables on a daily basis.
(Yeah, that’s totally from a Backstreet Boy song…you’re welcome)
The conductors of the study even took into account the jobs, social status, income, education, illnesses, exercise habits, smoking habits and body weight of the participants and still found that fruit and veggies are what did the trick.
So as much as it’s fun to believe that we’ll be happy after we drop the weight, get the job or get to the gym, the truth is you have the power to boost your happiness levels right now. Don’t stop working on the other stuff; chase your dreams, just do it with a side of fruit!
Simply put, the boost in dopamine levels is no surprise when you consider the fact that most fruits and veggies have some form of Vitamin C in them. Vitamin C is known to help produce dopamine as well as reduce inflammation in the body. Inflammation is your body’s response to illness or something “wrong” in/on your body; like a mosquito bite. It’s your body’s natural response to an “invader” it’s how our bods work to keep us going. So, naturally it makes sense why people always recommend orange juice when battling a cold.
The thing with inflammation is that while it is helpful, chronic inflammation can lead to a variety of other problems, including your mental state of mind. You better believe that what you put into your belly is effecting your bodies defense mechanisms. This is why it is so crucial to cut processed foods, and to test for any gluten intolerance or other food allergies. The quicker you start giving your body the right stuff, the better off you’ll be! There are also vitamins, supplements and great books to help get your gut healthy quicker. Check out my recommendations at the end of this post.
So get rid of the bad stuff and start loading up with Vitamin C rich fruits and veggies. Here is a list of some of the most common ones you can find at your local grocery store.
Yes, fruit and veggies boost our dopamine levels but so do things like sugar. Sugar acts like a drug to our brains; it boosts our dopamine levels but after a while, we stop getting the “high.” Our bodies adapt and no longer respond to sugar when it is consumed. This is why it is so crucial to seriously control your sugar intake. Well, unfortunately the same goes for your fruits and veggies!
If you find yourself in a routine of berries for breakfast, broccoli for lunch, carrots for dinner, eventually your body is gonna get wise and it will start lacking in other vitamins. This will lead to the same plateau caused by sugar consumption. So in order to keep your dopamine a rollin’ make sure you keep a variety. I myself am a creature of habit, but you have to admit, having to taste new foods on a consistent basis sounds pretty great, right? So, get to the store and stop making excuses, 7-8 servings per day to boost dopamine levels naturally is as easy as it gets. Did I forget to mention it has been shown that not only will it boost your mood today, but also tomorrow? What have you got to lose…besides the blues?
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