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How do I Increase Dopamine Levels Naturally?

by
author image Jonathan Croswell
Jonathan Croswell has spent more than five years writing and editing for a number of newspapers and online publications, including the "Omaha World-Herald" and "New York Newsday." Croswell received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Nebraska and is currently pursuing a Master's of Health and Exercise Science at Portland State University.
How do I Increase Dopamine Levels Naturally?
Exercising is an easy way to increase dopamine levels. Photo Credit exercise image by sasha from Fotolia.com

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter found in the brain that stimulates happiness and excitability and can improve your overall contentedness. Dopamine is the chemical in the brain triggered by several drugs, including cocaine and alcohol, to create the sensation of happiness. According to the Brookhaven National Laboratory, obesity may result from individuals eating to stimulate dopamine levels. Fortunately, dopamine production can be stimulated naturally, without resorting to dangerous and illegal drugs or overeating.

Step 1

Exercise daily. The Brookhaven National Laboratory reports that exercise stimulates brain activity and the chemicals within, particularly dopamine. This release of dopamine, along with other chemicals, can reduce the feelings of fatigue experienced by someone exercising for 20 to 30 minutes or more. Because it takes this long for the dopamine to be triggered, you need to work out for 20 to 30 minutes daily. Aim to keep the heart rate elevated for this period of time.

Step 2

Eliminate foods high in sugars, fats and cholesterol from the diet. In addition to being unhealthy foods, these can also cause a drop in dopamine levels.

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Step 3

Eat foods known to raise dopamine levels naturally. Bananas are regarded as an exceptional food for dopamine because they contain a chemical closely related to the brain chemical. Ripe bananas have even higher concentrations of this compound. Fresh fruits and vegetables tend to have high dopamine levels in general, as do whole grain foods and legumes.

Step 4

Consume plenty of vitamins C and E every day. According to IntegrativePsychiatry.net, these vitamins can contribute to raised dopamine levels in the body.

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