Dopamine – a neurotransmitter, acts as a chemical messenger amongst neurons and has been associated with eating disorders and addiction tendencies.
The World Obesity Federation has predicted that more than half of the global population is likely to be obese in another 12 years’ time. Obesity has strong correlations to metabolic disease. Dietary addition of dopamine-rich foods can aid in reducing stress and uplifting mood.
Recently, the intake of dopamine-rich diets has been advocated for their high-protein composition and weight loss benefits. Such a diet comprises meats like chicken and turkey; dairy – milk, cheese, and yogurt; and fish high in omega-3 fatty acids. Additionally, eggs, fruits, including dry fruits and nuts, and vegetables are a must. This diet also allows antioxidant inclusion through dark chocolate, while coffee, alcohol, starchy carbs, and sugars are a strict no-no.
Scientists have found that high-protein breakfasts reduce mid-morning food cravings and improve mood by raising dopamine levels. Junk foods boost dopamine release and are, thus, addictive. However, long-term junk food consumption habits cause diabetes and other metabolic diseases.
Whereas, low dopamine levels can cause memory loss, mood swings, depression, and sleep disorders. In addition, reduced dopamine release may also increase Parkinson’s disease risk.
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