Dopamine is where libido starts. It’s not only responsible for our level of sex drive, but also our general ability to set and meet our goals. It’s the neurotransmitter we need to feel desire, to feel content, and when it’s balanced we are less likely to fall into addictive patterns of behavior. Dopamine is part of the “quartet of neurotransmitter” needed for a life full of passion and zest. The other three are oxytocin, serotonin, and endorphins. I have blogs on all four of these feel-good hormones.
This is where our focus, concentration, and part of our energy comes from. It’s also part of our pleasure-reward system and helps us feel enjoyment, bliss, and even euphoria when we accomplish something we have set our minds to.
People who are low in dopamine will lack libido, zest, motivation, feel fatigue and likely be reaching for carbs, sugar, and caffeine to keep going (or other stimulants). In fact, most addictions to gambling, shopping, pornography, video games, drugs, alcohol, food, exercise, etc …all are a cry for help from the brain saying it’s low in dopamine.
Symptoms of dopamine deficiency look a lot like symptoms of depression:
- lack of motivation
- inability to feel pleasure
- low libido
- sleep problems
- mood swings
- memory loss
- inability to concentrate
The good news is you CAN enhance your dopamine naturally and without self-sabotaging behaviors that can ruin your life. Here are some dopamine boosting foods. These foods all contain tyrosine, the amino acid that makes dopamine.
Dopamine Boosting Foods:
- all animal products
- fava beans
- green leafy vegetables
- green tea
- lima beans
- sea vegetables
- sesame and pumpkin seeds
- wheat germ
Remember that your intestinal flora impacts the production of all of your neurotransmitters. Therefore, foods high in natural probiotics such as kefir and raw sauerkraut can also increase natural dopamine production. An overgrowth of bad bacteria creates toxins called lipopolysaccharides which lower levels of dopamine.
Getting a comprehensive stool analysis can tell you if you have bad bacteria or good bacteria living in your gut. You can contact the team at DrKeeshaEwers.com if you want to run that test.
There are some supplements that can raise dopamine levels naturally too.
- Curcumin or turmeric as an isolate can cross the blood-brain barrier and boost levels of dopamine, improve memory and alleviate obsessive actions.
- Ginkgo biloba is great for poor concentration, forgetfulness, headaches, fatigue, mental confusion, depression, and anxiety…all by raising dopamine levels.
- L-theanine, an ingredient found in green tea, is great for memory, learning, decreasing anxiety, and increasing happiness. Try drinking 3 cups of organic green tea per day.
Lifestyle Choices to Increase Dopamine Levels:
- Physical exercise boosts production of new brain cells, slows down brain cell aging, improves the flow of nutrients to the brain, and increases your levels of dopamine and the other “feel good” neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine.
- It’s been shown that meditation increases dopamine, improving focus and concentration (there are over 1,000 studies to prove it). Over the next few months, I will give you several opportunities for learning some easy meditation methods that will enhance your dopamine levels and help you feel fantastic!
- Listening to music can cause a release of dopamine. Even anticipating hearing music can increase your dopamine!
Here’s to your libido and vitality!