There are four powerful neurotransmitters that can help you feel less moody, depressed and anxious. When supported through healthier eating and living, the neurotransmitters can also assist with concentration, controlling sugar cravings, energy, focus and sleep. These neurotransmitters are serotonin, dopamine, acetylcholine and norepinephrine.
- Serotonin is a natural antidepressant and reduces your cravings for carbohydrates (i.e., cakes, chips and cookies). When your levels are healthy, your mood and sense of personal peace are well. Build your stores by eating foods rich in amino acid tryptophan, which can be found in poultry and avocados, and in whole grains, legumes and tofu.
- Dopamine contributes to energy, passion and greater concentration. When fatigue and lathery set in, support your dopamine levels with foods rich in the amino acids tyrosine and phenylalanine, which can be found in dairy products, eggs, rice and fish.
3. Acetylcholine (below) promotes mental fitness and supports overall optimism and balance. If you are experiencing more than just temporary difficulties with recall, and concentration is fleeting, consume choline-rich foods like oatmeal, nuts, whole grains, sesame seeds and brewer's yeast.
4. Norepinephrine (below) stimulates the brain and encourages positive perception, motivation and energy. When you experience stress, sleep disturbances, depression or general unhappiness, you may want to boost your levels with the amino acid phenylalanine, found in fish, eggs, poultry, legumes, red vegetables, spinach, apples and dark chocolate.