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Depression, happiness and raw chocolate

My roses  1st  December

 Dr. David Jockers

Brain research clearly shows that depressed people are dopamine deficient


The brain is run through an electrical circuitry that depends upon key neurotransmitters. Dopamine is associated with the ‘pleasure system’ of the brain and allows us to feel enjoyment and a sense of reward in order to motivate performance. It also helps with focus and attention and the ability to feel pleasure.

There are key lifestyle strategies and superfoods that help enhance our dopaminergic system. Individuals with low dopamine levels often experience hopelessness, worthlessness and an inability to handle stress. They often isolate themselves from others and they have self-destructive thoughts and behaviors. Being easily distracted and unable to focus and having a hard time finishing tasks can also be a sign of early dopamine deficiencies.

Diseases and lifestyle behaviors associated with low dopamine

Dopamine is involved with modulating mood, attention and ability to learn. extreme All of us get surges of dopamine from different activities that give us pleasure.

The most common lifestyle factors that alter dopamine signaling include poor blood sugar balance, alcohol or drug abuse, poor gut function, adrenal fatigue and brain inflammation. These things must be addressed for optimal brain function.

If you feel that you have signs and signals of low dopamine be sure to follow an anti-inflammatory nutrition plan with high quality supplements targeted at improving gut function and reducing oxidative stress levels in the body.

Key nutrients our body needs to produce adequate dopamine levels include D,L phenylalanine, beta-phenylethylamine (PEA) and N-acetyl L-tyrosine, vitamin B6, folate, selenium, glutathione, zinc and magnesium. Here are some of the richest food sources of the following:

Raw chocolate, also called cacao, this superfood is loaded with dopamine boosting nutrients. It is one of the best sources of PEA’s which are natural compounds that cross over the blood brain barrier and stimulate and modulate the release of dopamine in the brain. Cacao is also very rich in magnesium and zinc and chromium which help to balance and stabilize blood sugar.

Cacao also helps to boost serotonin and contains the endorphin anandamide – which is considered the ‘bliss chemical’. This combination of ingredients makes raw chocolate the best mood boosting superfood. Be careful not to overdo the chocolate though as the body may develop a sensitivity to some of the compounds in the chocolate and create adrenal stress.

Blueberries are rich in the flavonoid antioxidants anthocyanin which has been shown to protect some of the major regions in the brain that control dopamine secretions. A 2006 study, published in Nutritional Neuroscience demonstrated that blueberry extract prevented oxidative stress associated stress to the substantia nigra and striatum regions of the brain. This is particularly important for Parkinson’s disease prevention but also for general improvement in motor coordination and dopamine signaling patterns.

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