Dopamine, the messenger in the brain!
Dopamine is a vital chemical messenger in the brain, a neurotransmitter with many functions. Increased dopamine levels released in large amounts creates feelings of pleasure. It motivates us to repeat certain behaviours and follow secret cravings. Regulates body movement, rewards attention and memory. Dopamine nudges us into ‘doing’ things. The reason why we can stay focused. Achieving things we may not notice straight away.
Low levels of dopamine are linked to feeling sluggish. Decreased motivation. Reduced enthusiasm for the things that most people would find exciting.
Dopamine levels are usually well regulated within the nervous system, but there are things we can do to naturally increase our levels.
Proteins are made up of 23 different amino acids. Some of which your body can synthesize. Others that we must get from food. Amino acids play a critical role in the production of dopamine. So it is important to get the right levels for dopamine production. So, even vegans can obtain sufficient amounts of various amino acids. We just combine different protein-containing foods.
Amino Acid Chart!
Essential Amino Acids!
These 9 amino acids are essential if not vital. They are necessary for the human life and health. They CANNOT be produced in your body so we need to get them from various foods.
1. Histidine (His)
2. Isoleucine (Ile)
3. Leucine (Leu)
4. Lysine (Lys)
5. Methionine (Met)
6. Phenylalanine (Phe)
7. Threonine (Thr)
8. Tryptophan (Trp)
9. Valine (Val)
CONDITIONALLY essential Amino Acids!
The below list of amino acids can be synthesized in our body. In in certain circumstances ie young age, sickness/illness or if we are doing hard exercise, we need to get them additionally in other amounts from foods to meet our body’s requirements.
(Ornithine is considered to be a conditionally essential amino acid, but it does not form proteins.)
10. Arginine (Arg)
11. Cysteine (Cys)
12. Glutamine (Gln)
13. Glycine (Gly)
14. Proline (Pro)
15. Serine (Ser)
16. Tyrosine (Tyr)
NONESSENTIAL Amino Acids!
These amino acids can be synthesized in our body from other amino acids. Glucose and fatty acids. So we do not need to get them from foods.
17. Alanine (Ala)
18. Asparagine (Asn)
19. Aspartic acid (Asp)
20. Glutamic acid (Glu)
21. Selenocysteine (Sec)
SOME PLANT FOODS which contain All 9 Essential Amino Acids
beans such as black, cranberry, french, pink, white, winged, yellow, split peas, chickpeas, chestnuts, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, quinoa, a seaweed spirulina, hummus, spinach, avocado, potatoes.
Common plant foods with incomplete protein
rice, both white and brown, all pasta, white bread incl whole wheat, beans such as adzuki, baked, kidney, lima, pinto, snap, peas, lentils, nuts incl peanuts, hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds, coconut, sunflower seeds, kamut.
It’s well worth it to do a bit of research plant-based foods that are suitable. You be surprised what a difference you can make to your body as well as health. There is no price on health!