Need A Boost Of Dopamine? Include These 7 Foods In Your Diet

The philosophy that what we eat, directly influences the way we are, might be on the fence with the claims. However, scientifically speaking, eating healthy or balanced meals does greatly benefit how we feel mentally. Dopamine, a hormone produced in the adrenal gland of our bodies, contributes to some of our functions such as movement, memory, attention and moods. Based off of the kind of foods we consume, ‘happy hormones’ are released in our bodies and hence, eating the following foods would greatly affect and boost the production of this chemical.


Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and sardines are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for brain health and can support dopamine receptors. The amino acids present in salmon are known to have significant effects on dopamine production in our glands, thereby influencing the overall functionality.

Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate in moderation contains flavonoids and other compounds that can have a positive impact on mood and dopamine release. Studies have proved that eating a few pieces of dark chocolate can increase dopamine levels in the brain by 26%, due to the presence of flavonoids in it. A powerful antioxidant also found in many fruits and vegetables, dark chocolate helps in releasing endorphins, serotonin, dopamine and oxytocin.


The high-caffeine beverage makes coffee a hormone booster, almost instantaneously. Drinking coffee, for most regulars, is known to boost productivity levels and also helps in improving dopamine levels in our brain. When coffee is consumed, a phenomenon called neural excitation occurs in the brain, which the pituitary gland perceives as an emergency, releasing adrenaline and amplifying the feeling of pleasure.

Nuts & Seeds

Almonds, walnuts, chia seeds, and flaxseeds are good sources of L-tyrosine, an amino acid used in dopamine synthesis. In addition to this, nuts are also rich in minerals and other nutrients responsible for the release of ‘happy hormones’ in the body. Being good sources of vitamin B6 and DHA, eating nuts and seeds helps the brain boost production of dopamine.

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Green Vegetables

Leafy vegetables like lettuce, spinach and other leafy greens, along with cruciferous greens like broccoli, cabbage and kale, provide folate, a B-vitamin that helps with dopamine regulation. Making great vegan and vegetarian options for dopamine boosting, including other green ingredients like avocados, peas and green beans in salads, stir frys, stews or curries, is a great way to balance nutrition and satiety.

Green Tea

Green tea contains L-theanine, an amino acid that may increase dopamine production and improve mood. Like coffee, green tea also contains a fair level of caffeine that boosts energy levels and metabolism, putting one in a good mood or leaving you with a sense of feeling refreshed. The antioxidant-rich beverage is also known to promote a better state of overall health.

Lean Protein

Foods like chicken, turkey and eggs contain L-phenylalanine, another amino acid that contributes to dopamine production. Like most other high-protein foods, lean proteins are also rich in amino acids crucial for the dopamine boost. Sourcing organic, grass-fed chicken eggs or lean meat is ideal compared to the hormone-injected birds that are processed and sold in packages.