Neurotransmitters are vital to human health, without them our brains would not operate the way they do and we would cease to exist. Neurotransmitters are responsible for transmitting signals from neuron to neuron they act as the chemical messengers which allow our brain to communicate. We have six primary neurotransmitters norepinephrine, Dopamine, Gaba, Glutamate, serotonin and endorphin. In order to be healthy, happy, focused and engaged human beings we must give our bodies the nutrients needed to form these neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are formed from precursor molecules and our bodies get these molecules from our diet. Over the course of this blog we will look at 3 of the 3 neurotransmitters the role each plays in our body and how we can ensure our body has the materials needed to synthesize these biochemicals.
Dopamine is commonly referred to as our motivation molecule. Dopamine is a major motivation molecule and without it we wouldn't get around to doing much. In order for dopamine to be produced in the brain we need two essential amino acids to be used as precursors L-tyrosine and L-Phenylalanine. You can think of these amino acids as grapes and dopamine as grape juice. Without the grapes there cannot be any grape juice. Without these two amino acids dopamine cannot be properly synthesized. In order to ensure dopamine is able to be synthesized you should include foods in your diet such as eggs, salmon, liver, avocado, almonds. All of these foods are made up of the amino acids needed to synthesize dopamine. Adding these foods to your diet could do wonders for helping with how motivated you feel each and everyday.
Serotonin in the brain is thought to regulate feelings of anxiety, happiness and mood. Low levels of this neurotransmitter have been associated with depression hence why people with depression will be put on serotonin re-uptake inhibitors ( the science behind this theory is extremely flawed but nonetheless serotonin itself is vital for brain health and function). Ensuring our brains have adequate levels of this neurotransmitter is vital for both our physical and mental health. The precursor to serotonin is L- Tryptophan, without adequate L- Tryptophan we have a difficult time producing serotonin which can lead to several mental and physical health problems. Some great foods for ensuring you give your body what it needs to generate serotonin include; lamb, turkey and Brazilian nuts.
Gaba is the neurotransmitter which is responsible for helping us feel calm, relaxed and focused. GABA has been shown to decrease the rate at which neurons in our brain fire at. When we are constantly feeling stressed, anxious, and nervous chances are GABA is not doing what it is meant to do. In order to synthesize GABA our bodies need the precursor L- Glutamine. We can get L- Glutamine in our diet from sources such as chicken, liver and salmon. And thanks to Jacked Scholar you can also get your fix here.