What Foods Can Increase Dopamine And Serotonin?

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Obi Obadike

Obi Obadike

Celebrity Fitness & Nutrition Expert, CFT, SFN, M.S. Founder & CEO – Ethical Inc.
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What foods can increase dopamine and serotonin? You can’t get serotonin from food, but you can get tryptophan. And that is an amino acid that is converted to serotonin to your brain. So, tryptophan foods are foods you should be eating that will help to increase your serotonin.

Tryptophan is found in protein food like turkey, fish, salmon, chicken. There are research studies that have shown eating tryptophan protein with carbs can increase tryptophan to the brain which helps in serotonin.

Serotonin is neurotransmitter that helps to regulate your mood while increasing digestion. Dopamine is also a neurotransmitter as your body makes it. And your nervous system uses it to send to messages between nerve signals which is called chemical messenger. Dopamine plays a role in how we feel and our ability to think and plan it is an integral part of your emotions.

What Foods Can Increase Dopamine And Serotonin?

How can You Increase Serotonin and Dopamine?


Exercise can help trigger the release of tryptophan which is converted to serotonin into the blood. And it helps for more serotonin to reach the brain. The types of exercise can be jogging, walking, dancing, swimming, hiking, bicycling. Anytime you can get the heart rate up that will help to increase your serotonin levels.


Spending time in the sun can help with increasing your serotonin levels. If you spend about 15 minutes a day getting some sunlight without any sunscreen during that window. But if you do stay past 15 minutes in the sun then of course you should add sunscreen. Doing this will help tremendously with increasing your levels of serotonin.

Supplements and Food

There are also probiotic supplements you can take that can help with increasing your serotonin levels to your brain. Or you can eat probiotic foods such as yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi.

Massage Therapy

Massage therapy can help with increasing dopamine and serotonin. There was a 2004 study where 84 women who had depression who received massages twice a week from a partner had less depression and anxiety. And they had higher serotonin levels after 16 weeks.

Thinking About Positive Things

If you think about a positive experience that happened to you in the past; or something that made you feel happy in your life that will increase serotonin to your brain. Those happy things could be your wedding day, when you got your new car, when you bought your new house, etc. Visualizing happy experiences like that can do massive things to your serotonin levels. And there is some research that validates some of this.

The Bottom Line these are some of the natural conventional ways that you can do to boost serotonin and dopamine. It is not difficult to do if you know the different available methods to you.

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Young S. N. (2007). How to increase serotonin in the human brain without drugs. Journal of psychiatry & neuroscience : JPN32(6), 394–399.

Field T, Diego MA, Hernandez-Reif M, Schanberg S, Kuhn C. Massage therapy effects on depressed pregnant women. J Psychosom Obstet Gynaecol. 2004 Jun;25(2):115-22. doi: 10.1080/01674820412331282231. PMID: 15715034.

Wallace, C.J.K., Milev, R. The effects of probiotics on depressive symptoms in humans: a systematic review. Ann Gen Psychiatry 16, 14 (2017).

Sansone, R. A., & Sansone, L. A. (2013). Sunshine, serotonin, and skin: a partial explanation for seasonal patterns in psychopathology?. Innovations in clinical neuroscience10(7-8), 20–24.

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