Posted by: interwebwords | July 29, 2008

The Chemicals that are Associated with Love

Food has always been associated with romantic love and there is a good reason for that. Having a nice meal with someone you’re attracted to is usually a pleasant experience, isn’t it? You are able to become closer and learn more about each other. Eating makes your blood pressure, pulse rate and body temperature all go up, which is exactly the same thing that happens during sex. Eating also increases your dopamine level, but some foods and drinks do it better than others and knowing which ones they are can give you a real advantage.
In other words, food can alter mood.

Communication in the brain is caused by chemical substances passed from one nerve cell to the next. Well, these chemicals, or neurotransmitters, are synthesised in the brain from the food we eat. The good news is that the ones that are the most influential in affecting mood are the same chemicals that are associated with love: dopamine, noradrenalin and serotonin. Your brain creates these chemicals from amino acids, a key ingredient of protein. There are two main amino acids that affect mood: tryptophan and tyrosine. Tyrosine is the main component in dopamine and noradrenaline, while tryptophan is synthesised into serotonin.

The most essential factors responsible for everything we feel, do, and think are the brain chemicals called neurotransmitters. They function in our minds by inhibiting, or activating certain neurons. A lack or excess of any single neurotransmitter usually results in an imbalance in the mental processes that control our bodies.

However, an imbalance can sometimes be a positive thing. Every day, the type and quantity of neurotransmitters in the brain are altered by eating, drinking, thinking, or doing things. This everyday combination of the amount of each neurotransmitter in your system establishes the chemical balance in your brain, which then influences your mood.

Neurotransmitters that have particular importance in terms of falling in love are serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. These neurotransmitters are known as monoamines. Research has shown that people are most likely to fall in love when they have an imbalance of these neurotransmitters. That is, low serotonin levels coupled with high dopamine and norepinephrine levels. The recipes I mention in this blog are designed to create just such an imbalance.

We’ll pick up the chemistry lesson a little later. First we need to analyse you a little more so you know more about exactly who you are.

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