Okay, let’s get back to the chemistry of love. Are you ready? Good.
Put simply, eating foods that are high in protein, increases the amount of dopamine and norepinephrine in the body. Your body changes protein into the amino acid called tyrosine, which is then made into dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain. Serotonin can be decreased by avoiding foods that are high in carbohydrates.
Carbohydrates increase levels of the amino acid called tryptophan in your blood, which precedes the creation of serotonin in the brain. Shortly after eating any carbohydrate food, you can experience considerably increased serotonin levels.
That’s why the recipes in this blog are high in protein and low in carbohydrates, while incorporating ingredients that have known effects for releasing or boosting the body’s love chemicals.
Foods that “feed love” include most fish, shellfish, poultry (with skin removed), lean beef, low-fat cheese, low-fat yogurt, salami, caviar, bean curd, sauerkraut and beans. Also, chicken livers are high in folic acid, which promotes the brain’s production of love chemicals. Seeds and nuts are excellent, particularly pine nuts because they contain an amino acid called L-arginine, which enhances blood flow throughout your body, including the genital area. Eggs also contain small amounts of L-arginine. Chocolate releases the pleasure endorphins, but it also contains phenylethylamine, which is a stimulant associated with love and sexual attraction. The darker the chocolate the better it is. Apples, almonds, avocadoes and cheese also contain phenylethylamine. Tomatoes, avocadoes (the riper the better) and spinach leaves are also good.
Foods to avoid include salmon and other cold-water fish that contain omega-3 fatty acids, which will raise serotonin levels. Bananas contain vitamin B6, which also increases serotonin levels. Particularly avoid high glycemic carbohydrates including sugar, white bread, baked potato, rice, and pasta. Minimise low GI foods including brown rice, whole-grain bread, sourdough bread, and sweet potato. Most fruits and vegetables, including lettuce, raise serotonin levels. The exceptions are tomatoes, avocadoes and spinach leaves.