Some of the most important neurotransmitters in your body are synthesized entirely from nutrients you get from food. It stands to reason, then, that your diet should be high in foods that will “feed” these neurotransmitters and make it easy for your body to create them.
Acetylcholine is your body’s top memory neurotransmitter, and is similarly involved in your ability to have clear, coherent thoughts. Acetylcholine deficiency has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease and other age-related dementias and memory loss. The most important nutrient for acetylcholine is choline, which is found in abundance in lecithin, which can be bought at most supermarkets as a supplement. Be sure to also supplement with vitamin C and vitamin B5 in order to facilitate acetylcholine creation. DMAE (dimethylaminoethanol) is also a prudent supplement for those looking to boost their acetylcholine.
Norepinephrine and Dopamine
These two chemicals are involved with memory, mood, and movement, and both require the same amino acids: tyrosine and phenylalanine, both of which are available as supplements. They are also both abundant in foods with high protein content, like fish and poultry. You can also take magnesium, folic acid, vitamin C and vitamin B12. One thing to note: if you increase your tyrosine uptake through supplements, make sure to do so before eating a high-carb meal. Carbohydrates can impede tyrosine’s efficacy.
Serotonin is important for promoting feelings of emotional wellness and optimism. Serotonin deficiency can lead to depression, and anti-depressants like Prozac work by increasing serotonin levels. But you don’t need a prescription to stimulate serotonin production: you just need tryptophan, which is not available as a supplement but can be found in many carbohydrates. Many people who overindulge on carbs are doing so because their body is actually craving serotonin: choose healthy carbs, and make sure to include regular exercise in your daily life!
Khalsa, Stauth (2001-01-01). Brain Longevity: The Breakthrough Medical Program that Improves Your Mind and Memory. Grand Central Publishing.