Do You know how you can increase your serotonin levels naturally?
You must have definitely been thrown into the depth of sadness, at least once in a lifetime. It won’t be surprising if you argue to say that it has just not been once but several times when you felt like your life lacked meaning, and you were slipping into pessimism.
It’s quite usual to occasionally feel empty and dissatisfied with life. You must be pursuing your dream career, or earning a lump sum amount of money, but something, something doesn’t quite feel right about your life.
This is a very natural way to feel. Taking into consideration how our lifestyle has dramatically altered over the last 2 decades, we are more prone to mental illnesses. Not only because we are unaware and listless about our mental health(also our overall health) but also because we often ignore signs of a low mood, feelings of lack of purpose and also an overall reduced energy. These could be a warning sign to your degrading mental health or simply a need for some change in lifestyle.
What is Serotonin?
Our brain functions are coordinated by a number of chemical messengers which help transmit messages from one neuron to the other. It helps us in processing information. Serotonin is one of the important neurotransmitters, alongside other significant neurotransmitters like Acetylcholine, Oxytocin, Dopamine, Norepinephrine, GABA and Glutamate. These are not all. Our bodies function is regulated by many other neurotransmitters. Serotonin is a crucial neurotransmitter that is linked to a number of functions like regulation of mood and social behavior, appetite, digestion, sleep, memory, and sexual desire.
Serotonin’s key role is to maintain mood balance. Therefore it is found to have notable links with symptoms like low mood, loss of appetite and anhedonia in Depression. Even though it is not clear yet as to whether depression is the cause or effect of low levels of serotonin but it is found that an increase in serotonin levels in blood brings about noteworthy changes in one’s mood.
What if you are low on serotonin?
Low levels of serotonin can definitely put your body’s equilibrium off the stands.
Here are a few signs that you might be running on low levels of serotonin:
- Feelings of low mood
- Loss of appetite
- Craving for sweet foods and carbohydrate-rich foods
- Digestive problems and feelings of nausea
- Disturbances in sleep
Can we naturally increase serotonin levels?
Is it only medication through which you can increase the level of serotonin in your body?
Some people prefer natural remedies over medication. Natural remedies do take a longer span of time to work but with patience, you will enjoy their permanent results.
Here are some mind-blowing ways to naturally boost your serotonin levels:
1. Check your food intakes
The diet you follow is very crucial in determining if you are replenishing or depleting your serotonin level.
“Nutritional deficiencies can directly lead to problems with replenishing serotonin,” Dr. Lake says. Dr. Ramsey has said that the Mediterranean diet is especially beneficial for boosting happiness because omega-3 fats, vitamin B12, zinc, magnesium, and iron that not only maintain good health but is also helpful for the brain health.
Tryptophan is an amino acid that is converted to serotonin in your brain. Tryptophan is found primarily in protein-rich foods like turkey, quail, and salmon.
Tryptophan rich foods include:
- Pumpkin and Squash seeds
- Uncooked Oats and Bran
- dried dates
- cottage cheese
- red meat
- Fish like Halibut, Salmon, Rockfish & Trout, Snapper, Mackerel, Haddock and Cod.
- Poultry – Chicken and turkey
- Rabbit meat, beef, pork, lamb,
- Shellfish like Crab, Spiny Lobster, Octopus, Clams, Prawns, Lobster, Crayfish and oysters.
- Beans and lentils – cooked white beans
- Soya Foods like roasted soybeans
Having Tryptophan alone will not help it reach your brain to produce serotonin. Thanks to the blood-brain barrier. Research suggests that eating carbs alongside foods rich in tryptophan may help tryptophan to rich your brain.
Tasty foods to munch on for increasing serotonin naturally:
- whole-wheat bread with cheese or turkey
- Chicken salad with corn and beans
- pretzel sticks with peanut butter
- oatmeal with a handful of nuts and dried dates
- brown rice with salmon or Mackerel
- You favorite crackers with milk