How to Increase Serotonin Naturally
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that acts as a mood stabiliser. It is produced during a chemical reaction known as tryptophan. So, if you are ever feeling slightly low, serotonin is to be blamed. In fact, when the serotonin levels drop too low, it might also contribute to depression. So, how to increase serotonin naturally? Read ahead to learn all about it.
What is serotonin?
As aforementioned, serotonin is a chemical messenger that takes care of your mood and is also involved in a variety of processes in the body. They are;
- Regulates circadian rhythm and helps you enjoy sound sleep
- Help keep your appetite in check
- Aids learning and memory
- Promotes positive feelings
- Keeps digestion intact
How to increase serotonin?
Learning how to increase serotonin can be beneficial for you. You can do it by following the below-mentioned methods;
- Eating foods that boost serotonin
- Regular exercise
- Keeping your stress level in check
- Spending time in the sunlight
- Medication after consulting your doctor.
Natural Ways to Boost Serotonin
How to increase serotonin naturally? Here are some easy-peasy steps.
Fill Up on These Feel-Good Foods
One of the easiest ways to enhance the levels of these feel-good chemicals in the body is to consume serotonin-rich foods. Now, you don’t receive serotonin directly, but you find tryptophan, which gets converted into serotonin in the brain.
The brain has a protective shield known as the blood-brain barrier. It keeps a check on what goes in and out of the brain. However, tryptophan-rich foods are high in amino acids and can pass through the barrier. Some of the best foods with tryptophan to enhance serotonin levels are;
- Soy products
Get 15 Minutes of Sunlight
How to naturally increase serotonin in the brain? Sunlight is your answer. Exposure to sunlight enhances the production of serotonin in the brain. In fact, when you don’t get enough sunlight, the serotonin levels go down. It is almost like charging your phone. Spending about 15 minutes in the sun recharges your system and keeps your mood super pleasant. Sunlight also brings other benefits, such as strong bones, cancer prevention, and good skin.
Move Your Body
We all know exercise fetches many benefits, like keeping your heart healthy, strengthening your bones, and more. However, exercise also leads to the release of tryptophan in the blood. This also enables an ideal atmosphere for the tryptophan to reach your brain. You can try aerobic exercises, such as swimming, cycling, jogging, and more.
Change Your Thoughts
Did you know? A good mood can increase serotonin levels. If you are feeling low, rewiring your thoughts could help improve the serotonin levels and help your overall mood. Some of the things you can try to change your thoughts include;
- Visualization: Think about your happy memories or happy thoughts
- Take a look back at all the positive experiences you have had with your loved ones
- Hangout with your pet, friends, or visit a favourite place
Try Adaptogenic Herbs
Adaptogenic herbs, such as ashwagandha are known to lower stress and improve sleep quality. Adaptogenic herbs help boost tryptophan production, which increases serotonin in your system.
Chronic stress can be averse to your health. Research also shows that too much stress can reduce serotonin levels. Therefore, you can practise relaxation techniques to combat your stress.
- Practise journaling
- Listening to music
Try Massage Therapy
A good massage is great for your mind and body. It enhances the levels of serotonin and dopamine, the feel-good chemicals. The studies show that massage can also be good for conditions such as depression, breast cancer, autoimmune disorders, and dementia. However, it’s always best to see a licenced massage therapist.
Mingle With Your Loved Ones
If it has been long since the last catch-up with your BFF, or you just haven’t spent some quality time with your loved ones, it is time to do so. Research suggests that mingling with the people you love can elevate your serotonin levels and make you feel good. In fact, spending time with your furry friends can be great. You can always volunteer at an animal shelter or pet the friendly strays if you don’t have pets.
Be Helpful to Others
Helping others can always make you feel good. One study showed offering support is an excellent way to boost your mood. You don’t have to do anything big. Little things like smiling at someone or feeding animals can make your day.
Laugh It Out Loud
You must have heard the saying that laughter is the best medicine. Well, it’s true. A 2016 analysis showed that laughter could tremendously benefit your mental health. It can lower any stress hormones. So, read something funny or watch a comedy on TV because it helps!
Support Your Gut Bacteria
Including good bacteria can be good for your body and can also help boost serotonin levels. It is because when the serotonin levels go up in the gut, it can reduce inflammation, and it is believed that there is a powerful connection between mind and body. Some of the probiotic-rich foods include yoghurt, kombucha, and more.
This is how to increase serotonin levels naturally!
Why Are Serotonin Levels Important?
Serotonin is essential for various roles in the body. It includes;
- It is vital for learning and memory
- It is required for your mood and overall happiness
- It regulates your body temperature
- It helps you enjoy a deep sleep
- It also influences your sexual behaviour and hunger
About 90% of the serotonin in our system exists in the lining of our gastrointestinal tract, and about 10% is produced in the brain.
When to seek help?
If you cannot improve your mood-related symptoms after trying all the tips, you must visit a doctor. Some people have low serotonin levels because of their environment, genes, brain chemistry, and other factors. If you find that your overall mood is impacting your everyday life, make sure you seek help.
Serotonin is vital for our overall well-being. Please make use of the tips mentioned above to boost serotonin levels. However, if nothing works, visit your doctor.
How can I increase my serotonin levels quickly?
You can try the tips mentioned above to boost your serotonin levels.
What food is highest in serotonin?
Foods like eggs, salmon, soy products, and dairy release high levels of serotonin.
What are the signs of low serotonin levels?
Symptoms of low serotonin levels include;
- Severe mood swings
- Sleep issues
- Panic disorders
- PTSD or post-traumatic stress disorder
- Suicidal behaviour
- Digestive issues
What Vitamin increases serotonin levels?
Vitamin B6 acts as a precursor of serotonin and tryptophan, and vitamin B12 is a cofactor in the synthesis and other neurotransmitters. Therefore, consuming the ideal requirements of vitamins B6 and B12 can help. However, if you plan on taking the supplements, talk to your doctor first.
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