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Discover Serotonin Foods To Boost Your Feel-Good Chemicals

Serotonin is known for having an impact on mood and is naturally released by food, Serotonin foods or more specifically, carbohydrates. Serotonin secretion can be increased by eating foods with high-quality protein, healthy carbohydrates, and fibre, eating fruits and vegetables, and decreasing stress. If you want to boost your mood, try a piece of dark chocolate or a glass of wine.

But does eating food to achieve a higher mood really work in the long-term?

Low Serotonin Symptoms

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Serotonin deficiency happens when a person’s body doesn’t have enough serotonin activity. This can happen for various different reasons. These are associated with a range of psychological and physical symptoms. However, when it comes to the psychological symptoms, serotonin’s role isn’t fully understood.

Serotonin deficiency – psychological symptoms:

  • Anxiety
  • Depressed mood
  • Aggression
  • Impulsive behaviour
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Low self-esteem
  • Poor appetite
  • Poor memory

Low serotonin levels are also thought to be associated with various psychological conditions such as obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, social anxiety disorder and some eating disorders as well.

Serotonin deficiency – psychological symptoms:

  • Carbohydrate cravings
  • Weight gain
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Digestive or gastrointestinal motility problems, such as irritable bowel syndrome and constipation

What depletes serotonin?

The neurotransmitter is responsible for dictating everything from your happiness to your energy levels and even how well we all sleep. Unfortunately, there are a number of everyday habits that can lower serotonin levels, but reducing these habits can help ensure that you feel better all around. These habits include spending too much time indoors, Not Eating A Balanced Diet, Drinking Too Much Coffee and Skipping Out On Sleep.

How to increase serotonin and dopamine naturally

There are non-drug treatments to increase serotonin and dopamine naturally, people can try before deciding on medication. Some try taking medication but also supplement it with the non-drug strategies.

EXERCISE

Regular exercise for a minimum of 30 minutes each day can really improve a persons overall mood. According to research long-term cardiovascular exercise boosts serotonin levels in the brain. Serotonin lowers symptoms of depression and encourages agreeableness.

NUTRITION

Diet can also influence one’s mental health. Coffee increases your serotonin and dopamine levels, for as long as you take it. Once you stop drinking coffee, you will go into withdrawal. Your brain, used to the high levels will act as if there is a deficiency. On a caffeine-free diet your brain will return to its normal state, but this can take up to 12 days.

Omega-3 fatty acids is a better alternative as it boosts your serotonin levels without any withdrawal. Research shows that omega-3s help reduce depressive symptoms. You can find omega-3s in cold-water fish like salmon.

A lot of people think food that is rich in tryptophan can help improve mood, because the brain uses tryptophan to produce serotonin. But, tryptophan is competing with other amino acids for transportation to the brain, so it is low on the body’s priority list.

Having tryptophan in your diet is still important, because if you don’t have enough your serotonin levels will drop. tryptophan is found in starchy foods like whole wheat bread, potatoes, and corn.

ESSENTIAL OILS

All essential oils are plant-based. These oils can have medicinal properties. Studies have found that lavender, bergamot and lemon essential oils are particularly therapeutic. Your sense of smell prompts your brain to release serotonin and dopamine.

How to get an instant serotonin boost

Serotonin foods and naturally

Super greens contain high levels of vitamins and minerals associated with maintaining a healthy immune system. While many foods provide a complex range of nutrients, supergreens are considered one of the best sources of nutrition available and can help with a serotonin Diet . The supermarket is full of greens—kale, chard, spinach, lettuce—but the term supergreen typically refers to a small group of greens from the algae and cereal grass families.

Get an easy instant serotonin boost in one super greens  drink and feel happier and more mindful :

Green Drink

8oz serving: 26 calories, 0g fat, 24mg sodium, 6g carbs, 1g fiber, 3g sugar, and 1g protein

Certified Organic: Black Kale, Green Kale, Collard Greens, Green Leaf Lettuce, Curly Parsley, Green Chard, Dandelion Greens, Apple and Apple Juice with Reverse Osmosis filtered water.

Avoid foods that deplete serotonin

Every type of food is better in moderation. Additionally, some foods can have a greater depletion of serotonin than others. You might want to avoid these foods if you suffer from an excess of the hormone.

Frizzy Drinks

You can’t win with this one:  Regular Soda has all the blood spiking sugar of fruit juices but with none of the nutrition. Sugar sweetened drinks have a direct link to depression. To help with cravings try seltzer water with a bit of juice as an alternative.

Processed Foods

Eating a lot of processed meat, fried food, refined cereals, candy, pastries, and high-fat dairy products can cause you to be anxious and depressed. Cutting down on processed foods and having a more balanced diet full of whole fiber-rich grains, fruits, vegetables, and fish can help you keep a more even mindset.

Coffee

If you’re not a regular coffee drinker, the caffeine can make you nervous and jittery. It can also effect your sleep, which can put a strain on any anxiety and depression problems. If you ever want to cut down on coffee (caffeine) you must do this gradually. Try switching to decaf it could help.

Toast

If it’s made from white bread, yes. The highly processed white flour it’s made from quickly turns to blood sugar after you eat it. That can cause energy spikes and crashes that can be bad for anxiety and depression.  So its recommended you switch to  whole-grain bread.

Ketchup

You probably think ketchup is just made of tomatoes but it also contains a lot of sugar. It actually contains 4 grams per tablespoon! If your using the light alternative it may have artificial sweeteners that could be linked to anxiety and depression. Try homemade tomato salsa instead.

Conclusion

Green tea, berries and green-leafy veggies are also some of the best foods to keep your mood and mindset steady throughout the day. Another reason some people experience mood swings is that they don’t eat enough during meals. Or, the ratio of macronutrients (fats, proteins and carbs) isn’t balanced.

If you find that you need to snack during the day, try eating foods that are more filing or just bigger meals and experiment with what percentage of macros works best for you.

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