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Are you feeling low often for no apparent reason? You may have deficiency of serotonin, a hormone responsible to make you feel happy.

boost serotonin levels

Serotonin also helps your bowel movements, improves bone health and regulates your sleep and waking up. It helps blood platelets to heal wounds. To remove toxins from the body it induces nausea.

While low levels of serotonin can cause anxiety, depression, sleeping and stomach disorders , very high serotonin can cause osteoporosis and reduce libido.

Serotonin is generally found in digestive system, blood platelets and the central nervous system. It is produced by essential amino acid tryptophan which must enter your body through food.

You can boost your serotonin levels by food and some catalysts such are exercise and sun exposure which increase the production of serotonin in your digestive system.

How to Increase Sarotonin Levels?

 

boost serotonin levels infographic

Five Effective Ways to Boost Serotonin Levels

Almost all protein rich food items contain serotonin and tryptophan. It may appear here that all the protein rich diets should be the best food to keep you happy. But that is not the fact. In fact protein in he bits synthesis of serotonin in the digestive system. Researchers have found the reduction in serotonin levels after eating protein rich food.

This is a paradox. Therefore it is not about what you eat but about how you eat will make all the difference in terms of serotonin synthesis and happiness of your moods.

In fact foods containing carbohydrates have been found to increase the serotonin levels in the body. These carbs do not have any serotonin in it, but they have synthesis of tryptophan and serotonin in the digestive tract and that is how the serotonin levels increase.

This also explains why people who are on low carb diet are more depressed than those who are not.

As you are aware carbohydrates of many different kinds. You can avoid eating white flour, sugar abd other refined carbohydrates that are bad otherwise for your health and weight reduction.

The pototes and other root vegetables and fruits are good source of carbs to increase serotonin levels without the risks of weight gain. You can also consume rice, whole grain wheat and oats.

So if you eat these carbs strategically then you can get the full benefits allowing the tryptophan in the digestive system increase synthesis of serotonin.

It appears, though not yet scientifically proved, that the protein rich foods temporarily lower the serotonin levels as proteins inhibit the sythesis of tryptophan and serotonin.

However later when carbohydrates are consumed tryptophan and serotonin get synthesised and transported to the brain.

Following are the rich protein sources of serotonin

1. Vegetarian Sources of Serotonin

  • Pineapple 
  • Nuts
  • Tofu

2. Animal Proteins for Serotonin

  • Eggs - Eggs are rich sources of tryptophan and tyrosine. IIT both Snow White and the Yolk to get the full benefit.
  • Cheese - cheese is also reach in tryptophan and you can club eating it with eggs.
  • Turkey - turkeys talked with tryptophan

3. Fishes for Serotonin

Salmon is a very good source of one a 3 fatty acids and tryotophan. 

4. Serotonin Supplements

Many supplements can provide you boost of serotonin

  • Tryptophan which is almost like serotoninis one of the top serotonin supplements to consider. It is an amino acid extracted from aninal protein.
  • 5 HTP ( 5-hydroxytryptophan) increases serotonin levels in the body. It is made from an African shrub called griffonia simplicifolia.
  • Tryptophan is more widely used and is also better supplement to produce brain related benefits of serotonin
  • Researchers have not been able to conclusively find 5 hydroxytryptophan to improve moods.
  • SAM-e(s- adenosyl methionine) are synthetic derived supplements to increase serotonin levels
  • Vitamin B6 is necessary to facilitate conversion of these supplements to serotonin that is why some of them clubbed with Vitamin B6.
  • Serotonin supplements may interfere with some drugs therefore check with your doctor before taking these supplements
  • Overuse of serotonin supplements can cause health problems of which some can be fatal.

Supplements are actually the best way to increase the serotonin levels as they are made from the proteins minus the protein, therefore the synthesis of sarotonin is not disturbed by the proteins. Always keep your doctor in the loop if you are taking this route to increase serotonin. 

5. Activites for Serotonin

It us not just eating the food alone but the following  activities increase synthesis of serotonin to help them to reach the brain to give mood a lift.

  • Excercise - Numerous researches have shown that exercise increases synthesis of serotonin in the digestive system and make your mood happy.
  • Sun Exposure - Vitamin D which you get from sun exposure is very helpful in increasing serotonin production the body. The area of the world where sun light is not adequate, people are more depressed. So get regular sun exposure daily.

Eating right kinds of food, doing regular exercise, get some sun exposure and sleep well are anyway some of the best disciplines to remain healthy. What keep you healthy also keeps you happy. In order to boost your serotonin levels, follow the basic principles described above.