Boost Your Mood: How to Increase Serotonin Naturally

Do you often feel down, anxious or irritable? This is because of the decrease in the level of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin, commonly referred to as the “feel-good” hormone, is a neurotransmitter that helps regulate your mood, appetite, and sleep patterns. Low levels of this hormone in the body can lead to various physical and emotional symptoms like depression, insomnia, weight gain, and anxiety. In this article, we will discuss the different ways to increase serotonin naturally.

What is Serotonin?

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter produced by the nerve cells in the brain. It acts as a messenger between the nerve cells and stimulates various functions in the body like appetite, mood, and sleep. It is also known as the feel-good hormone as it regulates our mood and helps us feel good and motivated.

Why is Serotonin Deficiency Serious?

Low levels of serotonin can lead to a wide range of physical and mental health issues. Some of the common symptoms associated with serotonin deficiency include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Weight gain
  • Muscle pains
  • Reduced sex drive
  • Low mood levels

How can you Increase Serotonin Naturally?

Eat Foods Rich in Tryptophan

Tryptophan is an amino acid that helps in the production of serotonin in the body. Foods that are rich in tryptophan include:

Foods rich in Tryptophan Quantity of Tryptophan (mg)
Turkey Breast 600
Pumpkin Seeds 582
Soybeans 575
Tofu 225
Chicken Breast 250
Salmon 350

Expose yourself to Sunlight

Exposure to sunlight helps increase the production of serotonin in the body. Sunlight provides vitamin D which helps boost the serotonin levels in the body. Spend some time outdoors early in the morning, or late in the evening when the sun is not too bright.

Exercise Regularly

Exercise is a natural mood elevator, and it helps increase the production of serotonin in the body. Regular exercise helps reduce anxiety and depression and helps in regulating mood levels.

Meditate Regularly

Meditation is one of the best techniques to reduce stress and anxiety. It helps increase the production of serotonin in the body, and regular practice of meditation helps regulate mood levels.

Get Enough Sleep

Sleep is essential for physical and mental health. Lack of sleep can lead to a decrease in serotonin levels in the body. Try to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep per night to ensure your body produces adequate amounts of serotonin.

Avoid Alcohol and Sugar

Alcohol and sugar might provide a temporary boost, but they cause a decrease in the serotonin levels in the body. Reduce the intake of alcohol and sugar to ensure that you maintain healthy serotonin levels in the body.

Take Supplements

If you are unable to increase serotonin levels with a healthy diet and lifestyle changes, supplements might help. However, it is important to consult with your healthcare practitioner before starting any supplements.

Some of the supplements that might help increase serotonin levels are:

  • 5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan)
  • GABA (Gamma-aminobutyric acid)
  • L-Theanine
  • B-complex vitamins
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin D

Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy is a natural way of increasing serotonin levels in the body. Essential oils like lavender, bergamot, and jasmine are known to increase the production of serotonin in the brain. You can use aroma diffusers or add a few drops of essential oils to your bathwater.

Conclusion

Natural ways like a healthy diet, regular exercise, and adequate sleep can help increase the production of serotonin in the body. It is important to maintain healthy serotonin levels to ensure overall physical and mental well-being. The above-mentioned techniques should be practiced regularly and supplemented by consults with health care practitioners if necessary.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are the natural ways to increase serotonin levels in the body?

    • Eating foods rich in tryptophan
    • Exposing yourself to sunlight daily
    • Regular exercise
    • Meditation
    • Adequate Sleep
    • Avoiding alcohol and sugar
    • Taking supplements
    • Aromatherapy
  • What are the common symptoms of serotonin deficiency?

    • Depression
    • Anxiety
    • Irritability
    • Insomnia
    • Weight gain
    • Muscle pains
    • Reduced sex drive
    • Low mood levels
  • What are the supplements that can help increase serotonin levels?

    • 5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan)
    • GABA (Gamma-aminobutyric acid)
    • L-Theanine
    • B-complex vitamins
    • Vitamin C
    • Vitamin D

References

  • Young, S. N. (2007). How to increase serotonin in the human brain without drugs. Journal of Psychiatry & Neuroscience, 32(6), 394–399. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0893-133X(01)00271-3
  • Gibson, E. L. (2006). Emotional influences on food choice: Sensory, physiological and psychological pathways. Physiology & Behavior, 89(1), 53–61. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.physbeh.2006.01.024
  • Lin, P., Su, K., & A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. (2007). A meta-analytic review of double-blind, placebo-controlled trials of antidepressant efficacy of omega-3 fatty acids. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 68, 1056–1061. https://doi.org/10.1001/archpsyc.59.8.723
  • Vahdatpour, C., Dyer, A. H., & Tropea, D. (2016). Insulin-Like Growth Factor 1 and related compounds in the treatment of childhood-onset neurodevelopmental disorders. Frontiers in Neuroscience, 10, 450. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnins.2016.00450

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