Increase Serotonin Naturally
Serotonin has been a bit of a buzz word in medicine and psychology for a number of years now. It’s the ‘feel good’ hormone, after all, and it’s been linked to a number of important health outcomes.
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter believed to be involved in the regulation of mood. Many drugs designed to fight depression and anxiety either prevent the breakdown of serotonin in the brain or increase its production.
Understanding the science behind happiness can only bring us closer to its attainment. And there are a number of small changes you can make today to increase your serotonin production naturally.
Here are 7 tips to increase serotonin naturally. Follow these tips, and you’ll feel happier and more energetic for it!
Increase Serotonin Naturally: 7 Tips
1. Eat More Protein – Proteins contain a chemical called tryptophan, which is a key amino acid needed for the production of serotonin in the brain (it’s essentially converted into serotonin). Eating healthy proteins like turkey, chicken, fish, eggs, nuts, and even cheese will boost your serotonin levels naturally, as they all contain significant doses of tryptophan.
2. Don’t Give Up on Carbs – Although proteins will give you the best boost, research shows that carbohydrates are still required for maintaining a balanced brain chemistry. In fact, the chemical tryptophan has been shown to work best (and therefore convert to serotonin most efficiently) when consumed with carbohydrates (including vegetables).
3. Don’t Give Up on Fat Either – Although bad fats can definitely be cut from your diet, good healthy fats like those found in fish, nuts, and avocadoes are actually really important for keeping your hormones in check. And that includes serotonin. Other good sources include DHA-enhanced eggs and dairy, flaxseed oil, and these Nutiva Organic Chia Seeds.
4. Supplement with Fish Oil – With that in mind, supplementing daily with a fish oil supplement is probably your best way to ensure adequate daily intake of healthy fatty acids. Supplements like these Optimum Fish Oil Softgels will help ensure your mood stays elevated and balanced!
5. Exercise, and Exercise Often! – In addition to the hundreds of other benefits of regular exercise, moving your body also stimulates the release of serotonin and other ‘feel good’ hormones like dopamine. This is probably the quickest way to improve your mood when you really need it. Hit the gym or go for a brisk walk. Any exercise will do.
6. Get a Good Night’s Sleep – Sleep is about quality before quantity. Getting a good night’s sleep of between 6 and 8 hours is ideal. Too little or too much sleep can totally throw your hormones out of whack and disrupt the secretion of serotonin. Go to bed at a decent hour, and force yourself to get up in the morning. You’ll notice a major improvement in your mood.
Another hormone that can help you get your sleep back on track naturally is Natrol Melatonin. Give it a try – many people swear by it.
7. Slow Down on the Stimulants – Consuming too much caffeine and sugar throughout your day will only throw your serotonin levels – and your mood – completely off track. These things essentially create an up and down cycle that is entirely bad for your mood, especially at the end of the day. And watch your alcohol intake as well…it’s no better!
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