Serotonin is a neurotransmitter (brain chemical) that is involved in many vital body functions and is very important in the regulation of mood and sleep. Research indicates that in the United States 60-80% of the people, especially women, have low serotonin levels. You can alter your low serotonin levels by carefully orchestrating your foods, activities and daily routines and habits.
7 Natural Ways to Raise Low Serotonin Levels
Bananas are actually surprisingly high in tryptophan whilst also containing carbohydrates, making them one of my favorite foods that increase serotonin levels.
Exercise is a natural stimulator of many important “mood” hormones, including serotonin and dopamine. It is found that 15 or 20 minutes of exercise every day will naturally release these feel-good hormones that are so vital to feeling happy and calm.
Prolonged physical or emotional stress produce adrenaline and cortisol, which interfere with serotonin.6 It’s very common in today’s modern world to try to fit an overwhelming amount of work and errands into a day or week. This creates chronic stress. Shifting your lifestyle and adding more relaxation into your week can make a huge difference.
Eating foods containing high levels of serotonin would increase the level of serotonin in your brain, serotonin is unable to travel from the bloodstream into the brain. Tryptophan can get into the brain, however. Thus, eating foods high in tryptophan such as meats, bananas, nuts, seeds, tofu, eggs, dark chocolate and lentils indirectly increases the amount of serotonin in the brain.
Light therapy is a common remedy for seasonal depression. Research shows a clear relationship between being exposed to bright light and serotonin levels.
Add inositol to your smoothies
Naturally present in many foods, inositol improves the activity of serotonin in the brain. As a supplement, it’s an excellent choice for alleviating anxiety and depression and supporting nervous system health. Inositol is very effective for calming the nervous system when mixed with magnesium.
Eliminate sugar from diet
If you have low serotonin, you may have intense cravings for sugar. This is your body’s way of trying to increase serotonin because eating sugar produces insulin, which helps tryptophan go into your brain.
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