You may know serotonin as the “feel good” hormone responsible for bubbly moods,happiness and relaxed feelings, only that it is actually a neurotransmittersecreted by the brain in certain instances. It is secreted by neurons whenthere is a significant amount of tryptophan in the blood.
Most of us are aware of how important serotonin is when it comes to feeling jovialand relaxed. However, very few know how to purposely induce the production of
Several factors, including food, different activities and supplements, contribute to the production of serotonin in the brain. For example, have you ever felt suddenly jovial after enjoying your favorite pastry or any other sugary snack? That is because carbohydrates trigger the production of the neurotransmitter when consumed. This explains why comfort foods are predominantly starchy, sugary or full of carbohydrates.
With all the mood-lifting hype surrounding serotonin, one may wonder why then euro transmitter is not all the rave seeing that people go to great extents to replicate the relaxing feeling brought about by it. Well to put it blankly, serotonin comes with some pretty undesirable effects which we will look at later.
Serotonin is used in the treatment of depression among other mood-related conditions.
Other than its mood lifting properties, it is also vital in regulating our
bowel movements and blood clotting. Here are 5 ways you can benefit from
increased serotonin levels:
– The more relaxed your body is during bedtime, the better the quality of sleep you will have. Serotonin induces feelings of sleepiness which can be very helpful at the right time of the day (you would not like it if it happened during the day). This explains why some of us get sleepy in the afternoon after a hearty meal full of carbohydrates or even the infamous Thanksgiving Day Coma, where serotonin is released due to the high levels of tryptophan present in the turkey meat you eat. A sugary snack right before bedtime might therefore
guarantee you a good night’s sleep, although this is not exactly recommended.
– As mentioned earlier, the reason why we find some foods so comforting is because they trigger the production of serotonin in the body. After a stressful ordeal such as emotional (and sometimes physical) trauma, we find ourselves seeking solace in sugary pastries and candy bars. This is actually a very good way to battle stress as serotonin helps to put your mind at ease and prevent stress-related ailments.
Improved Moods – Unless
induced by drugs (even so, actually) relaxation goes hand in hand with jovial
moods. When the neurotransmitter is at optimal concentrations, you will
experience unexplainable jovialness or bubbly moods, and will find yourself
humming happily as you go about your duties. Keep in mind however that if
inducing serotonin in excess in order to become happier will only result in
Best Cure for Headaches and Migraines – If you suffer from the latter, inducing the
production of the neurotransmitter is actually the best way to relieve the
pain. Migraines are not really treatable—only manageable. Learning how to
purposely induce the serotonin levels in your body can save you a lot of pain.
On the downside, serotonin reduces sex drive and libido significantly. The
neurotransmitter is also responsible for the feelings of nausea we get during
allergic reactions or when we consume substances that irritate our bowels.
Ways to Boost Serotonin Levels
What can you do to get more of this wonderful substance in your body?
There are a number of tried and tested ways you can use to boost serotonin in the
body. Depending on your preferences, you can use the all-natural methods or go
for supplements, both of which we will touch on. Here are 5 of the best ways.
Get Vitamin B6
-Vitamin B6 is present in fish, chicken and lean beef. You can also get it from
vegetables such as cauliflower, celery, and spinach. Garlic, turnip greens and
mustard greens are also great sources of the vital vitamin. As opposed to
eating more, eat one or two of these foods regularly and in the recommended
portions. You could also go for supplements if need be.
Eat foods rich in tryptophan
– One of the greatest sources of the serotonin-inducing amino acid is turkey
meat. Aside from that, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds are also rich in
tryptophan. In this scenario, there is a catch. Eating carbohydrates with proteins somehow impedes the production of serotonin. Also, gorging yourself with more proteins in order to get more
serotonin works inversely as the tryptophan is subdued by the presence of
numerous amino acids in your body.
Try something fermented –
Good news for yogurt lovers: fermented foods and drinks can actually put you in
a jovial mood. Fermented foods and dishes enhance the assimilation of nutrients
from other foods and as such, are vital in helping the body manufacture the
all-important vitamin B6. You will also enjoy a much smoother bowel movement
thanks to the enhanced digestion.
Massages and Exercise
– Some people feel good after taking a walk, others prefer a quick jog to lift
their moods. Whichever your preference, getting in a bit of physical exercise
can induce the production of serotonin. Similarly, massage therapy also causes
the production of the feel-good neurotransmitter while simultaneously getting
rid of the stress-inducing hormone, cortisol.
Get some sun
– The early morning sun (before it gets uncomfortably hot) has been linked to
an increased production of serotonin, which lasts throughout the day and
converts to melatonin in the evening. Melatonin is responsible for a good
night’s sleep. Taking a 5 minute break to bask in the morning sun can do
wonders for your mood for the rest of the day.
Some of the best natural supplements you can opt for to improve the production of
serotonin include L-tryptophan, SAMe and 5-HTP. Consult your doctor before
taking any of these supplements.
Serotonin directly impacts how we feel, specifically by inducing feelings of happiness
and/or relaxation. In addition to this, the neurotransmitter is also known to
bring feelings of contentment and a general sense of well-being. As such, the
acute lack of the neurotransmitter is directly associated with conditions such
as depression, social anxiety and other mental and psychological problems.