Adding serotonin foods to your eating plan is a simple and effective way to raise your brain levels of the “happy hormone.”
If you’re taking antidepressants – known as SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) – they release short bursts of serotonin.
Over time, they may make it more difficult for your body to manufacture and store serotonin naturally. Patients on antidepressants go through a cycle of dose management – gradually raising it over time – or switching to different drugs to achieve the same results.
If you’re currently taking a prescription for depression, anxiety, or other mood disorder – do not stop taking it without speaking to your doctor.
What is Serotonin?
Most of your brain chemistry is still a mystery to scientists. There are more than 60 different neurotransmitters in your brain – and most of what they do is unknown.
Serotonin was initially identified as a blood vessel constrictor and coagulant. It was only in the late 1980s that this substance was discovered in the human brain.
The role of this compound in the brain is to regulate body temperature, maintain blood vessels, control pain perception, balance mood, minimize fatigue, help you sleep, and manage impulse control.
Not having enough serotonin in your brain leads to…
- Anxiety or irritability
- Aggression or anger
- Loss of impulse control
Your body can only manufacture serotonin with specific amino acids (a protein building block) – specifically, tryptophan – that can only be obtained through diet. You can always use more of this neurotransmitter.
Food is a natural, safe, and effective way to help you increase your serotonin levels. Working in tandem with antidepressants, it could delay or even prevent “drug fatigue” that forces you to higher doses.Your body can only manufacture serotonin with specific amino acids – specifically, tryptophan. #FunFacts #EatProteinClick To Tweet
9 Most Powerful Serotonin Foods (Containing Tryptophan)
1. Eggs (a stunning source of complete protein)
2. Cheese (cottage cheese, mozzarella, gouda, Swiss, parmesan, cheddar)
3. Tofu and tempeh
4. Seeds (chia, sesame, sunflower, flaxseeds)
5. Nuts (walnuts, almonds, cashews, pistachios, hazelnuts)
6. Fatty fish (salmon, tuna, halibut, trout, snapper, mackerel)
7. Shellfish (lobster, crab, oysters, clams, scallops)
8. Turkey, chicken, and beef (organic, grass-fed)
9. Beans (lentils, pinto, kidney, navy, black)
Adding foods rich in B Complex (berries, leafy greens, whole grains), essential fatty acids (leafy greens, fatty fish, fish oil, nuts), l-theanine (green tea, nuts, seafood), and magnesium (yogurt, bananas, dark chocolate) are also great ways to improve mood naturally.
Upping your serotonin foods (particularly protein levels) is inexpensive and effective but that’s not all you can do if you suffer from depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and other behavioral conditions.
There are habits you can include in your daily routine that have been proven to improve the effectiveness of pharmaceutical treatment.Upping your serotonin foods (particularly protein levels) is inexpensive and effective. #MakeAChange #YouAreNotAloneClick To Tweet
5 Habits to Improve Mood Naturally
1. Low-impact exercise (even stretching) for 10 minutes each day.
2. Sunshine on your bare face and hands (early morning or late afternoon) 10 minutes daily.
3. One positive interaction with another person daily for a few minutes (even on the phone).
4. Keep your living space well-lit for at least an hour twice a day.
5. Do one thing that used to bring you great happiness for 15 minutes daily (this is a “fake it until you make it” way of fooling yourself – and it works).
There’s no easy path to “cure” depression, anxiety, or other mood disorder. It gets harder to exercise, sleep right, and eat healthy the deeper into sadness or stress you fall. However, whether or not you’re currently on antidepressants, there are natural things you can do through diet and habit that can drastically improve your symptoms.
Serotonin foods, a little bit of stretching, or standing in sunshine may seem too easy (“it can’t possibly work”) – but each of these natural methods has been proven again and again to make a difference in the lives of patients.
The motivation is hard to find and I understand…but you can do this. Start small, just a few minutes a day, one food or habit, and see how you feel. A little at a time, one day at a time, until you can start seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.
The one thing you need to remember is that you’re not alone. More than 40 million American adults are suffering just like you are. It’s not hopeless.Remember that you’re not alone. 40 million+ American adults are suffering just like you are. #Overcome #FightThroughClick To Tweet
Pharmaceutical solutions may help but if they don’t (or not well enough), consider these natural approaches to improve your chances of beating depression for good.
You can do this. Your body is designed to kick it. One small change at a time. Start today.