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So, what is Serotonin?
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that is found in your brain and gut. The first and most obvious advantage you get from balances levels of serotonin is the way it affects your mood. It directly correlates to how sad or happy you are. It also affects your sleep. Serotonin and Melatonin work together to release hormones and balance your brain chemistry for healthy sleep patterns. Some other key bodily functions that are correlated to healthy levels of serotonin are appetite and sexual drive.
Let’s dive into how to increase serotonin naturally:
Foods to boost serotonin
For a natural approach to increase your serotonin levels, you can try eating foods rich in tryptophan. Research shows that a low-tryptophan diet causes brain serotonin levels to drop.
Here are foods that can help increase levels of tryptophan and serotonin:
- Nuts and seeds
Exercise and Serotonin
According to the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, exercise increases brain serotonin functions. It’s found that motor activity increases the rate and frequency at which serotonin is triggered within the brain. This results in an increase in both the release and synthesis of serotonin. Secondly, exercise increases the level of tryptophan in the brain.
Here are some exercises recommended to increase serotonin:
- weight lifting
- walking or running
Have you ever heard of the term “runner’s high?” It’s the result of chemicals (one of which is serotonin and another is endorphins) released during exercise to elevate your mood during and after a workout.
Supplements for Serotonin
Serotonin supplements can help treat depression, anxiety, and insomnia. So, if you’re ever feeling pessimistic, sad, panicky, or irritable, it could be the result of low serotonin levels in your body.
You can potentially fix these maladies with supplements that help create serotonin in your body. The beauty of these supplements for increasing serotonin is that they are natural.
- Saint John’s Wort
Magnesium is responsible for managing the stress hormones in your body. 80% of Americans are deficient in magnesium. Natural alternatives to increase magnesium are eating more dark chocolate, fruits, and vegetables.
Additionally, alternative ways to increase serotonin are to use candles, preferably of the vanilla scent, in your daily routine.