In this article, we will discover the best ways to increase serotonin production naturally. But, before that let’s make a brief description of serotonin and its role in the body.
Serotonin is a chemical transmitter that implements the communication between nerve cells. Seratonin is mostly available in the digestive system and has many functions in the body.
This chemical transmitter is thought to stabilise our mood, feelings and increase our happiness. However, the role in the body is beyond that. In addition to stabilising our mood, this hormone ( serotonin) also play role in sleeping, eating and digestion.
As for the production of serotonin; the human body needs tryptophan, which is an amino acid, to produce serotonin. And, we get this amino acid through the foods. In this circumstance, it is safe to say that what we eat is quite related to how we feel.
Since serotonin has many functions throughout the body, we may encounter various problems, particularly psychological and mental problems, in its deficiency.
To avoid these problems that may occur due to serotonin deficiency in the body, we need to ensure we are consuming enough tryptophan, which is – as mentioned above- an amino acid so that our body produces serotonin.
As such, it is important to identify the foods that contain this amino acid (tryptophan) to avoid mood disorders such as depression and anxiety.
Apart from a diet rich in tryptophan, there are other ways to boost serotonin production. In this article, we compiled the best foods and best methods to increase serotonin production in the body.
Let’s start with the foods that can boost the serotonin level in your brain. Thereafter, we will touch upon the other methods.
Even though almost all dark green leafy vegetables are a perfect choice to obtain tryptophan, spinach steps forward among them. This difference stems from the fact that spinach increases both serotonin by providing tryptophan and dopamine (the feel-good neurotransmitter) by providing folate.
Therefore, consuming spinach at regular intervals can boost your mood by increasing both dopamine and serotonin. Bear in mind that, spinach is also rich in vitamin B and iron.
Unless you are restricted to eating eggs by your physician for a reason or you are a vegan, there is nothing wrong with eating eggs in terms of health. As we all know, eggs are a great source of protein.
A scientific study revealed that egg protein namely hydrolysate boost the tryptophan level thus making a positive impact on people’s mood state and sleep quality.
Independently of serotonin production, regular consumption of salmon provides our body with many vital nutrients. For instance, salmon can regulate blood pressure and cholesterol level with their nutrient content. Furthermore, salmon contains omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D and potassium.
What makes salmon so special for our mental health is salmon contains a great amount of tryptophan that is needed for serotonin production. For this reason, try to eat salmon once or twice a week.
Presumably, the point almost all of us agree on is the excellent taste of pineapples. Along with their awesome taste, pineapples are loaded with nutrients.
Pineapples contain a substantial amount of tryptophan. According to a report: pineapples contain 10 mg tryptophan per cup. In the light of this info, it is sensible to consume pineapples for the sake of your health as well as your mood.
5- Chicken and turkey
Since all animal meats contain protein, they are also rich in tryptophan. However, as you see we select turkey and chicken over other animal meats. There is an explanation behind this choice. Turkey and chicken are the two poultry that doesn’t increase cholesterol levels while providing the amino acid needed for serotonin production.
Especially, turkey and chicken breast has the highest amount of tryptophan amount with estimated 350 milligrams. Therefore, you should give more chances to these two foods in your diet to increase serotonin production.
Considering that there are many people who follow a vegetarian and vegan diet, we should also suggest foods that contain tryptophan other than turkey, chicken and salmon.
In addition to spinach, nuts are also a good choice for vegans to obtain tryptophan. Eating a handful of your favourite nut every day keep you as healthy as possible thanks to the rich nutrient content and makes you happy by helping serotonin production.
7- Soy Products
If your mental state is good most of the time, it might be explained by the soy products available in your diet.
Soy Products can provide a substantial amount of tryptophan, which is approximately 600 milligrams of in a 100-gram.
Especially, if you are vegan/vegetarian these products are a good choice for your mental health. Especially, tofu is a perfect choice according to many experts due to its high amount of tryptophan.
Apart from a diet rich in tryptophan which is essential for serotonin production, there are other ways to boost serotonin production in the body. Obviously, one of these methods is to exercise.
It is already known that exercise is one of the best ways to deal with and avoid stress or depression. The chemicals released while we exercise is the reason why we feel mentally stronger while exercising.
Physical exercise stimulates a certain part of the brain thus helping tryptophan release. In doing so, serotonin production becomes easier in the body.
In addition to serotonin, doing exercise triggers the release of other feeling-good chemicals too which are dopamine, oxytocin, and endorphins.
Therefore, it is needless to say that to be able to possess a happy life free from depression and anxiety, exercise is an indispensable factor. Walking, swimming, jogging and pilates are suitable forms of exercise.
It is not a coincidence most of us feel happy on a sunny day unless we have a personal issue that inhibits our happiness. Sunlights are thought to stimulate the brain to release serotonin what makes us feel happy.
A well-rounded scientific study confirms the possible relationship between sun exposure and serotonin production. On the other hand, scientists associate the low serotonin level with the increased number of people who commit suicide and suffer from depression in winter in which we have limited days to see the sun on the sky.
Therefore, it is important to spend 10-15 minutes outside so that our body produces serotonin and vitamin D. However, regularly spending more than 15 minutes outside with unprotected skin can cause many skin diseases including skin cancer.
Tarkan is an experienced health writer ( currently more than 600 articles ) and also the founder of this website namely www.neededforhealth.com. His expertise in health stems from in-depth medical research and knowledge which he obtained over the course of many years.
Tarkan enjoys sharing factual knowledge on health, psychology and nutrition. He always aims to deliver evidence-based recommendations, provide links to related scientific studies.