Serotonin-rich foods are essential for good health. Serotonin-boosting foods, getting out in the sun or supplementing with vitamin D, exercising, taking adaptogens, and managing stress. Serotonin can also be increased synthetically, with antidepressants. Here we are going to discuss the details of serotonin-rich foods.
What is Serotonin?
Serotonin is a mood-enhancing chemical in the brain that affects mood, feelings of well-being, and a way to regulate hunger. Serotonin also improves positive sleeping patterns for a more restful and rejuvenating slumber. Symptoms of low serotonin levels include mental health issues like depression, stress, unexplained irritability, and panic attacks.
Natural light improves the production of serotonin as well as eating certain foods. Giving the body the tools it needs to function correctly and at maximum efficiency can improve serotonin levels leading to better overall mood, happiness, and healthy sleep patterns. One of these tools includes a chemical called Tryptophan. Tryptophan is an essential amino acid that is believed to boost serotonin levels when consumed.
Serotonin Rich Foods
Salmon is a rich source of tryptophan, which is important for producing serotonin. In addition to helping increase serotonin levels, it contains high levels of omega-3 fatty acids that are beneficial for the skin, heart, and bones. Salmon also contains Vitamin D, which is important for healthy bones and to aid in serotonin production.
Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are natural sources of tryptophan and protein, as well as an adequate salmon replacement for those who prefer a vegetarian diet. Almost any variety of nuts or seeds is an excellent choice for snacking or adding to a meal, and much whole grain bread is now available with them baked within.
Turkey and Poultry
Turkey and poultry are also full of tryptophan and are good sources of protein. Many people think we take naps after a big Thanksgiving meal full of turkey, and there is a tiny sliver of truth to it, but generally, it’s because we eat a lot of everything. Still, the tryptophan in the turkey can help with the good feelings we enjoy during the holiday.
Eggs are packed with protein and are a favorite staple of athletes and bodybuilders. Be aware of the way eggs are prepared though, to get the full health benefit. Boiled and poached eggs are the healthiest ways to cook them without adding any fat like when they are fried.
Tofu and Soy
Tofu is made of soy, and it is full of tryptophan. Soymilks have become popular in recent years, and soy products are a popular way for vegans and vegetarians to get tryptophan without eating meat.
Milk and Cheese
Cheese and milk are excellent sources of tryptophan and as a bonus, they are rich in calcium for healthy bones and teeth. To stay on the healthy side, choose milk and cheese that are low in fat to receive all the benefits without gaining weight.
Pineapple contains plenty of tryptophan to boost serotonin in the brain.
Why is Serotonin Important?
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that carries signals to regulate many different bodily functions. Without it, the body’s bowel functions can suffer causing digestive and gut bacteria problems. As an example, some types of food can irritate the intestinal lining, and in these cases, serotonin can help push the food through faster to reduce the time and amount of irritation.
The serotonin neurotransmitter also works with efficient blood clotting. Platelet cells release serotonin with tissue damage, which results in vasoconstriction. This is an important part of the process for blood clots to form when necessary.
Bone density may also be affected by serotonin. When bone density levels are too high, there is often a correlation with osteoporosis, a condition that causes the bones to become porous and weak, which in turn increases the chances of a fracture.
Unbalanced serotonin levels can also lead to affecting the way sexual functions work. In some cases, it increases sexual desire, while in other instances, a decrease in sexual desire might occur.