Natural Ways to Increase Serotonin
Serotonin is a powerful neurotransmitter, or brain chemical, that enhances moods, emotional balance, and memory. If you’re like most people, chances are good that you could use a bit more of this “feel good” substance. The following three tips will help boost your serotonin level. If you put them into practice, you can look forward to feeling better all over.
If you’re feeling a bit depressed or anxious, getting off the couch is the last thing you want to do. Moving more, however, should be the first tool in your serotonin-boosting tool kit. When you work up a sweat by walking, lifting weights, or any other form of movement, you raise your level of serotonin. You also rev your circulation, so that your serotonin can impact as much of your brain as possible.
Consistently exercising packs even more of a serotonin-punch. As your levels of this crucial neurotransmitter increase, you’ll feel better and will be more likely to exercise. In other words, you’ll reverse the downward spiral of depression and skyrocket your mood.
Catch Some Rays
If you go for a walk or run outside, you’re in luck. Sunlight also boosts serotonin by activating specialized portions of the retina that cause serotonin release. Basking in bright light for at least 15 minutes per day also triggers the skin to produce serotonin.
Thanks to commercially available lightboxes, you can reap the benefits of bright light even when the sun won’t cooperate. In general, such boxes are meant to mimic the brightness of the sun when used according to professional advice. Since such exposure to bright light can cause side effects, always consult your healthcare provider before using one.
It’s no coincidence that you reach for cookies and cake when you’re having a hard day. The magic of such foods lies in the serotonin upswing they bring. Unfortunately, these easy-to-reach-for simple carbohydrates provide little nutritional benefit while raising the blood sugar to an unhealthy level.
To reap the maximum benefit from your diet, employ smarter snacking. Making the switch from simple to complex carbs will help you feel and look good. Complex carbohydrates such as carrots and sweet potatoes provide sweetness and satisfaction without possibly dangerous blood sugar spikes.
Foods That Have Tryptophan
Salmon: 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: Almost any variety of nuts or seeds is a great choice for snacking or adding to a meal, and many whole grain breads are now available with them baked within.
Eggs: which are also packed with protein
Pineapple: Additionally, pineapple is full of bromelain, which is another fantastic protein everyone should consume regularly because of its anti-inflammatory properties.
While it might not seem important, low serotonin levels can lead to lethargy, low energy, and problems focusing. It is well worth your time to improve your serotonin levels naturally.