You may have heard serotonin referred to as your happy hormone. It’s actually a feel good chemical used by the body to work as a neurotransmitter and there’s no doubt that it helps regulate your mood. Serotonin is your primary defence against depression, misery and anxiety which is why antidepressants such as Prozac work by boosting your serotonin levels.
When serotonin levels are low your self esteem takes a nose dive, your cortisol levels increase and your sleep suffers too. Late night sugary food cravings are common, healthy weight loss is tricky and your natural hormone balance is disrupted. You become negative, obsessive and irritable.
Natural solutions to boost serotonin production
Serotonin is made from tryptophan which is an amino acid. It converts into 5HTP which then directly converts into serotonin itself. There are some simple natural solutions to boost your serotonin production:
- Increase your intake of tryptophan containing foods. These include bananas, walnuts, turkey, quinoa, sunflower seeds, milk, eggs, cheese, brown rice and fish.
- Tryptophan production is inhibited by the chemicals in caffeine, alcohol and artificial sweeteners so avoid fizzy drinks, coffee and artificial sweeteners especially aspartame.
- Stress depletes your serotonin levels so work on reducing your cortisol and stress levels with restorative yoga or leisure walks.
- Serotonin production is stimulated by sunlight so maximize your time outside – 30 minutes each day is ideal.
If you’re in need of a serotonin boost here is your perfect menu:
Don’t underestimate how easily you can boost your serotonin levels with the right type of food and when your serotonin levels are balanced you’re positive, confident and easy going. The better your mood the better you tend to eat which will help with your body’s natural hormone balance, ramp up your energy levels and promote healthy weight loss.
I’d love to hear from you so use the comments box below to let me know what your fave serotonin boosting meal is!