How to increase our serotonin level naturally: 8 tips
There are times when we feel down and do not know why. Nothing special has happened but we can not reach a satisfactory state of mind. In these cases, the cause may be low serotonin levels.
A hectic pace of life, poor diet and lack of exercise cause our serotonin levels to drop, causing a highly variable mood and, generally, decayed. However, there are ways to increase serotonin naturally . We will see them throughout this article.
- Related article: "Serotonin: 6 effects of this hormone in your body and mind"
Serotonin: the hormone of happiness
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that it is synthesized, among many other places, in our brain . Traditionally, it has been assigned the name of the "particle of happiness" or the "neurotransmitter of happiness".
The reason is that serotonin is the main responsible for regulating our mood. This neurotransmitter, which also exerts a fundamental role in the regulation of our intestinal functioning, has the capacity to carry out the necessary chemical reactions for increase our feeling of well-being and satisfaction .
In the same way, serotonin can help us cope better with day-to-day stress and tension. However, when the stress levels are considerably high, it tends to go down. So we run the risk of experiencing a certain emotional instability.
In addition, the deficit of serotonin, together with a whole set of external and internal factors can facilitate the appearance and development of any type of depressive disorder. The reason is that when our body stops synthesizing it, due to stress, due to deficiencies in our diet, etc., we are less skilled when it comes to control the ups and downs in our mood .
This neurotransmitter of happiness synthesizes in our body thanks to the action of tryptophan. This molecule is an essential amino acid vital for the proper functioning of our brain. Fortunately, Tryptophan is found in a wide variety of foods , so the consumption of these, along with a healthy lifestyle, can help us increase serotonin levels and, consequently, feel much better.
- Related article: "Types of neurotransmitters: functions and classification"
How to increase the amount of serotonin in the brain?
As mentioned above, there are ways to increase the levels of serotonin in our body. Although there are artificial ways to keep our serotonin levels high, there are many other natural, and much more satisfying, ways to raise it.
We'll see now a series of recommendations or tricks that we can carry out when we feel that our mood is not very positive.
1. Try to reduce stress levels
As specified at the beginning of the article, serotonin can help us cope better with stress. However, when the levels of this are excessive, it is stress that exerts a harmful influence on serotonin.
Constant stress decreases serotonin and increases our levels of estradiol in the blood, the stress hormone, decreasing our defenses and worsening our health both physical and psychological.
In addition, another of the effects of stress is related to food, the main pillar for the correct synthesis and maintenance of serotonin levels. When we feel stressed, our body asks us for foods rich in fat, carbohydrates and sugars; three of the main enemies of serotonin.
Thus, it is not necessary to wait for us to feel down to begin to worry about our stress and our diet, but the most advisable thing is to maintain a healthy lifestyle that helps us avoid, or at least counteract, this decay
2. Varied diet rich in tryptophan
It is necessary to insist on the importance of achieving a nutritionally varied and balanced diet. Most foods contain tryptophan. However there are a number of them that are distinguished by presenting a high content of this amino acid. These are:
- Turkey and chicken meat.
- Blue Fish .
- Dairy products.
- Pineapple, avocados and plums.
- Spinach, beet, carrot , celery, dates and broccoli.
- Nuts (which also provide magnesium and omega-3).
- Whole grains and brown rice.
- Sesame and pumpkin seeds .
- Legumes such as chickpeas, lentils or soybeans.
- Dark chocolate.
- Spirulina .
Therefore, a healthy diet containing these foods daily will help us to satisfy our needs for tryptophan and, therefore, to keep our serotonin levels high.
3. Avoid the consumption of simple carbohydrates
Simple carbohydrates are very refined sugars that are digested very quickly and they have hardly any nutritional value , since they do not contain enough essential nutrients.
Among the foods that contain simple carbohydrates are:
- Pastries and sweets with refined sugar.
- Non-integral pasta
- White rice.
- White bread.
4. Increase the consumption of omega-3
In addition to tryptophan, there are many other elements present in foods that can help us increase our serotonin levels. A diet rich in fatty acids, such as omega-3 , favors the production and regulation of neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine and adrenaline.
One of the main sources of healthy fats is blue fish and seafood. However, there are other foods such as avocado, walnuts and flax, chia and hemp seeds , foods rich in alfalinoleic acid.
5. Avoid the consumption of coffee and stimulant drinks
Drinks with a high caffeine content, such as coffee or some types of soft drinks or energy drinks, increase the secretion of adrenaline and cortisol; substances that, as we have seen before, are the main antagonists of serotonin.
In addition, these drinks are also characterized by their high sugar content, which makes them extremely exciting foods with very little nutritional value.
6. Perform physical exercise
It is well known that physical exercise facilitates the metabolism of serotonin and therefore increases the levels of this.
For this reason, physical activity can usually help us to keep our serotonin levels high, since it also increases our levels of tryptophan.
7. Find places with sun and lots of light
Another compound that exerts a potent effect on the production of serotonin is vitamin D. In addition to food, this vitamin D increases with exposure to sunlight . These sunbeams are an important help to get vitamin D, since it is synthesized in the skin from the rays of this.
In this way, working in bright spaces, exercising outdoors or taking a walk through nature are going to be perfect allies when it comes to feeling emotionally well and stable.
8. Sleep the necessary hours
Lack of sleep is another of the main enemies in our fight against stress and fatigue. While we sleep our body restores our serotonin levels , so that adequate rest will also be fundamental when it comes to keeping our mental health intact.