Get Happy: How To Increase Serotonin Levels Naturally
Did you realize that nearly 21 million American adults struggle with mood disorders? Some of the most common mood disorders are manic depression and bipolar disorder.
While some of these conditions have to be treated with prescription medicines, others can be attributed to low serotonin levels in the body. Luckily, there are a number of natural ways to increase serotonin levels.
Seeking out the help of a holistic medicine professional is a great way to figure out how to increase serotonin without the help of drugs.
The following are some of the things you should consider when trying to increase your serotonin levels naturally.
Eating Animal Proteins Can Be Helpful
Some people think that the concept of improving ons mental health and "feeling better" is unattainable, but this is not the case. Feeling better will require you to increase the production of serotonin levels in your body.
Did you realize that your body uses an amino acid name tryptophan as a precursor during the production of serotonin? One of the best ways to increase the level of this amino acid in your body is by ingesting more animal proteins.
Eating quality foods like pasture-raised chicken and eggs, or wild-caught fish can help you get your daily dose of tryptophan. Whey and egg protein have also been shown to increase the availability of tryptophan in the human brain.
Get More Natural Sunlight
Serotonin synthesis, or creation, is usually triggered by things like sunlight. Spending a bit of time in the bright sunlight can increase serotonin production substantially.
Have you ever wondered why disorders like depression spike during the cold and dark months of winter? This increased incidence of depression can be attributed, in part, to a lack of sunlight during this time of year.
Studies also show that exposure to sunlight increases cognitive function in people who struggle with depression. Even if the weather outside is a bit cloudy, you still need to spend some time outside. Cloudy days will provide you with more sun exposure than you think, and far more exposure than sitting inside will.
Alternatively, you can seek out a lamp or fluorescent light box for your home that provides bright light from balanced spectrum fluorescent tubes. This type of light simulates that received from the sun and can make a great difference for people with Seasonal Affective Disorder or for those who tend to become depressed during the winter months.
Exercise Can Also Help With Low Serotonin Levels
Sitting on the couch day in and day out can do a number on your body. Not only will this slothful lifestyle cause health problems, it can also cause your serotonin levels to bottom out.
The best way to shake this sedentary lifestyle is by starting to exercise. Getting in a good deal of cardio exercise on a daily basis is good for things like your heart health and the production of serotonin.
In the beginning stages of your exercise journey, you will need to take it easy. However, as you get more time under your belt, you need to focus on ramping up the intensity of your training. Pushing your body during these workouts can extremely beneficial.
Avoid Zero Carb Diets
One of the biggest trends in the world of eating is low or no carb diets. For years, people have been using the power of the ketogenic diet to lose weight. However, if you struggle with low serotonin levels, a no carb diet may not be the right fit.
The insulin spikes that occur when eating carbs helps to move amino acids into the blood. This spike will also increase tryptophan levels, which is essential when trying to create more serotonin in the body.
If you are struggling with depression and are currently on a no carb diet, now may be the time to fix this issue. Once you iron out your serotonin issues, you can always go back on this type of diet.
Drink More Coffee
Who doesn't love a good cup of coffee in the morning? Not only can this daily burst of caffeine raise energy levels, it can also actually improve brain health and boost serotonin production as well.
If you’re looking to get the maximum benefits of drinking coffee, avoid putting sugar or artificial sweeteners in it. While it may not taste as great, you can avoid the negative effects that sweeteners have been known to produce.
Some people think that other forms of a caffeine - like that found in energy drinks and pills can produce the same positive effects, but this is not the case. Often times, these drinks and pills are filled with other chemicals that can be harmful to the human body and negatively affect your mental health.
Use Your Sense of Smell to Unleash Serotonin
For years, people have used essential oils for a variety of different purposes. Often times, these oils will be used in a diffuser designed to unlock their fragrance.
Using oils like lemon or even lavender can be helpful when trying to increase serotonin production in the body. Sense of smell can be used when trying to prompt your brain to release both dopamine and serotonin.
However, be sure to follow the directions on the bottle of essential oil. Misusing these substances can be dangerous and can have an adverse effect on your health.
Try Putting More Turmeric in Your Diet
Having a bowl of curry is something most people enjoy. The turmeric found in this dish can be used as an anti-depressant in small doses. Turmeric increases serotonin levels and can help you with severe mood swings.
This spice can be added to a number of dishes and is quite inexpensive. Getting adventurous with the spices you use during meal prep can actually benefit your mental well-being.
Turmeric also has the added benefit of reducing brain inflammation and is an important component of neuronutrition.
Need More Information on How to Increase Serotonin?
Before trying any of the suggestions in this article, be sure to consult with a mental health professional. They can advise you on how to increase serotonin levels in a safe and effective way.
Looking for more information on how to improve your brain function? If so, check out our article on brain exercises designed to keep your mind sharp.
You can also contact me if you need more help or support. And as always, I’d love to hear what you think. Comment below with ways you stay happy the during the winter months. I look forward to hearing from you!