Research into mental disorders suggests that the neurotransmitter, serotonin, is one of the main factors in these brain issues. A lot of the medications prescribed by doctors, like antidepressants, target the serotonin. They hinder the transit of serotonin unnaturally. However, there are some great natural methods you can use to naturally increase your serotonin levels and experience an improvement in mental health.
Carbohydrates are directly linked with serotonin
Eating carbohydrates can cause serotonin to suddenly release. But consuming an excess amount of carbs could also work against you. They do not enable you to have a steady stream of serotonin, instead, they release short bursts of it. Too many carbs leaves you feeling slow and with no energy which can negatively impact depression. So make sure to keep your carbohydrate intake balanced to keep your energy steady and your mood uplifted.
Tryptophan can be consumed easily and is converted to serotonin
When you consume tryptophan, it is converted into serotonin. It’s an amino acid that can be found in many foods, such as turkey, fish, chicken, cottage cheese, nuts, eggs, and beans. It seems to be the most effective when consumed with a small quantity of high-quality carbohydrates. These could include rice and wholemeal foods.
Eating good quality fats helps to balance your serotonin levels
Essential fatty acids are crucial when it comes to your hormones and neurotransmitters, such as serotonin. Ensure that you’re eating a lot of omega-3 fatty acids, which can come from flaxseed, avocados, fish, and nuts.
Exercising naturally boosts the feel-good chemicals in your brain
Exercise helps the body to release the feel-good chemicals, such as serotonin, dopamine, and endorphins. Dopamine and serotonin are a great combination that work to uplift your mood naturally. Even just 15-20 minutes of exercise a day, over a consistent period of time, can help you feel great.
Waking up earlier and getting restful sleep raises your serotonin levels
People who are depressed often feel like laying in bed all day. However, this only worsens the condition and the sleep is more likely to be low-quality. Getting up early, everyday, is proven to increase serotonin levels. Studies show that being exposed to light is associated with better levels of serotonin. Sleeping during the day means you miss out on the potential mood-booster of simply going about your day. Try to get the right balance of sleep too – around eight hours seems to be the sweet spot for many people.
As you now know, there are many methods you can use to increase your serotonin levels naturally, without having to turn to medicine. However, if you are severely deficient in serotonin, it’s advised to visit your doctor to get medical attention. But you can still keep these five tips in mind, as they will only work to boost your serotonin!