Health

How to Naturally Boost Serotonin Levels

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Serotonin is a neurotransmitter which influences out brain chemistry and how we feel, but it also has an effect on sex drive, digestion and even sleep. Serotonin levels tend to be lower when the weather is cloudy or when it’s winter, while sun and beautiful days bring more serotonin. Your gut and brain are the ones that produce this neurotransmitter and it is usually stored in the gut, which makes keeping it healthy one of your top priorities if you want to live a healthy and happy life.

You can naturally boost serotonin levels and make sure you are living your life to the fullest.

1. Sunlight

As the world’s communities developed and people are not working outside as much as they spend their time inside their office or at home watching TV, people are less exposed to sunlight. But according to a study published in 2013 in Innovations in Clinical Neuroscience, sunlight exposure is very important as it helps your skin produce vitamin D, which besides contributing to your overall health also promotes the production of serotonin. Moreover, the brighter the light the more serotonin your body produces. It doesn’t have to be hot, just sunny and bright.

2. Exercise

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Exercises that get your heart pumping and make you active are likely to increase serotonin levels in your body and ease their release. Such exercises involve running, biking, swimming, but yoga as well. However, if you want to boost serotonin levels, you need to like the types of exercises you are doing. If you feel forced or unwilling, you will not achieve the same.

3. Eat more magnesium rich foods

Magnesium is one of the essential nutrients, as The U.S. National Institutes of Health classifies it. Unfortunately, many Americans don’t get enough magnesium from their diet, as they eat less whole grains, nuts and green vegetables. Magnesium deficiency can cause serious problems- physical and psychic, some of which include sleep disorders, confusion, anxiety, etc. Lack of magnesium can influence serotonin levels, i.e. cause a drop, which can make you sad and cause you to lose motivation and will. So, in order to control your serotonin levels, eat more magnesium rich foods.

4. Eat good carbs

This doesn’t include sitting in front of a TV and eating chocolate and cake. Alright, that would also raise your serotonin levels, but only for a short while, just to lead to a sudden drop and a bad mood. Good carbs include whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Maybe the best serotonin boosting fruits are kiwi, pineapple, bananas and sour cherries. According to a study from October 1985 published in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, these fruits contain high levels of serotonin. So, they don’t just affect the production of this neurotransmitter in our bodies, but actually contain it. Eating these fruits is a natural instant serotonin boost.

5. Eat more protein

Proteins such as eggs, turkey, chicken and most nuts are rich in protein and tryptophan, an amino acid which can raise levels of serotonin. Tryptophan is actually one of the main ingredients needed for the production of serotonin- and a necessary one, as no serotonin can be produced without it. This is why it is important to eat tryptophan rich foods. However, as with any other food, you couldn’t overeat on these neither, as they will make you sleepy because serotonin will also relax you. Eaten in normal amounts, protein rich foods are a great way to boost your serotonin levels.

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