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June 15, 2021 4 min read

There is a small chemical found in your brain called Serotonin that plays a crucial function in your overall health and wellbeing.

It serves the important role of being the “happy chemical” in your body.

Serotonin is important because it gives us a “feel good” response.

Read more below on what serotonin is and how you can help to naturally boost your levels!


 

What is Serotonin?

The scientific name for serotonin is 5-hydroxytryptamine (or 5-HT). It is labeled as being a neurotransmitter, which means that it helps to transmit messages throughout your body.

Generally speaking, low levels of serotonin are linked with a negative mood/mindset, and high levels make us happier.

It is estimated that 90% of your body's store of serotonin is found in your gut, which goes to show how strong the gut-brain connection is. It can also be found in your brain and blood platelets.

According to Medical News Today, “Serotonin is used to transmit messages between nerve cells, it is thought to be active in constricting smooth muscles, and it contributes to wellbeing and happiness, among other things” (1).

Serotonin is also a precursor to melatonin, and thereforehelps to regulate the body's sleep-wake cycles and your internal “body clock”.

Maintaining your serotonin levels is highly important for a happy and healthy life.


 

How to Boost Serotonin Levels Naturally

When the stress of modern life takes over, it’s easy to become dissatisfied with even the smallest things. Fortunately, there are plenty of natural ways to help maintain a positive mood.

To help you start out, here are five healthy ways to boost your serotonin levels!


1. Adopt a Diverse Diet

When we feel good, our brains produce serotonin. However, this beneficial neurotransmitter doesn’t appear out of thin air. An amino acid called tryptophan is the raw material that used to create serotonin in the body.

Thankfully, tryptophan is found in plenty of foodsAll you need to do is integrate these foods into your diet and you’re all set.

Eggs are one of the best sources of tryptophan out there, and they also contain choline andomega-3 fatty acids that help both your body and mind stay happy and healthy.

Other great options include salmon, cheese, tofu, and turkey. These foods are easy to add into your diet, all you need is a bit of imagination.

Furthermore, tryptophan isn’t the only dietary source of serotonin. As it turns out, curry, or rather the turmeric in it, has also been shown to increase amounts of the beneficial neurotransmitter in the brain. This happens due to a compound called curcumin, which has been promoted by Ayurvedic medicine for many centuries.

The L-Theanine found in green tea is also beneficial as it helps to promotes feelings of relaxation. A trademarked version of this, called Suntheanine®, is a great option for supplementation. We include Suntheanine® in our Stay Asleep natural sleep formula.

The diet that you choose to eat plays a crucial role in your overall health. According to DefendYourHealthcare.com, when you follow the right diet, your overall quality of life improves tremendously, and you look and feel a thousand times better than before.


2. Get Some Exercise

Another natural way to boost your serotonin levels is to adopt an exercise routine. Research has demonstrated that regular physical activity increases the amount of neurotransmitters in the brain due to two reasons.

The first one has to do with the rate at which it is pumped in the system. Being active triggers a rapid-fire response, which then promotes both the production and synthesizing of serotonin.

The second reason is that working out also increases tryptophan amounts, which as previously mentioned, is the amino acid that precedes the creation of serotonin. More tryptophan leads to an overall improvement in serotonin levels.

The best type of exercise for this seems to be aerobics, but any kind of physical activity will do. It is best to pursue exercise that you actually enjoy because it will serve to heighten your satisfaction even more than a regular workout would; plus you'll stick to an exercise routine that you actually enjoy!

So, what are you waiting for? Now’s your chance to find your next favorite sport. If you're new to exercise, check out our article on helpful workout tips for beginners!


3. Get More Sunshine

There is a direct link between serotonin and sunlight.

The brighter the light, the more serotonin your body will produce and the lower the your risk for tryptophan depletion. 

As little as 15 minutes of daily walking or other outdoor activities in full sunlight is more than enough.

Furthermore, vitamin D also promotes the synthesizing of tryptophan into serotonin and the best place to get it is again from natural sunlight (you can also check out our Natural D3 supplement).

With warm weather outside, now’s the best time to try this method!


4. Eliminate Stress

When it comes to the effects of stress on the brain, the data is clear.

When external factors put pressure on your daily life, cortisol levels increase, while serotonin and dopamine take a hit. In turn, this affects your appetite, sleep cycle, and just about every other normal bodily function.

Eliminating stressors from your environment is very beneficial to your overall health.

Of course, you won’t be able to do it completely. Things like chores, work deadlines, and other necessities will always exist, but you can still make sure that you declutter your home and workspace and organize your life in such a way as to not let the little things ruin your mood.


5. Massages Help Too

Believe it or not, massages are a great way to boost your brain’s serotonin production.

A study conducted back in 2005 has found that this type of therapy increases serotonin levels by 28%, while at the same time decreasing cortisol by 31% - an impressive result!

The next time you need a quick pick me up consider getting a massage!

 

Final Thoughts

Avoiding serotonin depletion is essential for a vibrant life. Fortunately, there are plenty of natural and healthy ways to do that.

What you eat matters most, and it’s also a good idea to get some exercise and go outside for a walk every once in a while. And if you’re looking for an inventive way to relieve stress, try a massage.

Following these tips will help you to boost your serotonin levels!

_______________________________________________

Luke S. Mitchell, MS
Luke is a health and wellness writer that's interested in the
mind-body relationship and how motivation shapes our bodies.

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