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10 Ways to Increase Serotonin Naturally

10 Ways to Increase Serotonin Naturally

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that acts in the brain, establishing communication between nerve cells, and can also be found in the digestive and cardiovascular systems and in blood cells, having various functions. This hormone is produced through an amino acid called tryptophan, which is obtained through food.

Serotonin is a hormone that has the function of regulating mood, sleep, appetite, heart rate, body temperature, sensitivity and intellectual functions and therefore, when this hormone is in low concentration, it can cause harm. mood, difficulty sleeping, anxiety or even depression.

There are times when we feel down and we don't know why. Nothing special has happened but we cannot reach a satisfactory state of mind. In these cases, the cause may be low serotonin levels.

A hectic pace of life, a poor diet and a lack of exercise cause our serotonin levels to drop, causing a highly variable and generally low mood. However, there are ways to increase serotonin naturally:

1. Practice physical activity

The practice of physical activity helps increase the levels of serotonin circulating in the blood, since it is capable of promoting the increase in the production and release of tryptophan, which is the amino acid related to the production of this neurotransmitter.

Likewise, by exercising regularly or with high intensity, it is possible to increase the levels of serotonin in the blood that reaches the brain, resulting in a feeling of well-being and a better quality of life.

All types of physical activity are capable of stimulating the production of serotonin, however, aerobic exercises are usually associated with a higher level of production of this neurotransmitter, and for this reason, it is important that the person practice swimming, running, walking or dancing. , For example.

2. Diet rich in tryptophan

Diet is essential for the production of serotonin, since through diet it is possible to obtain ideal amounts of tryptophan.

Therefore, to increase serotonin, it is important to have a diet rich in tryptophan, giving preference to foods such as cheese, salmon, eggs, bananas, avocados, nuts, chestnuts and cocoa, for example.

3. Sunbathe daily

Some studies indicate that daily sun exposure is capable of increasing serotonin levels, since sun exposure promotes the production of vitamin D, which has a direct impact on the metabolism of tryptophan and consequently, leads to the formation of greater amount of serotonin.

Likewise, it is recommended that to increase the amount of vitamin D and therefore serotonin, the person exposes themselves to the sun for 10 to 15 minutes a day, preferably at the time of day when the sun is not so hot, because it is recommended Do not use sunscreen in these situations.

4. Use of supplements

When natural techniques are not sufficient to increase serotonin, the use of supplements that promote an increase in the concentration of tryptophan in the body and the release of serotonin may be indicated.

Some of the supplements that may be indicated are 5-HTP, which can easily reach the nervous system and induce the production of serotonin, and tryptophan supplement, when it is not possible to obtain ideal amounts of this amino acid through diet.

In addition, some studies suggest that the use of probiotics can also promote an increase in serotonin levels, as they promote an increase in tryptophan levels in the blood, which consequently represents greater amounts of that amino acid in the brain and greater serotonin production.

It is important that the use of supplements is indicated by the doctor or nutritionist according to the person's needs.

5. Increase omega-3 consumption

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, promotes the production and regulation of neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine and adrenaline.

One of the main sources of healthy fats is oily fish and shellfish. Nevertheless, There are other foods such as avocado, walnuts and flax, chia and hemp seeds, foods rich in alpha-linoleic acid.

6. 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 adequate rest will also be essential when it comes to keeping our mental health intact.

7. Avoid drinking coffee and stimulating drinks

Drinks with a high caffeine content, such as coffee or some types of soda or energy drinks, increase the secretion of adrenaline and cortisol; substances that, as we have seen before, are the main antagonists of serotonin.

8. Avoid simple carbohydrates and eat complex carbohydrates

Simple carbohydrates are highly refined sugars that are digested very quickly and They have almost no nutritional value, since they do not contain enough essential nutrients.

Foods that contain simple carbohydrates include:

  • Pastries and sweets with refined sugar.
  • Non-whole pasta.
  • White rice.
  • White bread.

Complex carbohydrates are absorbed more slowly by your body and therefore the massive peaks that occur with the ingestion of simple carbohydrates do not occur.

The complex carbohydrates include:

  • Legumes such as lentils or peas
  • whole grain bread
  • Whole grain pasta
  • Integral rice
  • Starchy vegetables such as sweet potatoes and turnips

9. Try to reduce stress

Constant stress decreases serotonin and increases our levels of estradiol in the blood, the stress hormone, decreasing our defenses and worsening our health. both physically and psychologically.

Furthermore, another effect of stress is related to diet, the main pillar for the correct synthesis and maintenance of serotonin levels. When we feel stressed, our body asks us for foods rich in fats, carbohydrates and sugars; three of the main enemies of serotonin.

Therefore, It is not necessary to wait until we feel down. to start worrying 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 decline.

10. Relaxing activities

Some relaxing activities such as meditation and yoga, for example, can also help increase serotonin levels, because by practicing these activities it is possible to regulate nervous signals and improve the activity of neurotransmitters, promoting a feeling of well-being.

Likewise, one of the objectives of these activities is to promote the reduction of anxiety and stress symptoms, which also help regulate cortisol levels, which has an opposite action to serotonin. In this way, it is possible to promote the action of serotonin in the body.

Remember that prevention is better than cure

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