Do you often find yourself drowning in a tub of ice-cream or chomping a bowlful of chips? It's your mood fluctuation that should be blamed. With increasing stress in our everyday life, many of us find our moods oscillating at the ends of the spectrum. That is when emotional eating takes over the driver's seat, controlling the way we behave. Let's agree, we all face this situation quite often. And, we all look for easy solutions to keep ourselves calm and stay happy. While you will find different drugs in medical stores, experts suggest it's always better to go all natural. With a healthy lifestyle and serotonin-enriched diet, one can easily uplift mood and overcome the issues of irritation, depression and more.
What is serotonin?
Serotonin is a chemical neurotransmitter that is naturally produced in the brain and other parts of the body. It is often referred to as the "feel-good" neurotransmitter because of its role in regulating mood, emotions, and behaviours such as sleep, appetite et al. Abnormal levels of serotonin have been associated with several neurological and psychiatric disorders, including depression, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
What causes lack of serotonin?
Some individuals may be born with genetic variations that affect the production, release, or reuptake of serotonin in the brain.
Chronic stress, exposure to toxins, and other environmental factors can interfere with the synthesis and release of serotonin.
Serotonin is produced from the amino acid tryptophan, which is found in protein-rich foods. A diet low in tryptophan can result in a lack of serotonin.
Some medications can interfere with the reuptake of serotonin in the brain, leading to increased levels. Certain medical conditions may also result in a reduction in the production of serotonin.
Lack of physical activity, poor sleep quality, and alcohol and drug use can all affect serotonin levels in the brain.
How to boost serotonin levels naturally?
As mentioned earlier, with a healthy lifestyle and balanced diet, one can uplift mood and increase serotonin secretion in the body. Nutritionist Lovneet Batra further mentions, "Foods rich in tryptophan, an amino acid that helps increase serotonin production, can have a positive effect on your mood and overall health." She further suggested some food options that are serotonin-enriched and help you stay happy.
5 serotonin-enriched food you may add to your diet - expert suggests:
Bananas are enriched with the amino acid - tryptophan. According to Lovneet Batra, "Our body uses tryptophan to produce 5-HTP, the compound that makes serotonin and melatonin, two mood and sleep-regulating neurotransmitters."
Almonds are a storehouse of various essential nutrients, including folate and magnesium. The expert states that magnesium plays a large role in the development of serotonin and is considered a major contributor to the feeling of happiness in your brain. "Almonds are also rich in vitamins B2 and E which help bolster the immune system during times of stress," she adds.
3.A2 Cow Milk:
Milk contains tryptophan that plays an important role in regulating sleep patterns and mood. It is also enriched with calcium and vitamin B12, which can further help increase serotonin levels.
Pineapple contains tryptophan to boost serotonin in the brain. "Additionally, pineapple contains the protein bromelain, which comes with powerful anti-inflammatory properties," Lovneet Batra further states.
5.Soy Products (Tofu):
Soy products contain tryptophan and can be a good source of protein for vegetarians and vegans.
Include these food elements in your diet and enjoy calmness in your mind. But always remember, pair these foods with "healthy carbohydrates in order to affect serotonin levels," Lovneet Batra concludes.
About Somdatta SahaExplorer- this is what Somdatta likes to call herself. Be it in terms of food, people or places, all she craves for is to know the unknown. A simple aglio olio pasta or daal-chawal and a good movie can make her day.