Boost your serotonin naturally

Here are four ways to increase your serotonin for better physical and mental health
Boost your serotonin naturally

In today’s fast-paced world, everyone seems to be stressed out for one reason or another. This constant stress takes a toll on our overall health, affecting everything from sleep to gut health. One crucial player in managing stress and maintaining a sense of well-being is serotonin. But what exactly is serotonin, and how can we ensure our levels are optimal?

Serotonin, or 5-hydroxytryptamine, is a monoamine neurotransmitter and a chemical messenger in the brain. Serotonin gets a lot of attention because of its pivotal work on the brain and body, which has a significant impact on our mood and overall health. It is a chemical made by the body’s nerves, derived from tryptophan, an amino acid found in protein-rich foods. It belongs to a group of relaxing chemicals called neurotransmitters that help us feel happy and keep our mood stable. If you feel irritated, depressed, have trouble sleeping, or have low self-esteem, you might need to boost your serotonin levels to improve your well-being.

Serotonin is a chemical in the brain that helps regulate mood, makes us feel calm, and regulates appetite. When serotonin levels are low, we often crave carbohydrates and sugars because these foods help increase serotonin. Low serotonin levels can lead to several issues. People may feel more irritable and angry because serotonin helps control moods and emotions. Low serotonin can also make individuals feel depressed or sad and can lower their self-esteem, making them feel less confident. Additionally, serotonin affects sleep, so low levels can cause problems like insomnia or trouble falling asleep. A few tips to boost serotonin levels naturally:

Balanced diet: Ensure your meals are well balanced and contain not just protein but carbs too, in moderation. People avoid carbs for weight loss and feel depressed for not achieving the same, but what we need to understand is that tryptophan from protein-rich foods needs carbohydrates to be effectively transported to the brain, which makes our mood stable. Try combining protein sources like pulses, organic chicken, fish, eggs, etc, with complex carbs like unprocessed rice, whole grains, quinoa, etc. Avoid processed sugars, flour, and refinedcarbohydrates.

Sunlight exposure: Sunlight helps improve serotonin levels by resetting our body’s natural clock, called the circadian rhythm. Sunlight exposure boosts vitamin D production, which is essential for making serotonin. Morning sunlight, in particular, signals our brain to regulate sleep-wake cycles and other bodily functions.

Quality sleep: During restful sleep, the body undergoes repair and recovery processes, which help balance neurotransmitters like serotonin. When we sleep well, our brain functions better, producing more serotonin. Lack of sleep disrupts these processes, which can make us feel irritable and depressed. Prioritising good sleep by ensuring your sleep environment is comfortable, dark, and quiet will be helpful in producing melatonin (sleep hormone).

Regular exercise: Exercise helps improve serotonin levels naturally by boosting blood circulation and releasing endorphins, which are the body’s feel-good hormones that make you feel happy. Additionally, exercise increases the availability of tryptophan, which gets converted into serotonin in our body. Find an exercise routine you enjoy, whether it’s walking, cycling, swimming, or dancing. Set realistic goals, and gradually increase the intensity and duration of your workouts. If you can’t engage in vigorous exercise, aim for 8,000-10,000 steps throughout the day to stay active and keep improving your circulation and nerve function.

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The New Indian Express