Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that is responsible for many actions and feelings we experience on a daily basis. Whether it’s lack of sleep, feeling down, or a specific food craving, your level of Serotonin is causing this. As we desire better sleep and a happier mood, it’s essential we stabilize and increase our serotonin levels. Luckily, certain foods have the ability to do so.
Tryptophan is a building block in serotonin, and can be found in many common foods. With Thanksgiving having just passed by, keep in mind for next year that Tryptophan is found in Turkey. This chemical in consumption increases serotonin production. Tryptophan is also found in foods including nuts, seeds, and tofu. Lastly, cheese also contains Tryptophan. A light snack such as cheese and nuts, or turkey and cheese sandwich act as perfect combinations to boost your serotonin levels.
Inflammatory foods, such as processed foods and sugars become obstacles for your body’s high Serotonin levels. Your “good” bacteria assists in creating neural pathways for neurotransmitters like Serotonin, but when inflammatory foods affect your gut, this becomes tough for the bacteria to do its job. Incorporating more fruits and vegetables into your dietary choices, whereas having a moderate amount of dairy and lean meat can become efficient goals into stabilizing your Serotonin levels.
Eating a snack or meal high in carbohydrates can also benefit your Serotonin levels. For example, if choosing to eat pancakes or waffles for breakfast, that influences your tryptophan levels. When Tryptophan levels increase, it’s further converted into Serotonin, thus increasing your Serotonin. Other healthier alternatives include oats and quinoa, foods also high in carbohydrates that will also impact your Serotonin. You could also follow a “Mediterranean diet”, which consists of fruits, vegetables, nuts, cereals, legumes. fish, and olive oil. This diet will reduce your body’s inflammation, and further prevent depression, as it is linked that an inflammatory diet promotes depression in individuals.
- “7 Foods That Could Boost Your Serotonin: The Serotonin Diet.” Healthline, www.healthline.com/health/healthy-sleep/foods-that-could-boost-your-serotonin.
- MD, Eva Selhub. “Nutritional Psychiatry: Your Brain on Food.” Harvard Health Blog, 31 Mar. 2020, www.health.harvard.edu/blog/nutritional-psychiatry-your-brain-on-food-201511168626.
- Salomon, Sharon. “Boost mood with whole foods: ban processed foods in lieu of nutrient-rich, whole foods, such as fruits, vegetables, fish, and whole grains to elevate your mood.” Environmental Nutrition, vol. 35, no. 3, Mar. 2012, p. 1+. Gale Academic OneFile, https://link.gale.com/apps/doc/A281469251/AONE?u=cuny_baruch&sid=AONE&xid=4f07d4bb. Accessed 27 Nov. 2020.
- Somer, M.A., R.D., Elizabeth. Food and Mood. Henry Holt and Company , 1995.