The Benefits of Serotonin
Serotonin does much more than help govern your brain’s pleasure and reward centers. It’s also involved in general cognition and many body functions.
Consider these benefits:
- Reduces depression and anxiety.
Imbalances in serotonin can affect your mood. Some of the most popular antidepressants like Prozac work by blocking the reabsorption of serotonin, so you have more available in your brain.
- Enhances your digestion.
You might be surprised to hear that most of your serotonin is in your gastrointestinal tract. Your gut microbiome helps control your digestion, as well as your immune system and brain health.
- Lose weight.
Serotonin is also a natural appetite suppressant. Balancing your brain chemicals could curb your carbohydrate cravings.
- Sleep well.
Do you have trouble sleeping? Different serotonin receptors help control both sleeping and waking. They could be the answer to your insomnia.
- Be social.
Serotonin might even help you to make friends and impress your boss. It’s one of the brain chemicals that makes it easier to cooperate with others and deal with challenging situations.
There are a number of things you can do to increase your serotonin levels now.
Brain chemistry is complicated, so serotonin is just one factor in mood regulation and other processes.
Try experimenting with these natural home remedies for boosting your serotonin levels and see which helps for your body and mind:
- Exercise regularly.
Staying active helps your body to produce more serotonin and use it more effectively. Smart choices include aerobic activities like biking and running.
- Adjust your diet.
Your body makes serotonin by breaking down tryptophan, an amino acid found in certain foods. You can find it in nuts, cheese, poultry, eggs, and salmon. You may also want to eat more probiotics like yogurt and tempeh that increase tryptophan levels too.
- Turn up the lights.
Inadequate exposure to light can lead to serotonin deficiencies. Spend time outdoors each day. If you experience winter depression, ask your doctor about light therapy.
- Manage stress.
Help serotonin along by staying upbeat. Make time in your schedule for laughter and relaxation.
- Book a massage.
One study found that a massage increases serotonin levels by almost 30%. Get a professional massage or learn to do it yourself, or with a partner.
- Consider supplements.
Products that may increase serotonin include pure tryptophan, folic acid, and vitamin B12. For your safety, let your doctor know about any supplements you take.
There’s abundant evidence that serotonin helps make us happy, as well as affecting many aspects of our behavior and decision-making. Try natural methods for increasing serotonin and talk with your doctor if you think you may be depressed or have other symptoms that concern you.