Serotonin-boosting nutrition and lifestyle. Optimizing brain for happiness 😊
So many things disrupt serotonin balance in the brain in our modern world. No wonder there's mental health epidemic! I tend to run low on serotonin as well (high on dopamine) - and that unless I take care of it, keeps me running after things, never satisfied or happy. Blue moods, depression, anxiety, ADHD and more can be a result of serotonin imbalance. Here are a few simple things to do and not to do to have higher levels of serotonin. High serotonin = High confidence and trust.
1. 🍗Eat your protein, not vegan, except for firm tofu.
Tryptophan is what serotonin is made of. If you don't eat enough consistently - you are out of luck. Your brain has no building blocks to build your "happy molecule". Best sources: lean chicken and turkey, lean beef and pork, firm tofu and salmon. Next best: edamame, milk, pumpkin seeds, oatmeal and eggs. Eat some at each meal if low on happy moods! Skipping meals makes your serotonin unhappy.
2. 🧘Exercise helps, especially yoga.
Exercise and muscle activation help to transport tryptophan into the brain (that's actually quite an inefficient process it seems). Serotonin of exercisers gets a more consistent "shipping to the brain" schedule. Especially true for yoga!
3. 🌞Sun exposure (and vitamin D) are absolutely essential!
Without sun exposure, serotonin-making machinery is NOT activated properly. Sunny times = Happy moods. Vitamin D is needed to make serotonin. (Here's my full triple-serotonin-boost morning routine! No cost - Just sunshine!)
4. 🐟🍵Serotonin-boosting foods and drink. I eat them daily!
Fatty fish (that's why salmon is a superstar! tryptophan and omega 3s!), yogurt and other fermented foods, green tea (I take it as a supplement - not a tea drinker).
5. 💊Supplement with Tryptophan and these.
Tryptophan - a major building block of serotonin. 500mg in the afternoon and evening. Magnesium, Zinc, Iron, Calcium (dairy yogurt rules!), vitamin C, B6, B9 - all manufacturing supporters, that's why - take your multi daily!
6. ☕Manage caffeine.
Caffeine drives dopamine up - serotonin down. Some is OK. Most Starbucks drinks - serotonin killers. (Here's how I get my managed caffeine fix, people love it!)
7. 🏠Stop being indoor creature.
Serotonin depends on light exposure. Also, melatonin is made of serotonin. No sun - no serotonin - no sleep = serotonin disaster. Blue moods - guaranteed! Serotonin Sun recipe: 20-minute walk without sunglasses in the first two hours of waking, 20-minute walk in the afternoon.
8. 💤No sleep - No happiness.
All major happy brain molecules depend on great-quality sleep. Late nights steal your happiness and brain power. Think what's most important to you when next time you decide to stay up for Netflix.
9. 🍟Junk food, sugar, alcohol and alike.
Except for a short-lived spike in satisfaction aka dopamine - you get nothing good out of them. They all plummet your base level of serotonin.
10. Unmanaged stress? Breathe.
It's not the stress we have - it's the one we can't manage. One of the most effective stress management techniques - 4-7-8 breathing, or similar. Learn to manage stress - don't be managed by it!
Found this interesting?
Read this cool article I wrote about serotonin in your life: "Why women lose sex drive first, the brain, and why your confidence is nowhere to be found." - let me know what you think!