Have you ever wondered about how you can possibly increase serotonin naturally? Now this might be a question that many people might wonder especially if they know exactly what serotonin could do for the body. But for others that are still lost in the dark about what this is, then it is your time to learn more about this important component in the human body.
First things first, before we touch bases with how to naturally increase serotonin, let us first discuss what serotonin is and how essential it is for our bodies.
What Is Serotonin?
This might be a word that you have heard quite a few times in relation to its effects to the human body.
Although you might have heard its name several times, you might still not fully understand what it is and what it does for our bodies.
Serotonin is a vital brain chemical that helps in elevating a person’s mood and prevents a person from feeling sad or depressed.
This important brain component is known to be a hormone that is located in the pineal gland, digestive tract, CNS or central nervous system and also the blood platelets.
It is also more commonly known as 5-hydroxytryptamine in the medical world and abbreviated as 5-HT.
Now that you look back, you might realize that you have heard about serotonin when topics regarding a person’s mood was brought up back in school. This brain chemical is very much involved in many major roles in the human body such as the following:
- A person’s appetite and how it is regulated
- Sleeping pattern and habits
- Learning capabilities
- Brain functions such as motor coordination, reflexes and ability for a person to focus
- Body temperature
- A person’s behaviour
- A person’s perception of pain
- Tone of blood vessels all throughout the body
- Health of the mucus membranes in the stomach and intestines
- Muscle contractions in the body
- Cardiovascular function
- The regulation on the endocrine system
- Bone metabolism
- Wound healing since serotonin is an essential growth factor for some cell types
- Mood because serotonin is also known as the “happiness hormone” since it contributes to a person’s well-being and feelings
As you can see from the list of its functions, serotonin plays many vital roles in the human body. Having a deficiency in this hormone could cause certain problems to the body that may be minor or even a bit more serious.
What Happens of A Person Lacks Serotonin in Their Body?
Since serotonin is a vital chemical in the brain, its major role in the body comes along with brain functions such as reflexes, motor coordination and the ability to focus.
When a person generally lacks this neurotransmitter, there could be a wide range of symptoms that could appear such as the following:
- increase in anxiety even in low stress situations
- impatient feeling without valid explanation
- fatigue even with enough rest
- impairment in cognitive abilities such as lack of mental clarity, inability to focus and poor memory retention
- negative thoughts and feelings with no valid explanation
- obsession or mania
- mood swings which could be extreme from time to time
- sugar cravings
- worrying excessively even though there is nothing wrong
- difficult time falling and staying asleep
- moderate to severe sadness
- feeling down, irritated during dark and gloomy weathers
Once you have noticed that you are experiencing more than one of the following symptoms mentioned, the best thing to do is to see a mental health profession as soon as possible.
If you notice that the symptoms are not normal from your usual state and has been persistent for quite a while now, you should be guided accordingly by a professional who knows what to do.
What Causes Deficiencies in Serotonin?
The following are the common reasons why people have low serotonin levels in their body:
- lack of sleep
- unable to manage stress levels
- lack of physical activity throughout the week
- inadequate exposure to sunlight
- exposure to chemicals that are toxic which are found in plastics like bisphenol-A
- consumption of meat and produce that have pesticides
- inadequate intake of non-processed high-protein food
- excessive alcohol and caffeine consumption
- allergies to food
- deficiencies in vitamins and minerals
- deficiency in omega-3
- resistance to insulin
- chronic infections
- deficiency in glutathione
- inadequate blood flow to the brain
- inborn abnormalities in regards to serotonin receptors
How To Increase Serotonin Naturally in 5 ways?
Now that you have more knowledge about serotonin, its major roles in the body and how people get a deficiency in it, we could talk about how to increase serotonin in the body. If you want to keep it all-natural, then the following tips could really help you in increasing your serotonin naturally.
Eat More Grain-Like Seeds
Try eating grain-like seeds that are healthy and high in protein and carbohydrates. Try getting quinoa, millet, buckwheat and amaranth which could naturally boost your serotonin.
Increase Intake of Vitamin B6
Make sure to get enough vitamin B6 in the body.
You could start increasing your intake of garlic, cauliflower, spinach, celery, tuna, salmon, cod, halibut, turkey and chicken since these foods have high sources of this vitamin.
You could even find vitamin B6 supplements at your local pharmacy.
Fit In Enough Exercise Throughout Your Week
Exercise is very important when it comes to increasing the blood circulation in the human body. There have been studies that actually found exercise to increase serotonin levels. Try to get in at least 3 days of physical activity weekly such as brisk walking, running or swimming.
Focus On Stress Management
If you are surrounded with stress from your work life to personal life, try to get in some stress-reducing techniques such as massages, meditation, yoga and other forms of relaxation.
Get Enough Sunlight
Try to get out early in the morning because the sunlight during that time could increase the production of melatonin during the evenings.
Serotonin actually converts to melatonin which is needed to get in a good night’s sleep daily.
Serotonin is vital in the proper functioning of the human body. If you feel like your lack it, make sure to consult your health care provider for help.
You could also try out different ways to increase serotonin naturally through the techniques that were mentioned.