Did you know that many foods can increase your serotonin levels naturally and actually improve your mental outlook? Below are four foods you should be consuming regularly to maintain healthy brain serotonin levels.
Buckwheat contains more tryptophan than most starchy carbohydrates. Buckwheat is also loaded with B vitamins, which are known to improve energy levels and banish depression. One study found that certain B vitamins, such as vitamin B6, encourage proper synthesis of serotonin in the brain.
Wild Fish and Fish Oil
Fatty fish like sardines, mackerel, and salmon contain the essential fats DHA and EPA. These long-chain fats have been found in studies to regulate the mood swings associated with bipolar disorder, and to alleviate depression. Wild fish is also rich in tryptophan, the amino acid needed to create serotonin. Eating fatty fish a few times a week, or taking a daily omega-3 supplement, will give your brain enough EPA and DHA to produce serotonin and boost your mood.
Like fish, high-quality eggs score high on the list of serotonin-boosting foods because they’re an excellency source of omega-3 fatty acids, including EPA and DHA. Eggs are also a natural source of “good” cholesterol, which improves your mood by raising your testosterone and serotonin levels. A 2008 study, which used 30 results from 30 investigations, discovered an inverse relationship between total cholesterol (TC) and depression; that is, people with low blood cholesterol levels tended to be more depressed.
Sour cherries contain melatonin, the “sleep hormone.” Melatonin is crucial to a good night’s rest, as it induces a state of deep sleep — the kind that leaves you feeling refreshed, rejuvenated, and ready to take on the day. This state of deep sleep is necessary so the body can replenish your brain serotonin levels. A lack of melatonin can prevent the proper replenishment of serotonin in the brain, leaving you feeling depressed the next day.
If the serotonin-boosting foods above aren’t enough to improve your mood, consider supplementing with 5-HTP. 5HTP is well-known for its mood-enhancing benefits, among other properties. Because 5-HTP supports healthy serotonin production, it may help those suffering from mild to moderate depression. In fact, studies show that 5-HTP may be even more effective than tryptophan in increasing brain serotonin levels. 5-HTP Patch is the most convenient way to supplement with 5-HTP. Order yours here.