Posted on: 3 June 2016Share
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that plays a role in regulating the endocrine system, muscle function, cardiovascular function, and a wide array of other bodily functions. Many researchers believe that low production of serotonin may play a role in depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and even excess anger. If you've been feeling a bit negative and down-in-the-dumps lately, the problem could be that your serotonin levels are low. Try these natural methods to boost your body's serotonin production.
Eat Foods High in Tryptophan
Tryptophan is an amino acid that serves as a precursor to serotonin. In other words, your body needs tryptophan to make serotonin. So, eating more foods that are high in tryptophan may help boost your serotonin levels. Some high-tryptophan foods to consider include pumpkin and squash seeds, soybeans and soy-based foods, cheese, turkey, chicken, fish, shellfish, and oat bran.
Spend More Time in the Sun
Spending time in the sun is thought to stimulate the body to make more serotonin. Dedicate yourself to doing one outside activity per day, even when it's chilly outside. Go for a walk, do some gardening, or just sit in the sun and read a book. Also open the blinds on your windows to let more sunshine come into your home.
Consider Taking St. John's Wort
St. John's wort is an herb that is thought to help alleviate depression and moodiness by boosting serotonin levels. It is often sold in pill or capsule form and can be found in most health food stores. You should take St. John's worth with food and according to the instructions on the package. It is not recommended if you are pregnant, elderly, or taking birth control pills. (It can reduce the effectiveness of hormonal birth control.) If you are taking any other medications, talk to your doctor before taking St. John's wort to be sure the supplement won't interfere with them.
Studies have found that exercise increases brain serotonin function in humans. Aerobic exercise, like running, jogging, biking or swimming, seems to be the most effective at stimulating serotonin release. However, activities like yoga, Pilates and weight training do improve serotonin levels, too. For enhanced serotonin levels, experts recommend getting 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week. Try taking a walk on your lunch break, stopping by the gym on the way home from work, or scheduling early-morning jogs with a friend. Once you get into a routine, you'll start to find exercise more enjoyable -- thanks to the serotonin release it triggers.
For more information, contact companies that can conduct neurotransmitter and hormone testing, like Alaska Natural Health Solutions.