Serotonin works by stabilizing moods, feelings of happiness, and well-being. This hormone affects the body, brain, and sometimes even the immune system. Serotonin also aids in sleeping, digestion, and eating and a lack of it can cause the brain to fall into severe depression and have bouts of occasional anxiety. People with low levels of serotonin might even need to take an SSRI (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor) to make sure their serotonin levels are functioning normally and consistently. With these supplements and food, your brain will be able to function without having those sudden bouts of crashes.
Tryptophan is an amino acid used to synthesize proteins in the body. It’s essential in humans and people cannot synthesize it in their diets. It also creates niacin which is essential in creating more serotonin. The yolks of eggs have the highest amounts of tryptophan so it’s important not to skip out on them. Cheese is also a good way to take in tryptophan, so don’t feel guilty about having that extra slice of pizza!
For supplements, 5-HTP is a core supplement to add to your routine since it’s commonly used for depression and appetite suppression. It’s also a great supplement to take when you want a restful night and acts similar to melatonin resulting in a positive mood the next day when you wake up from your slumber. Another crucial supplement to add to your diet is vitamin B9. For people with low levels of folic acid and are suffering from major depression, B9 is great to combat folic acid deficiency which causes serotonin levels to drop. Research shows that people who combine folic acid and vitamin B12 have shown positive results and the benefits are abundant.
Vitamin D is another crucial supplement to add and it’s oftentimes taken in liquid form. Vitamin D is the sunshine vitamin that our body needs during dark winter days and a study shows that 77% of Americans aren’t getting enough Vitamin D in their systems. A lack of vitamin D can lead to Seasonal Affective Disorder and it’s important to take Vitamin D a few times a week or to absorb sunlight for 20 minutes a day. Going back to solid foods, salmon is always a great idea since it’s abundant in tryptophan. For a serotonin packed lunch, throw in come cheese and eggs and you’re great to go. Salmon helps balance cholesterol and lowers blood pressure. It’s a great source of omega 3 fatty acids which are essential for improving one’s cardiovascular health. Nuts such as cashews and peanuts are also great sources of omega 3 fatty acids.