Serotonin is the natural “feel good” chemical so keeping it in balance naturally can be a great alternative to other less healthy options which can create serious side effects like prescription drugs.
90% of your serotonin receptors are in your gut but your body may not be able to produce enough due to nutritional and vitamin deficiencies. A healthy gut and its good bacteria improve the creation of serotonin.
Serotonin is made from the essential amino acid tryptophan which enters your body through your diet. Good sources of tryptophan are walnuts, pineapple, salmon, turkey, bananas and spinach.
Let’s look at some of the important ways serotonin affects your body:
- Not enough can prevent a good night’s sleep
- Helps maintain normal bowel function
- Heals wounds and protects bone health
- Impacts everything from emotions to motor skills to sexual activity
- Reduces appetite to help you know when you’re full
- Regulates pain, stress and anxiety
Serotonin improves communication between your brain cells which can lift your mood and reduce depression. This keeps you happier, calmer, more focused and less anxious which in turn promotes more emotional stability and perhaps a longer life.
Eating a high fiber diet to fuel healthy gut bacteria plays a major role in balancing serotonin levels to maintain a good gut-brain connection naturally. Additionally, there are some other easy ways to boost your serotonin like exercise, meditation and moderately basking in the sun.