The world is in a constant state of stress, and it’s not getting any better. We are constantly bombarded with negative news, and we have to be on guard for the next disaster.
We’ve lost touch with the natural world, not caring for ourselves. Our sleep cycles are disrupted, our diets are unbalanced, and we’re stressed out.
There’s a way to combat this: But we will cover serotonin in this article.
Serotonin is a hormone that can help you get back in touch with your natural rhythms to live a more balanced life. It has been clinically proven to reduce stress and anxiety, improve your mood and even sleep quality.
Serotonin is the body’s natural “feel-good” hormone since it helps control your mood.
What is Serotonin?
To understand the chemistry of the neurotransmitter, we must first know what serotonin is. Serotonin is a chemical produced in the brain.
The chemical positively affects our mood and can promote a positive outlook on life.
It’s hard to feel good about yourself when you’re feeling down. If you have serotonin deficiency, this becomes more challenging!
Patients have a low level of serotonin tend to be depressed, overeat (especially with sweets), and even have episodes of aggression.
In addition, serotonin is involved in regulating factors such as:
- The cycle of sleep
- Metabolism and appetite
- Cognition and concentration
- Hormonal activity
- Body temperature
- Blood clotting.
Serotonin is responsible for feelings of happiness, peace, and joy.
Low serotonin levels have been linked to depression and anxiety. However, another hormone called “dopamine” is also responsible for this.
For example, people with low dopamine levels tend to become more depressed.
Serotonin deficiencies result from a poorly adjusted diet and lead to severe disorders such as overeating, depression, and insomnia.
Differences between dopamine and serotonin
Dopamine and serotonin send messages between neurons and affect mood and concentration.
They also have other vital functions. For example, dopamine sends signals between neurons that control body movement and coordination. Dopamine plays a crucial role in the pleasure center, also known as the reward system.
In the brain, dopamine stimulates many behaviors. Eating certain foods, taking drugs, unsafe behaviors, and watching pornography.
However, higher dopamine levels can lead to feelings of euphoria, bliss, and increased motivation and concentration. Thus, the triggers can be an addictive behavior.
In some situations, serotonin can block dopamine production. Overproducing dopamine also causes serotonin deficiency. (source)
Dopamine raises the severity of impulsive behavior, whereas serotonin reduces it.
Dopamine and serotonin differently impact appetite: while serotonin suppresses it, low dopamine levels might boost it. Low serotonin levels can cause many problems, including overeating and undereating.
What is the result of serotonin deficiency?
Did you know depression and anxiety is a new epidemics?
Brain chemical imbalances often cause depression by genetics, environmental changes, and diet.
Most depression treatment works to restore the balance in your brain chemistry. It might work for overyone
However, depression can impact your brain’s chemical level. Depressed people tend to have less brain chemicals such as serotonin.
Brain chemicals theory is just one aspect of the whole spectrum. Depression is a complex mental illness, so it might not be related to brain chemicals like serotonin.
But still, research shows that a low level of serotonin is linked to depression or increases the risk of depression. (source)
Some research showed the opposite. (source)
The problem with those research is that they can’t test the brain’s serotonin level. Some people argue that trying brain serotonin levels will lead to misinformation.
“Optimizing serotonin levels is helpful if you have depression. However, depression is a complex mental illness. So, there is not. Like serotonin, a low-level dopamine level also might cause depression.”
Lack Of Nutrition
Serotonin levels are significantly related to your diet.
A low level of Vitamin B6 (pyridoxal-5-phosphate) directly influences the conversion of L-tryptophan into serotonin.
Your body can not produce an amino acid called L-tryptophan. It would help if you took L-tryptophan from food. Deprivation of L-tryptophan might lead to low serotonin levels.
The best way is to optimize your serotonin levels without drugs.
There is one way you can improve your serotonin level. It is called: exercise.
Exercise is a well-known way to improve serotonin levels. Not just serotonin, exercise also help improve dopamine, adrenalin, and endorphin level in humans.
Exercise also increases new brain cells formation. We called “BDNF.” (source) BDNF promotes new cells in the brain by creating new connections.
BDNF also repairs dying brain cells and protects healthy brain cells.
Depressed people tend to have low BDNF levels in their blood. (source)
BDNF is linked to improving learning, mood, and cognitive level!
Exercise is one of the best things you can do to protect your brain chemical level.
Did you know there is a simple way to increase serotonin-like exercise?
Yes. It is called meditation.
Research shows that serotonin levels increase with meditation. (source)
Another study found mindfulness meditation helps to reduce anxiety, depression, and pain. (source)
Do you know long-term meditation changes your brain?
Long-term meditation changes your brain structure to increase grey matter in the brain. Especially in the hippocampus area. (source)
Remember hippocampus area is responsible for increasing BDNF protein which leads to the creation of new brain cells. Like exercise, meditation also affects the hippocampus area.
Emotional Benefits of Meditation
Meditation helps people be more optimistic about strangers and form better social bonds.(source)
One study in 100 adults randomly assigned to a program that included loving-kindness meditations found that the more time people spent on this each week, the more positive feelings they experienced.(source)
Building Meditation Habit
Breaking down big goals into smaller pieces. Why? There are many reasons why breaking your big goal down into small parts is the best way to achieve it.
Perhaps you want to build meditation habits.
You can accomplish this by breaking them down into manageable pieces.
3- Rich Trythophan foods
Foods also impact your brain’s serotonin.
However, serotonin cannot be obtained directly from food. But tryptophan is an amino acid that is converted to serotonin. Eating high tryptophan foods might help you get more serotonin.
Tryptophan is present in products that are a source of carbohydrates and protein. You can find these ingredients in fish, bananas, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, avocados, and eggs.
But make sure to limit your carbohydrates intake. It may lead to an insulin spike.
High-level insulin is also correlated to low-level serotonin. Besides, people who have insulin resistant tend to become more depressed.
So, we suggest you low carb diet or ketogenic diet with this regard.
Good news: Bitter Chocolate might help
We always think, “why are tasty things forbidden?”
It is not true when it comes to bitter chocolate. Bitter chocolate is rich in the essential mineral called magnesium. Magnesium reduces the stress level and affects our memory and concentration.
Of course, a rich source of it is chocolate (preferably bitter with a high cocoa content) and all seeds and nuts.
Bitter chocolate also increases the synthesis of serotonin, dopamine, and endorphins (happiness hormones).
Vitamin B6 helps serotonin synthesis in the human body. B6 deficiency causes fatigue and lack of energy, thus lowering our mood.
How does it increase serotonin levels?
We can increase the level of serotonin by increasing the level of tryptophan. However, we also have other techniques. Here are some practical tips to help you keep the amount of serotonin in your body higher than before.
- Spend more time relaxing and get healthy and restful sleep.
- Try to do some physical activity like Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, Qigong, running, or even high-speed walking.
- Good news: Bitter chocolate increases the amount of serotonin in our body. Bitter chocolate-rich nutrition such as magnesium, copper, and antioxidants. However, make sure you don’t overeat.
- Foods that contain large amounts of vitamin B, e.g., eggs, Leafy Greens, broccoli, nuts, and legumes.
- Good news: Intimacy can increase serotonin levels by up to 200%!
- Eat plenty of fish (mainly European anchovy), eggs, avocados, and bananas high in tryptophan.
- Remember that the serotonin level should be in balance.
- Good news: Sun – exposure helps you get more serotonin. ( Vitamin D matter )
- 5-HTP might increase serotonin levels. However, long-term using 5-HTP might cause a lower level of dopamine in your brain.
- Improve alpha-brain waves activity. Research showed that alpha-brain waves help you get more relaxed and increase serotonin production. (source)
Serotonin also increases the production of the hormone melatonin. Especially after 9 o’clock, the serotonin hormone turns into melatonin via B6 and magnesium.
Melatonin hormone improves sleep quality. It is also a good antioxidant.
As scientific studies grow, we more understand the importance of brain chemistry for overall well-being.
A solid physical body, eating healthy foods, and healthy mitochondria are essential for taking control of our brain chemicals such as serotonin, dopamine, and others.
As we mentioned, serotonin deficiency can cause problems. Strategies to increase serotonin are both inexpensive and beneficial in every way.
There are enough strategies to improve our health. Do the plan we talked about to increase your serotonin.
And Optimize your life, body, and soul.
Tryptophan, an essential amino acid involved in creating serotonin, can only be taken from food.
Does Holy Basil Increase Serotonin?
This herb has several benefits, including preventing stress-induced changes in neurotransmitters and increasing dopamine levels and 5-hydroxytrpytamine (5-HTP). These compounds are necessary for the production of serotonin, which helps us fight depression. The main active ingredient in holy basil is ursolic acid. It inhibits COX-2 enzymes in lab studies and positively impacts mental well-being.
Does Ashwagandha Increase Serotonin?
In addition to boosting serotonin levels, Ashwagandha also modulates neurotransmitters, increasing GABA and Acetylcholine. Ashwagandha is believed to increase serotonin levels in the brain by enhancing serotonin receptors. Ashwagandha is known to have adaptogenic properties.
Are Serotonin And Dopamine Test Expensive?
You may be wondering if you can get them for yourself without spending hundreds of dollars. While the test is not particularly expensive, the results may not be accurate. Mainly, these tests measure the blood level of serotonin, not the brain.
Does Omega-3 help With Dopamine And Serotonin?
Yes. Omega-3 fatty acids modulate neurotransmitter levels and receptors’ expression in synaptic membranes. In addition, omega-3s can increase the function of brain-derived neurotrophic factors.
Does 5-HTP Give You Weird Dreams?
The higher the serotonin levels in your body, the more vivid your dreams will be. And remember, memorability also means the more vivid your dreams are, the more likely you will remember them. Also, serotonin tends to help you get more REM sleep.