Boost your mood!
- 8 Months ago
If you get tired easily, or don't feel satisfied after eating, or feel depressed for no apparent reason, low levels of serotonin may be the cause for such problems. The World Health Organization claims that there are as many as 121 million people worldwide who are facing depression at the hands of serotonin deficiency. Serotonin, generally known as the "happy hormone" or "the feel good hormone", influences our moods and sense of well-being. This hormone plays an important role in how we feel each day, thus when the brain produces serotonin, tension is eased.
Numerous studies have shown that some foods influence the release of neurotransmitters in our brain which in turn has an impact on our moods. The simple truth in this is: "We are what we eat and what we eat affects how we feel". For example, anger, body temperature, appetite and sleep are all controlled by the levels of serotonin in one's brain. A sufficient level of serotonin in the brain keeps us feeling good and relaxed.Serotonin is acquired from an essential amino acid called Tryptophan which is not produced by the body. Dietary efforts can alone ensure sufficient levels of Tryptophan in the body.
Effects of Serotonin deficiency
A stable serotonin level is essential so that we remain in a positive mood; whereas it's deficiency may result in fatigue, obesity, panic attacks, Insomnia, depression, craving for sugar, emotional behaviours like anger and aggression, low self esteem, eating disorders, irritable bowel disease, and attention and memory problems. There are other facts that may lead to serotonin deficiency such as overworked immune system, long-term depression, stress and anxiety, genetic factors, and finally brain damage caused by excessive alcohol consumption.
Increasing Serotonin levels naturally
• A balanced healthy diet, primarily high protein intake followed by carbohydrate intake.
• Other mood enhancing foods such as bananas, asparagus, avocadoes, eggplant, spinach, oats, and walnuts.
• Exercising or simply brisk-walking helps to "feel good".
• Steal some laughter, meet friends and people you care for, write emails or call old friends- all of these will keep you fresh and jovial throughout the day.
• Sleep well for 7 hours and wake up early, taking a short nap during the day helps to rejuvenate serotonin levels.
• Getting exposed to sunlight in the morning will burn melatonin molecules (molecules inducing sleep) and replace them with serotonin.
• Have plenty of water, about 8 glasses a day.
• Avoid the stimulant cycle: alcohol, caffeine, too much of sugar intake, and tobacco.
• Beware that too much of serotonin may result in serotonin syndrome, manifested as high level of serotonin in the brain.
• When someone is treated for depression, using antidepressants increases serotonin levels in the brain. The symptoms can occur within minutes and they are as follows:
- Rapid heartbeat
- Diarrhea & vomiting
- Change in blood pressure
- Coordination loss
So, do you resort to one of the above methods whenever you feel low and drained? It's important to recognize your feelings and target those negative emotions and boost your mood naturally!
Note: If you feel that your emotions are beyond your control, it's important to seek help from a counsellor, psychologist or a psychiatrist.