Serotonin, a monoamine neurotransmitter that helps to relay signals from one part of the brain to another. Serotonin is also known as a ‘Happy Hormone’. Serotonin is primarily found in the gastrointestinal tract, blood platelets and central nervous system.
Beside his influence for boosting mood and happiness, it also influences many psychological and physical functions, such as, sexual desire and function also, appetite, memory, learning, sleep, regulation on body temperature etc. Imbalance in serotonin levels can influence mood, leading to panic, anxiety, anger, depression etc.
Here we present five natural ways to increase serotonin level and thus to enhance your mental health.
Any form of meditation increase the production of serotonin in our brain. With meditation, cortisol levels (stress hormone) in the brain are reduced and that invokes a relaxation response.
Massage also has direct effect on serotonin levels. Same as mediation, massages reduce cortisol, hormone that blocks production of serotonin. Massage therapy also increase another brain chemical, dopamine, which is known as pleasure hormone.
More B Vitamins
Vitamins from B group, especially B6 are important in development and function of serotonin. You can boost your Vitamin B intake with supplements, but also, even better is to consume more food rich in these vitamins, food such as fish, poultry, meat, eggs, breakfast cereals or soy milk.
5-HTP (5-Hydroxytryptophan) is a naturally occurring amino acid and chemical precursor as well as a metabolic intermediate in the biosynthesis of the neurotransmitters serotonin and melatonin from tryptophan. Same as Vitamin B, 5-HTP can be increased with supplements and also with food rich in Tryptophan, which is converted into the neurotransmitter serotonin, food as fish, meat, beans, eggs and highest source is african Griffonia bean.
Sunlight is not just natural source of Vitamin D, exposure to sunlight also trigger the release of hormones in our brain, as you can guess, a hormone called serotonin. Sunlight also helps to serotonin levels to remain high.