Serotonin is a chemical that helps transport signals from one part of the brain to another. It has a very big influence on various psychological as well as physiological functions such as sexual desire, appetite, mood, learning, memory, temperature as well as behavior.
Even though this chemical is usually associated with depression, people are not that familiar with all the other ways it affects our overall health. This chemical is naturally produced by the body, but if there is lack of it doctors usually prescribe medications that can have serious side effects.
This is why it is always better to try to boost the serotonin levels naturally to avoid health issues. Here are 5 of the most helpful ways to naturally increase serotonin levels in the brain.
This tip is very helpful. The substance called 5-Hydroxytryptophan is very efficient for treatment of insomnia, hypertension, fibromyalgia, anxiety and depression by stimulating the serotonin production. It also has positive effect on the body weight because it can suppress the appetite. One study conducted at an Italian University showed that the women that ingested this substance lost 10 pounds over two weeks compared to the placebo group who only lost 2 pounds during the same period.
2.Take B vitamins
One of the most beneficial B vitamins for this issue is vitamin B6 which can improve the development and the function of serotonin. If you are prone to stress you should consider supplementing your diet with B-complex products. Vitamins B6 and B12 are both very efficient in reducing symptoms of depression while reducing the erratic neural brain activity. According to one study, older adults with depression have improved their condition after supplementing with B-vitamins. The recommended daily amount of the B-complex supplement is 50-100 mg. If you also experience fatigue or chronic stress, you should add pantothenic acid, 250mg twice a day.
3.Embrace the light
Sunshine and bright days can have a very positive effect on our mood. The sunshine might even stimulate the brain to produce serotonin more even if the day is cold. Try to take short walks 15-20 minutes at least once a day, preferably in the morning. This can help you burn calories but also prepare yourself mentally for the day.
4.Get a massage
Massages always feel good and probably because they affect our serotonin levels directly. They can also reduce stress levels by blocking the release of cortisol – a hormone that is responsible for stress. According to researchers, massages can decrease cortisol levels about 31 %, and the reduced cortisol levels means our brain can produce more serotonin which will result in more dopamine- a chemical that provides the feeling of pleasure. Experts also advise massage as a way to improve our overall health.
Meditation is another very efficient treatment that provides physical and mental benefits for the entire body. Transcendental meditation is one of the most beneficial forms of mediation because it can boost the serotonin levels very efficiently. Just like massages, meditation also reduces the cortisol levels but also provides a feeling of relaxation in the brain.
Another beneficial type of mediation is Mindfulness-based stress reduction that can increase serotonin levels probably because it sensitizes serotonergic receptors that are very important for the serotonin production. This technique is also promoted by military personnel for people that suffer from Post-traumatic stress disorder.