Serotonin is an important brain chemical that influences mood and sleep. When serotonin levels are low, you can quickly become depressed, have trouble sleeping, and experience low energy levels.
Many anti-depressants specifically work to increase your brain’s serotonin levels. While these drugs can be quite helpful, they also come with serious side effects.
Luckily, there are natural ways to increase your serotonin levels without side effects or the high cost of prescriptions.
Low amounts of this brain chemical are in some part connected to various diseases, both acute and chronic.
We strongly encourage you to read and use the following valuable information to increase your physical and mental health.
Here are five ways to boost serotonin naturally:
1. Take Some 5-HTP
This substance which was initially called 5-Hydroxytryptophan, has been proved to effectively treat depression, hypertension, anxiety, insomnia, and fibromyalgia. It succeeds to do these things by stimulating the serotonin production.
5-HTP is also considered an effective appetite suppressant, making it ideal for those struggling with both depression and overeating. One Italian study conducted on females, showed that those who ingested this substance lost extra 10 pounds in 2 weeks, as oppose to the placebo group who managed to lose 2 pounds in that period.
In experience the boosting effects of 5-HTP on serotonin, it is recommended 100 to 400 mg a daily dosage, consumed in multiple doses, for example at breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
After a period of 4 to 6 weeks of using 5-HTP supplementation you’ll notice the results.
2. Get Some B Vitamins
Another way to increase your serotonin levels, and therefore boost your mood and help beat depression, is to get plenty of vitamin B. In particular, Vitamin B6 and B12 are both effective in reducing symptoms of depression while at the same time preventing erratic neutral brain activity.
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a study which showed that diet supplemented with B-vitamins improved the condition of older adults with depression or depressive-like symptoms.
The recommended daily dosage of B-complex product, like a supplement, is 50 to 100 milligrams.
Those people who have symptoms such as exhaustion or chronic stress/fatigue should add pantothenic acid on a daily basis. B5 vitamins in 250 mg dosage should be sufficient for improvement of these symptoms.
3. Embrace The Light
Heading into the sunshine, even on a cool day, is the quickest way to boost your mood (and burn some belly fat). If you do this first thing in the morning on an empty stomach you will not only burn 20 percent more calories, you’ll jumpstart your mood for the entire day.
In this way our brain will produce serotonin, while at the same time we will burn some calories.
4. Get a Massage
Did you know that massages directly influence the levels of serotonin? In a physiological level, massages lower cortisol- the stress hormone which blocks the serotonin production.
Professional massages reduce the cortisol levels by 31%. Once the production of cortisol is prevented, the brain is capable to produce serotonin. Moreover, massages can increase the production of dopamine – “reward and pleasure” brain chemical.
You probably didn’t know this, but guided massage therapies are the most efficient method of increasing the levels of serotonin and dopamine in the brain, along other beneficial effects. Nevertheless, even a simple massage by someone close will be enough for the majority. People with turmoil and trauma are advised to consult a licensed massage therapist.
Mediation has physical and psychological benefits, which is why any article on ‘serotonin-boosting” includes meditation. There are numbers of meditative practices, all of which improve the serotonin production.
The Transcendental Meditation (TM) is the most beneficial mediation practice for boosting serotonin.
Researchers claim that TM is a potent stimulant on the levels of serotonin as a result of the increasing of 5-HIAA- one of the serotonin’s building blocks. Science has found out that increased levels of serotonin in the brain are directly related to increased amounts of 5-HIAA.
Similarly to massages, meditation also lowers the cortisol levels in the brain. Moreover, meditation is exceptionally proficient in causing a relaxed brain response while repressing the natural fight or flight” reaction of the brain.
Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) is another meditative practice related to increasing of the serotonin levels. The reason is since MBSR additionally sensitizes the receptors of serotonin.
Here is one interesting fact that we found out. Military personnel exposed to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is using this MBSR type of meditative technique.