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Natural ways to increase serotonin

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Serotonin is the neurotransmitter responsible for mood stabilization. It also helps with sleep regularity and mental focus. Low levels of serotonin are associated with depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsion, insomnia, chronic pain, premenstrual syndrome and menopause symptoms. Many things can naturally interfere with serotonin levels: lack of exercise, caffeine, poor diet, alcohol use, and stress. Many things can also naturally boost serotonin levels.

Vitamins B6 and B12 both help to manufacture serotonin. Foods rich in B6 include grains, sunflower seeds, walnuts, legumes, potatoes, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, brown rice, bananas and avocados. Plenty to choose from. B12 works with folic acid in serotonin production. Here, you can try eggs, fish, cheese and meat. Kidney and liver are also loaded with B12.

Tryptophan is an essential amino acid and is the only nutrient the body can use to make serotonin. It is found in cottage cheese, turkey, red meats, milk, chicken, eggs, soybeans, tofu and nuts.

Fat, especially omega-3 is also used to make serotonin. A good quality fish oil supplement is one to get what you need. You can also eat cold water fish like salmon and sardines.

Make an effort to keep your guts healthy. Your gut, or intestinal tract, makes about 90 to 95% of serotonin. Eat plenty of fiber to keep it clean and healthy. Introduce and maintain good bacteria by taking a probiotic. Eliminating processed foods will also make your gut happy.

Exercise effects the entire body positively including serotonin production. It relieves stress and aids in digestion. People with low serotonin have to push through since they are generally too tired to exercise. Exercise will create the energy to do more exercise.

Finally natural light. Get at least thirty minutes a week to avoid decreased serotonin levels and avoid seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

Source: LiveStrong, Dr. Weil

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