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Functional Neurology: Foods to Naturally Increase Serotonin

Functional Neurology: Foods to Naturally Increase Serotonin | El Paso, TX Chiropractor



Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that plays a fundamental role in a variety of brain and bodily functions. This chemical messenger helps regulate mood and social behavior as well as support our circadian rhythm or sleep-wake cycle. Research studies demonstrated that "healthy" serotonin levels are associated with positive feelings and longevity. We can naturally increase our serotonin levels by eating tryptophan-rich foods or taking tryptophan supplements. This essential amino acid is used to synthesize serotonin. In the following article, we will discuss foods that can help naturally increase serotonin.

Pineapple


According to several research studies, eating pineapple may boost bromelain, a well-known protein that can help suppress coughs as well as reduce the side-effects of chemotherapy in the brain and body. Combine pineapple with other tryptophan-rich foods to also naturally increase your serotonin levels.

Nuts and Seeds


All nuts and seeds are excellent sources of tryptophan. Research studies demonstrate that eating a handful of nuts and/or seeds every day can ultimately help lower your risk for respiratory health issues, heart disease, and cancer. Nuts and seeds are also excellent sources of vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber.

Salmon


Salmon is a well-known tryptophan-rich food that also has a variety of other nutritional benefits, including being another tremendous source of omega-3 fatty acids as well as helping to lower blood pressure and regulate cholesterol. Combine salmon with other tryptophan-rich foods to boost serotonin.

Turkey


There's a good reason why many people take a relaxing nap on the couch after their Thanksgiving day meal. Turkey is basically filled with a lot of tryptophan.

Eggs


According to research studies, the amount of protein that is found in eggs can considerably help naturally increase tryptophan levels in your blood plasma, leading to the production of serotonin. And always make sure to never leave out the egg yolks. Egg yolks contain omega-3 fatty acids, biotin, choline, tyrosine, tryptophan, and a variety of other nutrients, many of which can provide you with many health benefits. Eggs also have antioxidant properties.

Cheese


Cheese is yet another tryptophan-rich food that you can eat to help naturally increase serotonin. Although you can eat many different types of cheese in a variety of ways, a popular meal you could make is mac and cheese which combines cheddar cheese with eggs and milk, other tryptophan-rich foods.

Tofu


Eating plenty of soy products like tofu can also help naturally increase serotonin because these are also full of tryptophan. Substitute tofu for any protein source as an excellent source of tryptophan for vegetarians and vegans. Tofu or soy products are also calcium-set and can provide us with calcium.

Nutrition and Serotonin


Because serotonin isn't found in food, eating foods that have tryptophan, the amino acid used to synthesize serotonin, is fundamental to help naturally increase this neurotransmitter or chemical messenger in the brain and body. Eating foods that are also excellent sources of protein, iron, riboflavin, and vitamin B-6 generally have great amounts of this essential amino acid. However, eating tryptophan-rich foods alone won't boost serotonin levels. Eating carbohydrates triggers the release of insulin which can promote the absorption of other amino acids while leaving more tryptophan in the bloodstream.

Combining tryptophan-rich foods with carbs can help naturally increase serotonin in the brain and body. Tryptophan has to compete with many other amino acids in order to penetrate the BBB and enter the brain from the bloodstream which is why the tryptophan in the foods we eat may ultimately have a minor effect on serotonin levels. However, this effect is different from tryptophan supplements that have pure tryptophan which can considerably boost serotonin. Always make sure to talk to your healthcare professional before taking any supplements. Eating tryptophan-rich foods can safely help increase serotonin.

Other Ways to Naturally Increase Serotonin


Eating tryptophan-rich foods and taking tryptophan supplements aren’t the only ways to naturally increase serotonin in the brain and body.

  • Take probiotics. Eating fiber can support gut bacteria that play a fundamental role in serotonin levels through the gut-brain connection.
  • Do Exercise. Research studies have shown that doing regular exercise and physical activity can help balance your mood.
  • Get Sunlight. Getting plenty of sunlight is a common remedy for seasonal depression. Research studies have shown a connection between being exposed to sunlight and serotonin levels in the brain and body. To boost your mood, try getting enough (but not too much) sunlight.
  • Be Positive. Research studies have also shown that simply being more positive can naturally help increase serotonin levels.
 
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Serotonin is a well-known neurotransmitter, or chemical messenger, that is associated with mood and a variety of other important functions in the human brain and body. Serotonin helps promote positive feelings and social behavior, control appetite, support learning and memory as well as regulate our circadian rhythm or sleep-wake cycle. Serotonin deficiencies can cause a variety of brain and mental health issues, including anxiety, depression, sleep problems, fatigue, abnormal appetite and cravings as well as nausea and digestive problems. Fortunately, eating tryptophan-rich foods can help naturally increase serotonin levels in the human brain and body. In the following article, we will discuss how eating certain well-known tryptophan-rich foods can help naturally increase serotonin as well as promote overall health and wellness. - Dr. Alex Jimenez D.C., C.C.S.T. Insight

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that plays a fundamental role in a variety of brain and bodily functions. This chemical messenger helps regulate mood and social behavior as well as support our circadian rhythm or sleep-wake cycle. Research studies demonstrated that "healthy" serotonin levels are associated with positive feelings and longevity. We can naturally increase our serotonin levels by eating tryptophan-rich foods or taking tryptophan supplements. This essential amino acid is ultimately used to synthesize serotonin. In the article, we discussed foods that can ultimately help naturally increase serotonin.

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, and nervous health issues or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health protocols to treat injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. To further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900

Curated by Dr. Alex Jimenez

References:
  1. Healthline Editorial Team. “7 Foods That Could Boost Your Serotonin: The Serotonin Diet.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 29 Aug. 2018, www.healthline.com/health/healthy-sleep/foods-that-could-boost-your-serotonin.
  2. Raypole, Crystal. “6 Ways to Boost Serotonin Without Medication.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 22 Apr. 2019, www.healthline.com/health/how-to-increase-serotonin.
  3. Gotter, Ana. “What Is Tryptophan?” Healthline, Healthline Media, 25 Jan. 2018, www.healthline.com/health/tryptophan.

Additional Topic Discussion: Chronic Pain

Sudden pain is a natural response of the nervous system which helps to demonstrate possible injury. By way of instance, pain signals travel from an injured region through the nerves and spinal cord to the brain. Pain is generally less severe as the injury heals, however, chronic pain is different than the average type of pain. With chronic pain, the human body will continue sending pain signals to the brain, regardless if the injury has healed. Chronic pain can last for several weeks to even several years. Chronic pain can tremendously affect a patient's mobility and it can reduce flexibility, strength, and endurance.





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