Everyone's ideas of happiness is different, but there is one thing we all have in common. Serotonin- the critical neurotransmitter needed to boost mood. People with low serotonin levels are often depressed, pessimistic, and generally not pleasant to be around. Serotonin is called the "happy hormone", but also has other health benefits which make us healthy at the same time.
10 Ways to Naturally Boost Your Serotonin Levels:
1. Eat animal protein. An amino acid called tryptophan helps produce serotonin, and animal protein is the best source. Tryptophan is especially high in chicken, turkey, fish, eggs, beef and dairy. Whey and egg protein are scientifically proven to increase this amino acid in the brain.
2. Sunshine - natural light has a positive effect on mood, and triggers serotonin synthesis. The brighter the sunlight, the more serotonin the body produces. This could explain feeling down in the winter or on rainy dark days.
3. Vitamin D - helps convert tryptophan into serotonin. Here, we need to supplement as we rarely get enough UV rays to make enough. You'll typically need between 2000 IU - 10,000 IU daily.
4. Omega 3's - help boost serotonin production in the brain. Need 2000-4000mg daily.
5. Eat Curry - curry has turmeric, which is considered a potent anti-depressant. Helps to increase serotonin in the brain, while reducing inflammation.
6.Caffeine - this has a positive effect on levels of serotonin in the brain, which is good news for most of us. Don't overdo, however.
7. Exercise - has been shown to increase serotonin levels because motor neurons activated during physical activity boost the release of serotonin. Regular exercise will spike tryptophan levels in the brain.
8. Massage - proven to reduce cortisol and increase happy hormones by as much as 28%. Plus it feels great.
9. Nuts - contain tryptophan, so the more you eat, the happier you'll be. They also have numerous other health benefits, such as decreasing inflammation, helping to prevent heart disease, cancer and respiratory ailments.
10. Green tea - contains L-theanine, an amino acid that boosts serotonin levels. It also has a powerful antioxidant that prevents brain damage.
There you go, this is a good place to start, especially if you've been feeling down lately. B vitamins may also help, but if none of this is enough, then see your doctor.