Diet and exercise go hand in hand when it comes to making you feel good and keeping you mentally and physically fit. When you exercise, you release feel-good hormones known as serotonin that works to improve your mood and boost happiness.
Serotonin levels aren’t solely affected by exercise. There are a number of foods out there that not only are healthy to incorporate into your diet but also contain certain compounds that increase serotonin stimulation in the brain.
Tryptophan, the component that synthesizes serotonin, has a major effect on the brain, including making you feel happy and content. Some research has shown that individuals with low tryptophan levels often experience feelings of anxiety and other mood disorders.
Best Foods to Increase Serotonin Levels
Spruce up your diet and allow yourself to feel good with these foods that are delicious to eat and work to boost serotonin to improve your mood.
1. Organic Eggs
Not only are eggs packed with protein that is extremely effective for muscle building, eggs enhance the blood plasma levels of tryptophan. Eggs often get a bad rep for containing too much fat and cholesterol, however, these fats are healthy and ultimately work to keep you happy all day long.
A perfect addition to your pre or post-workout smoothies, pineapples are extremely effective in healing symptoms of a cough, reducing the side effects of chemotherapy and improving your mood.
Ever wonder why you’re so happy after devouring your delicious Thanksgiving meal? Besides the food being great, turkey is filled with tryptophan and will fill you up with feel-good emotions for a long period of time.
4. Dark Chocolate
The trick is to pick dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa to reap the health benefits. As always, moderation is key to staying healthy, so try not to overindulge in this tasty treat.
There’s a reason why salmon is a popular go-to when it comes to fish. Rich in tryptophan, salmon contains a good amount of omega-3 fatty acids and helps to lower blood pressure and balance cholesterol levels in the body.
It doesn’t matter if you love almonds or pistachios, all nuts contain tryptophan, which improves and stabilizes your mood. When eaten in moderation, nuts can also help to lower risks of developing certain cancers and heart problems.
Nuts are also rich in antioxidants and fiber that promote good health and well-being.
A good vegetarian option, tofu contains a high amount of tryptophan and is rich in calcium. Tofu is also an excellent choice for vegetarians and vegans looking to incorporate more protein into their diets.
Not only are bananas easy to clean up after, they are high in potassium and slow-release carbs that make it the perfect food to complement your workouts. Bananas are also a great source of tryptophan that will leave you feeling good for a long period of time.
1. How can one boost serotonin levels?
Regular exercise and a healthy diet with foods that boost tryptophan levels are an effective way to increase serotonin levels and improve your mood.
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7 Foods That Could Boost Your Serotonin. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/healthy-sleep/foods-that-could-boost-your-serotonin
FitFluential. (2016, December 15). 10 Foods that Boost Serotonin. Retrieved from https://fitfluential.com/foods-that-boost-serotonin/