How Do I Increase My Brain’s Serotonin Naturally?

women laughing and wearing red sweater
Is it possible to increase the brain’s serotonin level naturally, without drugs? The answer is simple: yes. There are several natural ways to increase serotonin, which is the neurotransmitter in the brain (often called the “happy hormone”) that makes us—well, happy. So, let’s start at the beginning: What is serotonin?

What Is Serotonin?

As we mentioned, serotonin is pretty powerful. It can help us feel at ease and calm, while a deficiency in it can make us feel sad, panicky, and aggressive—nothing good comes from a serotonin deficiency! It can present with symptoms of depression, like lethargy, mood swings, and trouble sleeping, and it can be an underlying cause of depression.

How Do I Get Serotonin?

Your body naturally makes serotonin and, like vitamin D, another depression fighter, its levels go up with sun exposure. However, natural light can be hard to come by in some regions of the world, and it may be limited by sun sensitivity or mobility. So, how else can we get serotonin naturally?

Like with many other things in life, it’s all connected—low levels of serotonin are associated with low levels of other vitamins and minerals—and low levels of vitamins like vitamin B6 and amino acids can lead to high stress, which can lead to high levels of cortisol, which can lead to low levels of serotonin. What a cycle!

How do you stop this cycle in its tracks? It all boils down to a quality diet, which can often be hard to come by. Yet, with a little guidance and supplementation, you can make healthy choices that naturally increase serotonin levels. Let’s look at some of the best serotonin supplements you can take:
vegetable salad with grilled salmon

  1. Tryptophan: This amino acid is found in a few forms. Whether you take a nutritional tryptophan supplement or try to incorporate more foods that contain tryptophan, be sure to pay attention to quality. Tryptophan can be found in fatty fish (like salmon), nuts and seeds, dairy, poultry, and eggs. Dark leafy greens like spinach, as well as corn, potatoes, and wheat bread, are also a great source if you prefer vegetarian options.
  2. Omega-3s: These are fatty acids that support serotonin levels. They can be found in fish, like salmon, or in a great nutritional supplement.
  3. B vitamins: Vitamins B6 and B12 are important for keeping depressive feelings at bay, and B6 specifically supports serotonin levels and production. These vitamins are naturally found in fish, poultry, eggs, vegetables, and whole grains.
  4. St. John’s Wort: This is only found in a nutritional supplement, but it can help the breakdown of serotonin in the body and supports positive mental health. Be sure to check the label to ensure it won’t interfere with any other medications you might be taking.

What’s the Next Step?

Now that you know how you can naturally boost serotonin, it’s time to start on that path to natural wellness! We at Forrest Health can help you, every step of the way, with nutritional supplements and tools for all your health goals. Visit us online or call us today at 408-354-4262 to see how we can help!

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