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  • Alyssa Abrahamson

Serotonin: Happiness Hormones Part 2

Welcome to Serotonin: Part 2 of the Happiness Hormone series here and on my podcast, Positively Anti-Inflammatory.

Serotonin, known as the body's natural "feel-good" hormone, is actually a neurotransmitter acting as a hormone and plays an essential role in regulating mood, emotions, digestion, appetite, sleep, bone health, wound healing, and more.

Fun fact: 95% of serotonin is produced in your gut.

Gut health is so dang important because it directly impacts your emotional and mental health. An unbalanced gut can trigger anxiety, depression, and mood swings.

For more, read Do You Have Leaky Gut?

What triggers the release of serotonin?

Serotonin is naturally triggered by regular things we can do every day such as going for a walk outside in the sunshine, eating wholesome foods, sleeping well, and practicing self-care activities.

What causes low serotonin?

Serotonin deficiency can occur when your body produces too little serotonin or if your body isn’t effectively using it. Factors that may contribute to low serotonin:

  • Excessive alcohol consumption

  • Low levels of omega-3 fatty acids

  • Vitamin D deficiency

  • Chronic stress

  • Lack of exposure to sunlight

  • Inflammation

  • Lack of physical activity

Signs of low serotonin

  • Disrupted sleep patterns

  • Chronic pain

  • Memory and learning issues

  • Loss of appetite

  • Cuts or wounds that don't heal quickly

  • Inability to focus

  • Depression and other mood problems

  • Digestive issues

Health conditions associated with serotonin deficiency

  • ADHD and attention disorders

  • Anxiety and panic disorders

  • OCD

  • SAD (seasonal affective disorder)

  • PTSD

4 ways to boost serotonin naturally

1. Exercise ~ Regular physical activity triggers a release of serotonin and can have mood boosting effects. Pickleball anyone?!

2. Spend time in sunlight every day ~ Sunlight boosts your levels of vitamin D, which is needed for serotonin production.

3. Practice stress-relieving activities ~ Such as yoga and meditation, which help calm the nervous system, melting away stress, leading to increased serotonin.

4. Eat foods that increase serotonin ~ Foods that contain tryptophan, the amino acid from which serotonin is made:

  • Turkey and chicken

  • Salmon

  • Canned tuna

  • Eggs

  • Apples, bananas, and dried prunes

  • Gluten free oats

  • Nuts and seeds

Autoimmune disease, chronic conditions, and digestive issues like IBS, candida, and leaky gut are also signs your gut health is imbalanced and therefore serotonin production impaired.

If you don't know where to start and you’re looking for support with gut health, inflammation, mood, mindset, and your overall wellbeing, let me help you.

Email me to set up your free wellness consult call.

Love, Your Wellness Coach,


P.P.S. Tune into podcast episode 125, Serotonin: Happiness Hormones Part 2.

May 17, 2023


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