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
Lack of exposure to sunlight
Lack of physical activity
Signs of low serotonin
Disrupted sleep patterns
Memory and learning issues
Loss of appetite
Cuts or wounds that don't heal quickly
Inability to focus
Depression and other mood problems
Health conditions associated with serotonin deficiency
ADHD and attention disorders
Anxiety and panic disorders
SAD (seasonal affective disorder)
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
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