How to Increase Serotonin: 5 Ways to Raise Serotonin Levels Naturally - Deepstash
How to Increase Serotonin: 5 Ways to Raise Serotonin Levels Naturally

How to Increase Serotonin: 5 Ways to Raise Serotonin Levels Naturally

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What is Serotonin?

What is Serotonin?

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter, or chemical messenger, that’s involved in many processes throughout your body, from regulating your mood to promoting smooth digestion.

It’s also known for:

  • promoting good sleep by helping regulate circadian rhythms
  • helping regulate appetite
  • promoting learning and memory
  • helping promote positive feelings and prosocial behavior


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Symptoms of Low Serotonin

Symptoms of Low Serotonin

If you have low serotonin, you might:

  • feel anxious, low, or depressed
  • feel irritable or aggressive
  • have sleep issues or feel fatigued
  • feel impulsive
  • have a decreased appetite
  • experience nausea and digestive issues
  • crave sweets and carbohydrate-rich foods


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Tryptophan, an amino acid that's converted to serotonin

Tryptophan, an amino acid that's converted to serotonin

  1. You can’t directly get serotonin from food, but you can get tryptophan, an amino acid that’s converted to serotonin in your brain.
  2. Tryptophan is found primarily in high-protein foods, including turkey and salmon.
  3. But it’s not as simple as eating tryptophan-rich foods, thanks to something called the blood-brain barrier. This is a protective sheath around your brain that controls what goes in and out of your brain.
  4. In a nutshell, tryptophan-rich foods are usually even higher in other amino acids. These other amino acids are more likely than tryptophan to cross the blood-brain barrier.


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Tryptophan with carbs produce Serotonin in the brain

Tryptophan with carbs produce Serotonin in the brain

Research suggests that eating carbs along with foods high in tryptophan may help more tryptophan make it into your brain.

Try consuming tryptophan-rich food with 25 to 30 grams of carbohydrates.

Here are some snack ideas to get you started:

  • whole-wheat bread with turkey or cheese
  • oatmeal with a handful of nuts
  • salmon with brown rice
  • plums or pineapple with your favorite crackers
  • pretzel sticks with peanut butter and a glass of milk


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Exercising triggers Tryptophan

Exercising triggers Tryptophan

  1. Exercising triggers the release of tryptophan into your blood.
  2. It can also decrease the amount of other amino acids. This creates an ideal environment for more tryptophan to reach your brain.
  3. Aerobic exercise, at a level you’re comfortable with, seems to have the most effect, so dig out your old roller skates or try a dance class.
  4. The goal is to get your heart rate up.


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Other Good Aerobic Exercises

Other Good Aerobic Exercises

Other good aerobic exercises include:

  • swimming
  • bicycling
  • brisk walking
  • jogging
  • light hiking


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Spending time in sunshine increases Serotonin levels

Spending time in sunshine increases Serotonin levels

Spending time in the sunshine appears to help increase serotonin levels, and research exploring this idea suggests your skin may be able to synthesize serotonin.

To maximize these potential benefits, aim to:

  • spend at least 10 to 15 minutes outside each day
  • take your physical activity outside to help increase the serotonin boost brought on by exercise - just don’t forget to wear sunscreen if you’ll be out for longer than 15 minutes.


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Massage Therapy helps increase Serotonin

Massage Therapy helps increase Serotonin

  1. Massage therapy helps increase serotonin and dopamine, another mood-related neurotransmitter.
  2. It also helps to decrease cortisol, a hormone your body produces when stressed.
  3. A look at 84 pregnant women with depression - Women who received 20 minutes of massage therapy from a partner twice a week said they felt less anxious and depressed and had higher serotonin levels after 16 weeks.


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Think of something that makes you feel good

Think of something that makes you feel good

Thinking about something that makes you feel good can help increase serotonin in your brain, which can help promote an improved mood in general.


  • visualizing a happy moment from your memory
  • thinking about a positive experience you had with a loved ones
  • looking at photos of things that make you happy, such as your pet, a favorite place, or close friends


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Reach out to therapist

Reach out to therapist

  1. Some people simply have lower serotonin levels due to their brain chemistry, and there isn’t much you can do about this on your own.
  2. In addition, mood disorders involve a complex mix of brain chemistry, environment, genetics, and other factors.
  3. If you find that your symptoms are starting to impact your day-to-day life, consider reaching out for support from a therapist.


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