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How Can I Increase Serotonin Naturally?

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  • Written By: Anna T.
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 14 April 2014
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Some ways in which you may be able to increase serotonin naturally are by exercising, taking vitamin B supplements, and eating healthy carbohydrates. Sunlight exposure might also make you feel much more cheerful in general. It is also typically advisable to avoid excess caffeine or alcohol, which can negatively affect the way your brain stabilizes your moods. If you want to increase serotonin naturally to avoid prescription anti-depressant and mood-enhancing medicines, you may be able to do so, but it is a good idea to keep in mind that extreme depression is a serious problem. If you experience severe depression or drastic mood swings on a regular basis, you should probably consult with your doctor because natural methods may not be enough to successfully treat your condition.

Getting in regular exercise may boost your levels of serotonin. When you exercise, you are typically taking in more oxygen, and extra oxygen can help to replenish your serotonin stores. The amount of exercise it takes to continually keep your levels of serotonin up might vary, but most doctors recommend at least 20 to 30 minutes of exercise four or five times per week to help with stress. Vitamin B is also very important for helping your body produce serotonin after it has been depleted. You can get in the vitamin B you need daily by either taking supplements or eating more green vegetables, dairy, and whole-grain breads, which all naturally contain lots of vitamin B.

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Carbohydrates might increase serotonin naturally, but it is important to avoid the unhealthy carbohydrates and instead try to take in the good ones. Bad carbohydrates include all types of refined white flour and starchy foods. Many overly processed foods contain an excess of unhealthy carbohydrates. Good carbohydrates include whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. If you are eating the right kinds of carbohydrates regularly, you might begin to notice that you feel less depressed over time.

Research suggests that sunlight exposure might help to increase serotonin naturally. You may be able to reap the benefits of sunlight for your mood by either going out in the sun more or using a UV, or ultraviolet, lamp. There are also other types of lamps made specifically for mood enhancement that do not use UV bulbs, which means there is less risk of sunburn or skin damage. Staying away from caffeine and alcohol might also help you to increase serotonin naturally. Products containing caffeine and alcohol might make you feel better temporarily, but in the long run these products do much more harm than good for mood elevation and may additionally cause other health problems.

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orangey03
Post 4

My mother increased her serotonin levels, as well as her vitamin D levels, by going out in the sun for twenty minutes a day. Her doctor recommended that she do this, because she was suffering from mild depression, coupled with a vitamin D deficiency.

I can’t stand to go one day without being in the sunshine, so I can see how this could affect a person’s mood and overall well-being. My mother stayed inside the house all the time, so going out was a challenge for her.

She was surprised at how much better she felt after a few days in the sun. Just those twenty minutes a day stimulated her serotonin and made her body and mind work as they were intended.

lighth0se33
Post 3

Since I have taken steps to naturally increase my serotonin levels, I feel so much healthier. I really feel more alive inside, whereas before, I felt as if I might be slowly dying of some unknown condition.

I used to eat a lot of white bread and sugary treats. My favorite vegetable was the french fry, and my favorite fruit was candied apples.

I just got tired of feeling fatigued and sick all the time. I started eating raw spinach with Italian dressing as a salad every day during lunch, and I switched to whole grain breads instead of white bread. I even changed to whole grain cereals and muffins.

I also started putting blueberries on top of my whole grain cereal and eating a banana on the side for breakfast. My overall mood improved, and I just feel like I am physically capable of so much more than before.

seag47
Post 2

@shell4life - Some people say that you need to do a full thirty-minute routine to get the maximum serotonin benefits, but I have been doing just fine by doing two ten-minute workouts each day. I feel better than I did before I started exercising, so I believe that I have naturally increased my serotonin levels.

When I first wake up, I do ten minutes of aerobic dancing. It isn’t that demanding, and since it is fun to do, I don’t fall asleep while working out.

On my lunch break, if the weather allows, I take a ten minute walk around the track at a park near my workplace after eating. If it is rainy or freezing cold, I will walk inside the mall instead.

shell4life
Post 1

Exercise seems like the best way to increase serotonin levels naturally. You also get the bonus of newly released endorphins, which can make you feel even better.

My problem is that since I have started working full-time, I rarely have thirty minutes a day to spend on exercise. I have a thirty-minute commute to and from work, so by the time I get home, it is time to make dinner, and then I have to do the dishes.

Do you get the same benefits as far as serotonin is concerned if you divide up your exercise throughout the day? If I could do a fifteen-minute workout when I got up and then fifteen more minutes after work, I would probably be able to stick to that plan.

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