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What are the Best Natural Ways to Raise Serotonin Levels?

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  • Written By: Jacob Queen
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 20 September 2016
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There is some disagreement about the best specific methods to raise serotonin levels, but there are a few general guidelines. According to most experts, the best natural methods to raise serotonin levels are exercising and eating a carefully balanced diet. Other methods can also be helpful, including getting sufficient sleep, meditating, and doing things that generally improve mood naturally. Many scientists think that serotonin is directly related to depression, and there are some synthetic medications that can raise levels, but many people prefer a more natural approach.

When it comes to diet, there is a lot of a disagreement among experts about the best approach to raise serotonin levels. On the one hand, there are experts who suggest people eat a large number of carbohydrates. It is generally proven that carbohydrates can raise serotonin levels, but there are some experts that believe carbohydrates may have a tendency to cause peaks and valleys in this chemical. These experts often recommend that people focus on lean protein sources that can increase serotonin, including chicken, turkey, lean pork, and fish.

Most experts generally recommend that people find some kind of dietary balance. For example, many who favor high-carbohydrate diets also favor including a specified portion of serotonin-raising proteins, and the protein diet supporters advocate the inclusion of certain carbohydrates. More scientific research will probably be needed to prove one approach over the other, but in general terms, balance seems to be a unifying theme in both camps.

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Exercise is one of the most common and universally recommended ways to raise serotonin levels. Research has generally shown that serotonin will rise as a direct result of physical activity, and people who exercise regularly are often less troubled with symptoms of depression. In general, any method of exercise can potentially raise serotonin in the brain, but some experts suggest people focus on light aerobic exercises, partly because they may be easier to perform.

Another method of raising serotonin levels is to perform various mental exercises, such as meditation. Many people use meditation as a way to improve their overall mood, and this may have some effect on serotonin, although there is generally less scientific research supporting these approaches. Along the same lines, some people may try to increase serotonin by changing their lifestyle and spending more time doing things that enhance their moods. There is some research to show that many pleasurable daily activities can potentially change brain chemistry.

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candyquilt
Post 3

@discographer-- I can't eat most of those foods. I'm not a fan of meat products. I do eat dairy though and I know that dairy helps raise serotonin levels too. So eat lots of yogurt and drink milk.

I don't know if anyone else has heard this, but many doctors are now recommending fish oil supplements for depression. Omega 3 fatty acids are supposed to be wonderful for mood and stress. I've started taking them for this reason. I suspect that they help with depression by boosting serotonin. That's why fish is one of the recommended foods. I don't eat fish often either, but I found a "no burp" fish oil supplement that I can take.

discographer
Post 2

@SteamLouis-- Yes. That's because turkey has l-trypthopan. This is the precursor for both melatonin and serotonin. Melatonin helps regulate our sleep patters and serotonin, as you know, regulates our mood. That's why you are bound to feel sleepy, relaxed and happy if you consume turkey regularly. Other foods like game meat, eggs, crustaceans, goat, duck and eggs. Sesame seeds are also rich in l-trypthopan.

I try to eat some of these at least once or twice a week to naturally boost my serotonin. I also recommend the same for those having difficulty sleeping.

SteamLouis
Post 1

I think turkey has serotonin. Whenever I have a meal with turkey, I feel both relaxed and happy afterward. Most people associate turkey with sleep and I think that's true too, but it also seems to help with mood.

Has anyone else experienced the same?

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