One important thing to remember is that healthy eating is more than eating to just maintain weight or cut down on the excess weight. Healthy eating is more about ensuring that the overall health is maintained and that every food taken in works towards enriching the body with minerals or nutrients that helps the entire lifestyle. One way to ensure this happens is by taking foods that help to increase the serotonin level in the body.
Serotonin is a mood-stabilizing chemical in the brain. It’s particularly believed to help produce healthy sleeping patterns and the general mood. The serotonin levels in the brain can affect the general mood and behavior, and thereby making people feel good and live long.
While no one can get serotonin directly from any food, supplements and some particular foods can increase your serotonin production from the amino acid tryptophan, as serotonin is synthesized from tryptophan. Studies have shown that a high-tryptophan diet can cause brain serotonin levels to increase. You can ensure that the serotonin levels in your brain are not just maintained but increased by eating more of the following foods.
The protein-packed eggs are good because they considerably boost the blood plasma levels of tryptophan. Egg yolks are high in tryptophan, tyrosine, choline, biotin, and omega-3 fatty acids all of which are good for serotonin.
However, the eggs have to be well cooked to gain the full benefit. The best way to get this is to have more boiled and poached eggs, rather than fried ones.
Salmon is one of the richest foods, and it is surely lacking in tryptophan. It’s especially great when combined with eggs and milk. However, on its own, salmon has a range of beneficial purposes like lowering blood pressure, balancing cholesterol, Vitamin D that aids in serotonin production, and omega-3 fatty acids that are particularly beneficial to the bones, heart and skin.
3. Cheese and Milk
Cheese and milk are great sources of tryptophan. These yummy foods can be combined with eggs to make it a full meal that helps to boost your serotonin levels. Also, they are rich in calcium which is extremely beneficial for healthy bones and teeth
However, to get the most out of it, ensure that they are low in fat to reduce the chances of gaining weight.
Turkey isn’t just everyone’s favorite Thanksgiving meal, it’s a rich source of protein and full of tryptophan. The tryptophan helps to increase serotonin in the brain, and this can actually help to increase the good feelings in everyone. So, this may be a reason why turkey brings much cheer during Thanksgiving seasons.
Pineapples are one of the best fruits with plenty of tryptophan that boosts serotonin in the brain. Pineapples also contain a good amount of another type of protein – bromelain – which has anti-inflammatory properties.
The important thing to note is that pineapples are best when they’re fresh. So while other plants like tomatoes, will increase in serotonin as they ripen, pineapples don’t.
Recently, soy milk has fast become popular especially amongst vegans and vegetarians because it’s their pass to get tryptophan without eating meat. However, beyond that tofu is an end-product of soy and is also a rich source of tryptophan. What’s good about tofu is that you can substitute it for any type of protein, in any meal. So, just like soy, it’s excellent for vegans and vegetarians. Some tofu also comes in calcium-set, which can be a great calcium boost.
7. Nuts and seeds
Every nut and seed that exists contains tryptophan. Nuts and seeds have a number of benefits for the general body, like being a source of vitamins, fibers and antioxidants. Eating a handful of nuts each day may lower your mortality risk for cancer, heart disease, and respiratory problems.
Aside from these foods, there are other options available that can increase serotonin levels. Green tea and probiotics help to boost serotonin, not because they contain serotonin, but because other components within them can assist to boost serotonin levels.
Foods like cod liver oil, yogurt, and orange juice that contain Vitamin D that are also good sources of tryptophan.
- Jenkins TA, et al. (2016). Influence of tryptophan and serotonin on mood and cognition with a possible role of the gut-brain axis. DOI: 10.3390/nu8010056
- Kuang H, et al. (2018). The impact of egg nutrient composition and its consumption on cholesterol homeostasis. DOI: 10.1155/2018/6303810
- Ying B, et al. (2013). Association of nut consumption with total and cause-specific mortality. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1307352