Low On Serotonin? These Foods Decrease Serotonin Levels + Food That Boost Serotonin
We all need a break from the afternoon slumps, especially when working from home. Those snacks you like to munch on – a smoothie, a protein bar, or oat cookies – seem pretty safe to consume during the afternoon hours.
But, if you often experience a mood dip after consuming those “seemingly safe” snacks then you might be eating foods that decrease serotonin levels.
Yes, it’s true, Foods – the snacks and beverages – you consume during afternoon hours to chase away the slumps can be draining your energy instead. Some food groups can help boost mood and increase serotonin levels, certain food groups can decrease your serotonin levels as well.
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that can help regulate functions in our bodies and brains. Those include our mood, sleep, memory, cognitive health, and more. Having balanced serotonin can help keep our mood stable and emotions positive.
I guess that’s why serotonin is referred to as one of the feel-good hormones and a natural mood stabilizer.
If you usually feel low on serotonin then the foods you’re consuming can be a reason. Below are the foods that decrease serotonin levels and the foods that boost serotonin levels.
Foods That Decrease Serotonin Levels
Here are the three food groups that decrease serotonin levels in your brain and leave your body (and mind) feeling low.
When you consume sugar snacks and refreshments, it can affect your serotonin production. Highly refined foods, especially those that contain sugar such as carbonated drinks, packaged desserts, candies, breakfast cereals, and more.
When you consume these foods regularly, it can reduce the production of tryptophan – the amino acid needed to produce serotonin – and Vitamin B. Any decrease in the production of these chemicals can decrease serotonin levels.
2.Trans-Fat Rich Foods
Trans fat exists in meat and dairy products but in small quantities, however, when you consume trans-fat-rich food regularly, it can increase your cholesterol levels.
Another reason to avoid trans-fat-rich foods is that they can contribute to the low production of serotonin in your body. Foods with high levels of trans-fat include fried foods, processed potato chips, pizza, packaged desserts, and other fast foods. Even your non-dairy coffee creamer may be rich in trans-fat so take a note of the contents before using it.
Other than foods with high sugar, processed foods can also decrease serotonin levels. Highly processed foods contain ingredients that tend to be higher in calories, fat, and added sugar.
They may also contain flavor enhancers. So the next time you look for packaged, sodium-rich frozen snacks, think twice before. Other processed foods can include chips, cookies, packaged sweet treats, hot dogs, confectionary products, protein bars, ice cream, and more.
Foods That Boost Serotonin Levels
According to experts, tryptophan is needed to produce serotonin. Tryptophan, an amino acid, is not naturally produced so we need to make sure our diet is made up of food groups that include this amino acid.
Fortunately, certain food can help us with this. Here are foods that boost serotonin levels:
- Eggs:A rich source of protein, eggs can also help in the production of tryptophan. Eggs with yolk can be a good food to consume to boost serotonin levels.
- Cheese:Rich in tryptophan, consuming cheese when your serotonin levels are low can be good. If you’re hungry in the afternoon and feeling low on serotonin, make a bowl of mac and cheese and experience the feel-good hormone increase.
- Pineapple:Did you know that Pineapples can also help boost serotonin levels in your body? This fruit not only contains tryptophan but also Bromelain, a type of enzyme, that is great for its anti-inflammatory properties.
- Soy:Foods rich in soy such as tofu can also help boost serotonin levels. Soy-rich foods are a great source of tryptophan and can be good substitutes for calcium for vegans and vegetarians.
- Nuts:Want a pick-me-up afternoon snack, try eating nuts and seeds that contain tryptophan. Plus, nuts are also rich in fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants so not only they can increase serotonin levels but can also help lower the risk of heart problems and other diseases.
Other ways to increase serotonin:
- Exercise regularly
- Get some light/sunshine
- Eat a high fiber diet
- Take probiotic supplements
Please note: Only take supplements after consulting with a physician. Some supplements can have side effects as well.
Is It Just Food? Or Something Else?
Just because you love eating foods that decrease serotonin levels does not mean it’s just the food that’s responsible for your low mood. Certain habits (along with your lifestyle choices) can also contribute to the low production of serotonin in your body and brain.
Exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, getting some sunshine, and other changes can help increase serotonin levels and improve your mood. Take a look at these happy hormones and ways to increase them.
If you’re constantly feeling low on serotonin, you can try to incorporate meditation and mindfulness into your daily routine. Practicing such mind management techniques can help increase serotonin levels and other happy hormones in your body and brain.
Did you know that hanging out with your loved ones can also have the desired effect? So when you need a quick serotonin boost, call your best friend, your loved family member, or a close support person. Having balanced hormones can help improve our overall mood and contribute to our healthy mental state.
If you’re feeling depressed or sad more frequently these days, then it is recommended you speak to a professional for a diagnosis. Low serotonin levels can also be a sign of depression and other related mental health disorders. With the right diagnosis and treatment, you can improve your mood and better your health.
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