how to boost serotonin

8 Recipes That Could Boost Your Serotonin

When your body is not healthy because the serotonin levels are low, it affects your behavior spiritually, mentally, and physically based on your emotions, motor skills, and digestion.

Eating food or creating recipes high in serotonin may provide the answer to increasing your serotonin levels. It enhances your wellbeing and helps you avoid being prescribed selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which have dangerous side effects.

Most of your body’s serotonin comes from your digestive tract, affecting several of the biological functions. Included are appetite, digestion, metabolism, and mood. If you increase your serotonin through food, your body can easily absorb it into your system without harmful effects and endangering your livelihood. In fact, prescribed SSRIs such as antidepressants are synthetic drugs that accumulate and stay stored in the fatty tissues of your body, causing horrible side effects. Yet, the number of prescriptions of these synthetic, psychotropic drugs is devastating. (x) Some people even continue to take these harmful drugs for ten years or more.  

Furthermore, studies prove that antidepressants do not genuinely help those in need, as big pharma has led us to believe. Many researchers and physicians expressed their discord and concern that the significant and dangerous side effects profoundly overshadow any benefit. (x)

The harmful side effects of antidepressants:

  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Stomach upset
  • Restlessness
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Behavioral changes
  • Weight gain

Something to keep in mind, there are deadly withdrawal symptoms from antidepressants:

  • Brain zaps and paresthesia
  • Fatigue and sleep disturbances
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Headaches
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Irritability and mood problems
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Movement disorders
  • Gastrointestinal issues

As a result, it supports turning to alternate solutions like eating foods high in serotonin and changing your lifestyle. We mustn’t forget that natural sources of serotonin may also help your motor skills and digestion. Check with your medical practitioner before changing any diet or exercise program.

What is Serotonin?

Only two percent of your body’s serotonin is found in your brain, while 95 percent generates in the intestine. In the gut, it controls paracrine, hormonal, autocrine, and endocrine actions. It appears to occur in your body naturally, working as a neurotransmitter that sends messages to your brain. The signals adjust appetite, pain perception, and motor function. It controls different biological methods, including mood regulation, cardiovascular function, energy balance, and digestive function.

Serotonin Uses and Benefits

Any time you change your lifestyle, whether diet, exercise, or supplement plan, talk with your doctor. With that, here are some known benefits of serotonin:

  • Regulates digestion (x)
  • Relieves pain (x)
  • Supports wound healing (x)

Taking natural foods that boost your serotonin without pharmaceutical drugs is the best way to handle your deficiency. Anti-inflammatory foods are excellent at helping your gut’s ability to produce serotonin. Eating these foods will enable your stomach to balance good and bad bacteria. They include fresh vegetables, nuts, wild-caught salmon, leafy greens, and eggs.

It also helps to drink kombucha, kefir, apple cider vinegar, and probiotic yogurt. Try to include healthy fats as they also help produce natural serotonin, such as coconut oil, avocado, extra-virgin olive oil, and ghee.

Two other factors that influence your serotonin levels are getting plenty of exercise and sunshine. (x) Both help your body produce natural serotonin. (x)

What is Tryptophan?

Tryptophan helps your body produce more serotonin as you eat more foods that contain tryptophan, including eggs, spinach, wild-caught salmon, and seeds. As it is an essential amino acid, your body doesn’t generate tryptophan. You need to add it to your diet. (x)

What is 5-HTP?

A supplement you might not be familiar with is 5-Hydorxytryptopphan or 5-HTP. It’s an amino acid that is naturally generated in your body and produces serotonin. You can take 5-HTP as a supplement to help raise your serotonin levels. The medical profession highly recommends taking it under your doctor’s care, as your body may experience amino acid imbalance. (x)

Some recipes below offer foods high in tryptophan and 5-HTP, for they help increase serotonin in your body.

Recipes That My Boost Your Serotonin

Based on the above foods, here are some tasty recipes to help you not only boost your serotonin but lift your spirits as well. By eating these kinds of food regularly, you may notice an improvement in your overall wellbeing and health.

1. Nut Granola and blueberries

Let’s start with breakfast by filling your bowl with ingredients of nut granola, kefir or probiotic yogurt, and blueberries. The recipe is high in anti-inflammatories and probiotics, which will help your gut maintain its serotonin levels.

Almond banana and flaxseed smoothie

Add almonds, a banana, two tablespoons of flaxseed, and a half cup of almond or coconut milk into a blender. Blend until smoothie—yummy! These ingredients will help fight anti-inflammatory, thus generate serotonin in the digestive system.

2. Avocado Toast

Most restaurant menus offer an avocado toast for breakfast. Its high fatty acid content helps put some nutritious food in your gut to keep your serotonin high. You can even choose nutty bread for more anti-inflammatories. You toast a slice of bread, spread half of an avocado on the bread, sprinkle pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, and pine nuts. You can add a poached egg on top for even more tryptophan. If you like having greens in the morning, place a handful of arugulas on the side.

3. Warm and Fresh Quinoa, Spinach, and Shiitake Mushroom Salad

Boil a cup of quinoa as one part grain and two parts water. Once it boils, turn the burner down to simmer for 18 minutes. When the grain is without water and fluffy, turn the burner off, and let the quinoa stand for about five minutes.

While the quinoa is simmering, you can wash and destem your spinach, gently chop it, and place it in a salad bowl. Next, take your shiitake mushrooms (about 10), rinse them off in water until clean and then chop them into quarter-inch to half an inch pieces and add them to the salad bowl. You can add your favorite salad dressing or extra-virgin olive oil and apple cider vinegar to taste. Then toss gently.

When the quinoa ready, add two tablespoons of avocado oil, salt, and pepper to tastes.

Dish out the quinoa on to a dinner plate, then scoop out the salad onto the quinoa. Enjoy!

4. Wild-caught Salmon and Spinach Salad

Prepare the salmon the way you like to prepare it, or if you have leftover salmon from yesterday’s dinner, that is even better. The salmon should be cold for this delicious salad. 

Place a bed of clean and destemmed spinach on a plate. Gently add your salmon and follow this will a balance vinaigrette dressing. Have some nutty bread on the side to go with the salad. 

5. Asparagus with Poached Eggs

Eggs and asparagus are excellent sources of nutrients, with both having tryptophan. You steam the asparagus and poach an egg or two. That’s it! It’s lovely as a Sunday brunch item. Yummy!

6. Turkey Burger with Sweet Potato (Baked) Fries on the Side

Turkey is an excellent source of tryptophan, and you can find pre-made turkey patties at any grocery store. You can broil or barbeque them while the sweet potatoes are baking in the oven. 

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Scrub each sweet potato, then cut them into quarter-inch strips. Position them in an oiled baking pan, sprinkle with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Bake them for 11 minutes, then turn them over and bake them for another 11 minutes. When they are tender, they are done. Let them sit for around five minutes before serving. 

You can serve the turkey burgers with a healthy bun or without a bun. Add lettuces, tomatoes, red onions, mustard, ketchup, and pickles or sauerkraut.

7. Lentil and Kale Stew with Vegetables

Lentils are full of B vitamins folate, which is needed to produce serotonin. The kale is a green leafy vegetable that also helps since it contains tryptophan. Add carrots, celery, and potatoes, and you have a warm, comforting, and hearty stew. 

Some people soak the lentils overnight, which makes them easier to digest. 

The ingredients:

2 tablespoons of olive oil

1 chopped onion 

2 chopped carrots

3 chopped stalks of celery

1 chopped bunch of kale with ribs removed

2 chopped yellow potatoes

1 pound of lentils, soaked and rinsed

1 tablespoon of herbes de Provence

8 cups of vegetable broth

In a large pot, warm up the oil over medium to high heat, and add onion, carrots, celery. Sprinkle in salt and pepper and sauté the ingredients until soft and brown—10 minutes. Gradually blend in the lentils and herbes de Provence. Add vegetable broth and kale. Bring to a slight boil, stirring now and then to mix in the kale. Lower the heat to medium-low, then cover, leaving the lid ajar. Simmer the stew until lentils become tender, about 20 minutes, stirring as needed. Add more broth if the stew becomes too thick for your taste. Season with salt or pepper to taste.

8. Trail Mix with Dark Chocolate and Nuts

Dark chocolate (85% or more) contains serotonin. Adding that to your trail mix should lift your spirits. Nuts are high in serotonin such as walnuts, cashew nuts, Brazil nuts, macadamia, peanuts, hazelnuts, and more. Pick your favorite nuts, mix them up in a bowl, add some raisins, pumpkin seeds, coconut chips, and dark chocolate chunks. Mix all of it together, and you have a super serotonin snack.

Bottom Line

For centuries, traditional healers have said food is medicine. With that, normal levels of serotonin help you feel well and healthy. On the condition that your levels are too high or too low, it causes adverse effects. But taking synthetic medicines does not solve the situation because you are only treating the symptoms. Most people continue taking these harmful drugs for years, even for over ten years, without resolving the issue.

With that, you need to enhance your diet with food containing serotonin, exercise and spend time in the sunshine. Try these recipes and create your own recipes, too. Eventually, you will start to feel normal, happy, and healthy. It’s not a quick fix, but you’re treating the cause of the health condition, not the symptoms.

The statements in this article have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Author: James D