Serotonin: An Essential Chemical for Improved Mental Health

How you feel about yourself affects how you deal with problems. Mood swings, stress, anxiety and depression can negatively affect your health. One way to balance your overall health, especially your mental health, is by increasing your serotonin levels.

What is Serotonin?

serotonin

Serotonin or 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) is commonly known as the “happy hormone”. It is a chemical or neurotransmitter that is responsible for regulating various functions of the body. It is a product of a biochemical conversion process. In this process, tryptophan (a building block for proteins) and tryptophan hydroxylase (a chemical reactor) are combined. In simple words, serotonin makes us feel happy.

How does it affect mental health?

Studies show that our brains require the right amount of serotonin to function well. According to Simon N. Young (editor-in-chief of the Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience), people who have higher levels of serotonin exhibit better moods than those who have lower serotonin levels. Some people, however, naturally have less than the required amount of serotonin in their system. This can lead to symptoms often associated with low levels of serotonin, which are mood swings, stress, anxiety, depression and other mental health disorders.

This chemical imbalance usually happens when the brain produces more fear-related neurotransmitters (adrenaline) than neurotransmitters that are related to happiness and relaxation (serotonin).

How can you increase your serotonin level?

The level of serotonin in your body can be increased in numerous ways:

Medication

medication

Certain medications are intended for treating chemical imbalances in the brain. Medical treatment prompts the discharge of more neurotransmitters related to happiness and relaxation, like serotonin.

Note: Please remember that all medication requires a proper prescription.

Vitamins

vitamins vitamins

Advanced Vitamin B Complex and Serene 5-HTP from 365 Vitamins are excellent vitamins for the mind. Vitamin B6 is one of the vitamins needed by the brain for producing serotonin. 5-HTP is an amino acid that produces serotonin and helps to regulate our mood.

Food

food

Fruits such as banana, tomatoes, plums, kiwi fruit and pineapples naturally contain serotonin. Eggs, beans, turkey, flaxseed oil and other foods that are rich in protein have tryptophan (a component of 5-HTP).  Grains, breads and cereals are rich in B vitamins.

Note: A balanced meal is important to keep your mind and body healthy. Hence, it is necessary to consult your doctor or nutritionist before making any substantial changes to your diet.

Exercise and physical activities

exercise

Exercise and other fun physical activities can help to increase your serotonin level. Working your muscles during exercise prompts the discharge of serotonin in the brain. In addition, exercise can help to reduce stress, avoid anxiety attacks and ease fatigue. It can also help you to get a good night’s sleep.

Doing all these things on a regular basis will not only help you increase your serotonin level. It may also help you to feel great about yourself.  Visit our website to learn more.

Healthy Foods to Boost your Energy

Those who are taking vitamin supplements to boost their energy levels should also follow a healthy diet to maximise the benefits they can get from taking them. Here are some of the healthy foods that can also help boost your energy:

1. Greek Yogurt

Greek Yogurt

According to a study conducted by the Department of Agriculture’s National Nutrient Database, a 6-ounce pack of ordinary yogurt contains 8.9 grams of protein, while Greek yogurt of the same size contains 17.3 grams of protein. It also has less carbohydrates and lactose. According to the journal “Appetite”, it helps people feel energised for a longer period of time.

2. Leafy Greens

Leafy Greens

Leafy vegetables, like spinach, are a great source of iron. Iron protects us against fatigue, which is one of the most common symptoms of immune iron deficiency. Eating leafy vegetables at any time of the day helps us feel more energetic.

3. Whole Grains

Whole Grains

Whole grains are healthier than processed grains because they require more time for digestion. They contain 45 to 65 percent of carbohydrates that your brain needs as a great source of energy. Carbohydrates with a lower glycemic index, like whole grains, will provide long-lasting energy.

4. Salmon

Salmon

Salmon is a food rich in omega-3 fatty acids, also known as Omega-3s. It belongs to the polyunsaturated fats group, which makes our body flexible and interactive. Omega-3s can effectively raise our mood and avert us from depression.

5. Dark Chocolate

Dark Chocolate

Almost everyone knows that eating chocolate can automatically boost energy levels. However, dark chocolate is recommended because it contains theobromine and it has less sugar. A study shows that the darker the chocolate, the less sugar and the more energy-boosting potential it has.

6. Blueberry

Blueberry

The blueberry has the highest antioxidant capacity of all vegetables and fruits and this earns it the title ‘superfood’. Antioxidants give us energy, mental agility and better cognitive function.

Contact 365 Vitamins on 0800-470-4835 to learn more.

Omega 3 for a Healthier Heart

heart

The heart is one of the most essential parts of the body. There are certain vitamin supplements that you can take, along with proper diet and exercise, to keep your heart healthy. Omega 3 is one of the most popular supplements, containing fatty acids that provide the following benefits:

Improved Heart Rhythms

Almost half of the cardiac mortality is due to uncontrolled heart rhythms. Omega 3 supplements help to stabilise the rhythm of the heart by moving its electrical activity. This supplement can also help to prevent various heart problems and diseases.

Improved Heart Rate

The heart rate refers to the number of beats of the heart per minute. Heart rates differ, depending on the age and fitness level of each individual. The normal heart rate is between 60 and 80 beats per minute but this usually increases as a person ages.  A physically fit individual has a lower heart rate and is at lower risk of suffering with heart problems. The regular intake of marine omega-3 can also help to lower the heart rate, while reducing the chances of other heart problems.

Reduced Blood Clotting

Blood clotting may result in heart attacks and strokes. Excessive tendencies of blood clots can also increase the risk of blocked arteries. Fatal incidents occur when a clot completely closes a blood vessel in the heart, lungs or brain. Omega-3 fatty acids reduce platelet clumping, improve blood flow and make the red blood cells more flexible so that they can easily pass through the small blood vessels.

Daily intake of Omega 3 (roughly 10grams a day) is required to prevent blood clotting and other possible problems. Blood thinners (anti-coagulants) are also advisable when taking Omega 3.

Less Inflammation

Inflamed blood vessels can lead their malfunction and heart disease. According to studies, too much protein CRP in our body can cause heart disease due to inflammation. Omega 3 fatty acids can reduce the protein CRP due to its anti-inflammatory benefits.

The proper intake of Omega 3 is important for the heart. 365 Vitamins offers a Pure Superba Krill Oil that contains a large amount of effective, pure and safe Omega 3 fatty acids. This wonder supplement is also good for the brain. Call us on 0800 470 4835 for more information.

The Importance of Vitamins in Our Body

importance of vitamins

Vitamins help the body to grow and develop. Our body can acquire vitamins from the food we eat. Alternatively they can be gained by taking vitamin supplements. However, our body has the ability to produce some vitamins such as Vitamins D and K. All vitamins have different functions for all our body parts and a lack of vitamins may result in poor immunity. Below is a list of some vitamins and their functions in the body:

Vitamin A. The proper intake of this vitamin will result in good eyesight. This vitamin contributes to healthier skin, hair and membranes. It strengthens the immune system and is also important for the development of bones, teeth and some cells. Food stuffs rich in vitamin A include orange and yellow vegetables like cantaloupe and carrots, while butter, eggs, milk and liver are also rich in vitamin A.

Vitamin B. With vitamins B1, B2, B6, B12 and many more, the function of this vitamin is to improve the metabolism of the body. Helping the body to properly digest food by excreting red blood cells which carry oxygen throughout the system, a vitamin B deficiency may result in weak muscles and cracked lips. It may also affect growth and may trigger problems in the nervous system. Foods that are rich in vitamin B include whole grains, beans, citrus foods, seafood and leafy vegetables. Health First supplies Advanced Vitamin B Complex supplements. The perfect blend of B vitamins can be attributed to increased energy levels and reduced tiredness.

Vitamin C. Also known as ascorbic acid, this vitamin also carries antioxidant properties. The main role of this vitamin is to produce collagen, a kind of protein that strengthens the bones, cartilage, muscles and teeth. Another function of this vitamin is to rapidly heal wounds and to keep the skin healthy. To prevent vitamin C deficiency you should include citrus fruits, strawberries, tomatoes and broccoli in your diet. You can also take a vitamin C supplement like Premium Vitamin C 1000mg, available at Health First. 

Vitamin D. This vitamin helps in the process of producing calcium and also phosphorous absorption. It controls the calcium movement from the bones to the blood and other parts of the body. Though vitamin D strengthens the bones, too much may be toxic to the body which can cause loss of appetite, headaches and weight loss. The presence of sunlight and enough ultraviolet light in our body is a good source of vitamin D. It can also be found in egg yolk, milk and fish liver oil. To supplement the Vitamin D requirements of the body, take one tablet of Premium Vitamin D3 1000 IU daily.

In order to keep our bodies strong and healthy, the proper vitamin intake, a good diet and exercise is very important.

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