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.

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