Your body is a wonderful cocktail of neurotransmitters and hormones, all of them telling you how to behave and how to feel. While your life circumstances have a profound influence on the levels of these messengers in your system, what you eat affects them too. Boosting serotonin for fertility can help
While some foods contain a little serotonin, studies suggest it is difficult to raise your levels in the brain simply by eating more of these foods partly because it is difficult for serotonin to cross the blood-brain barrier. However, one way we can naturally boost levels is to consume more foods rich in the amino acid tryptophan, which is the building block for the production of serotonin.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
These foods include:⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
– seafood ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
In order to properly process tryptophan, though, and to turn it into serotonin, the body needs a helping hand in the form of carbohydrate. This helps the amino acids to cross the blood–brain barrier. Consuming a little slow releasing carbohydrate, for example oats, with a tryptophan-rich food, for example banana and nut butter, may be more effective. There’s more on the best type of carbohydrates to consume generally on pages 000–000.
Another way to increase levels of serotonin is to supplement your diet with 5-HTP. 5-HTP is the immediate precursor in the production of serotonin from tryptophan. Supplements of 5-HTP cross the blood–brain barrier more easily and can be an effective way of increasing levels of serotonin.
Other good mood nutrients
As well as 5-HTP and tryptophan, try to increase the following nutrients in your diet in a bid to keep your mood positive:
B-complex vitamins, especially vitamins B1 (thiamine), B6, B9 (folic acid) and B12, low levels of which have been linked to depression and low mood. The conversion of tryptophan to 5-HTP can be inhibited by a deficiency of vitamin B6 or insufficient magnesium, so make sure you are getting enough of these nutrients.
Zinc is also needed for the production of feel-good neurotransmitters so include plenty of zinc-rich foods like pumpkin seeds, seafood, fish and lean meat in your diet.
Omega-3 fatty acids have a role in the synthesis of serotonin and research suggests they can be helpful in boosting mood. They also help lower inflammation. Pro-inflammatory chemicals in the body cause greater production of enzymes that deplete tryptophan in the blood, which can result in serotonin deficiency in the brain and low mood.
A vitamin D insufficiency may contribute to general depression so make sure your levels are optimal.
Iron, which in low levels can lead to feelings of fatigue, poor cognitive function, apathy, irritability and sadness.
Check your thyroid function – low thyroid function has been linked to depression and low mood.
It’s important to say that we still need much more research on the delicate balance of macro- and micronutrients in the body and their effects on mood. So, while it’s important to boost all those tryptophan-rich foods and to make sure you’re eating plenty of carbohydrates, there’s certainly no need to become carbohydrate-rich, protein-poor. Instead focus on eating a balanced diet.