Not a lot of people have a clear understanding of what exactly Serotonin is and what the main benefits are; so we thought we would shed some light on this topic! Serotonin is a neurotransmitter (although some believe it is a hormone) and sends signals between the nerves, regulating their intensity. It is made from the essential amino acid- tryptophan and plays an integral part in our wellbeing.
In simple terms, it is the chemical that keeps us happy :D.
So what are the benefits of the production of Serotonin other than helping with our happiness? Here goes…
- Regulates bowel function and movements
- Stimulates parts of our brain that control our sleep patterns
- Helps regulate our mood and social behaviour
- Aids digestion and appetite (therefore helps with our weight management)
- Regulate anxiety and reduce depression
- Heal wounds by causing tiny arteries to narrow, helping form blood clots
- Helps increase our memory
- Mood stabiliser
Ultimately it regulates our moods and promotes happiness from within.
So, how do we naturally boost our levels of Serotonin? We have you covered!
1- Sunshine: Have you noticed the difference in your mood during Winter and Summer? When our bodies are exposed to natural light, it helps produce Serotonin and therefore helps stabilise our mood and promotes happiness. That winter escape to a warmer climate is needed! Get that leave approved and say hello to the warmer weather!
2- Exercise: there’s nothing better than that post-exercise feeling when the endorphins hit, you feel energised and ready to kick start your day! Exercise is a natural boost and helps promote not only dopamine but Serotonin too. So despite it being tempting to hit that snooze alarm, just think about how good you will feel afterwards.
3- Diet: we’ve heard it all before, ‘you are what you eat’. When you consume foods that are high in tryptophan it can help produce Serotonin and ultimately increase your happiness levels! Think bananas, nuts, seeds, tofu, and pineapple.
4- Meditation: before you roll your eyes and use the excuse that you do not have time, hear us out. You do not need to sit and meditate for hours. A quick 5-10 minute meditation can be enough to kick start your morning and get the boost you need. It can help alleviate stress, calm down our mind and make us come back to a place of mindfulness. It can promote a positive outlook on life which ultimately boosts Serotonin levels. Hello happiness!
So now you can understand why we are obsessed with Serotonin and the benefits it has on our bodies!