What is Serotonin?
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter and a hormone located in your brain and your digestive system. Approximately 95% of your body's serotonin is produced in the gut.
- Serotonin maintains homeostasis within your body by stabilizing your mood. A lack of serotonin in the body can result in depression and anxiety.
- Sleep, appetite, and digestion are all regulated by serotonin. Low levels of serotonin can also be a cause of osteoporosis, irritable bowel syndrome, and cardiovascular disease.
What are symptoms of low serotonin levels?
Shivering, Diarrhea, Headaches, Confusion, Dilated Pupils, Goosebumps, Depression, and Insomnia
How to naturally increase levels of Serotonin
- Consume more Tryptophan: Tryptophan is the essential amino acid and precursor to serotonin (found in eggs, cheese, turkey, nuts, salmon, tofu, pineapple, and red meat).
- Get regular exercise: Exercise has mood-boosting effects. Low-intensity exercise increases the growth of nerve cells in the brain. The growth of nerve cells improves the function of the brain which in turn, makes you feel better.
- Reduce Stress: Stress on the body leads to elevated levels of cortisol, which reduces the amount of serotonin produced by the body. Activities such as meditation and yoga can help reduce stress and boost your mood naturally.
Source: Evrensel, A., & Ceylan, M.E. (2015). The Gut-Brain Axis: The Missing Link in Depression. Clinical Psychopharmacology and Neuroscience, 13(3), 239-244. https://doi.org/10.9758/cpn.2015.13.3.239