Foods That Increase Serotonin

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter in the brain plays a role in mood and anxiety disorders. The most common antidepressants, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), work by blocking the absorption of serotonin (and sometimes other neurotransmitters) so that more is available in the brain. People who are interested in boosting their brain serotonin levels in other ways sometimes turn to diet, choosing foods that may help increase serotonin.

Carbohydrates

Foods and meals rich in carbohydrates make it easier for tryptophan, the precursor to serotonin, to enter the brain. Simple carbohydrates, like sugar and other refined carbs, increase serotonin levels most significantly, but the effect is fleeting. Complex carbohydrates like whole grains, beans, legumes, and whole fruits and vegetables provide a more gradual and longer-lasting effect.

Vitamin B6

The brain needs vitamin B6 in order to produce serotonin and other neurotransmitters. Foods rich in B6 include fish, chicken, pork, fortified cereals, bananas, peanut butter, beans, and a number of vegetables.

Dark Chocolate

Some studies have linked dark chocolate to increased serotonin levels, with 1 oz per day being a common recommendation. Dark chocolate should contain a high percentage of cocoa and little or no added sugar.

Photo: Pixabay

More Articles

Living with anxiety is no easy task; being able to reduce and control your anxiety makes handling the disorder easier. Whether or not the...

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, or OCD, is a mental disorder in which anxious thoughts repeatedly drive them to compulsive behavior. With Obsessive...

Anxiety medication is one of the effective treatments for anxiety disorders that have been developed through research. There are two types of...

Risperidone, an atypical antipsychotic sold under the brand name Risperdal, is a medication typically used to treat schizophrenia, manic...

The first step in managing anxiety stomach pain is determining the nature, and causes of your discomfort.

For the best treatment, anxiety...

More Articles

If you have any of the physical symptoms of anxiety listed below, please don't suffer any longer -- seek help immediately. Your first step is to...

Experiencing anxiety is not a mental health problem. Having what is sometimes called abnormal (neurotic) anxiety can indicate several things,...

Just because a thought visits your mind does not mean it is true. Negative thoughts about yourself and speculation about what’s going to happen...

Nardil, the brand name of the drug phenelzine, is the monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) most frequently prescribed for anxiety disorders. MAOIs...

The adrenal glands, located above the kidneys, produce a variety of essential hormones. When these glands don't produce enough of one or more of...

Tenormin (known generically as atenolol) is a beta blocker often used to control the physical symptoms of anxiety. Beta blockers are quite...

The terms stress and anxiety are used interchangeably by many people, and everyone will experience both at some point in their life. But although...

Living with anxiety is no easy task; being able to reduce and control your anxiety makes handling the disorder easier. Whether or not the...

Many people with anxiety or depression are interested in finding a "natural" treatment method that can help ease their symptoms. For some people,...

Dysthymia is a chronic depression that is less severe than major depression, but which can last for years at a time. While people with dysthymia...

If you're suffering from anxiety, one of the first things you should do is see a doctor to make sure your anxiety isn't a symptom of an underlying...

If you're contemplating starting medication for an anxiety disorder, you no doubt have discovered that there are literally dozens of prescription...

Anxiety medication is one of the effective treatments for anxiety disorders that have been developed through research. There are two types of...

Have you ever heard the expression, “A cup of probiotic yogurt a day helps keep anxiety at bay”?

Not likely since it was just made up, but...

While anxiety disorders in children are often overlooked, they are actually the most common childhood psychiatric problem. Children can suffer...