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

Anxiety Support Groups

More Articles

Is it true that you can ease anxiety by relaxing with a soothing cup of tea? In general, tea is known for it's calming benefits. Sitting down with...

The University of Central Florida newspaper published an article about an interesting clinical trial at the UCF Anxiety Disorders Clinic in the...

Uncontrollable shaking can happen when your arms, hands, legs and even your entire body may feel shaky or like they are trembling.

Some...

Anxiety attacks, also known as panic attacks, are intense feelings of fear or stress that appear for no apparent reason and often begin without...

There are a lot of techniques and good advice available on how to overcome panic disorder, from watching what you eat and drink to changing the...

More Articles

Anorexia nervosa is a disease that tends to affect younger women, and cases have been on the rise for years. Now, analysis of a 3,000 person data...

You know that having an anxiety disorder affects your child’s peer relationships, but recent research indicates that not all anxious children have...

Catastrophe anxiety, or put just as well, catastrophic thinking, is a kind of anxiety disorder defined in Psychology Today as "ruminating about...

Stress and anxiety are largely a result of mental or emotional distress, causing feelings such as apprehension, fear, frustration, and anger....

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...

If you reach adolescence or adulthood with little or no self-confidence, what do you do? Faking it (confidence) until you make it is a stretch for...

It is true that what we eat affects our mood but also true that our mood affects how our food is digested. Thoughts, beliefs, feelings, and our...

We all know some people are better listeners than others. Excellent listeners give their full attention to whoever is talking. Those who are not...

Feelings of anxiety and stress cause a number of physical and chemical changes in the body, including the release of adrenaline and other hormones...

The expression "worried sick" caught on for a reason--it is not uncommon for anxiety to produce nausea as a symptom. Severe anxiety or fear cause...

Psychology professionals often recommend their clients adopt a pet as part of their mental health treatment. Or, they might prescribe structured...

If you suffer from a generalized anxiety disorder, you probably feel fearful a lot of the time. Don’t let fear and anxiety rule your life!...

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is a mix of mindfulness meditation and simple yoga poses. It has been proven to help people reduce...

The terms anxiety and stress are often used interchangeably, and it is true that they are related conditions with many of the same symptoms....

No one is immune to anxiety and panic attacks, including celebrities. Actress Amanda Seyfried recently told British Glamour magazine that she is...