On this page, we will look at food and serotonin, specifically the food that increases it, food high in serotonin. We will discuss the basic food to eat in order to increase the levels of serotonin in the body. So if you have been asking yourself about which foods have serotonin, you have come to the right place.
Take some time to read through to the end. We may not have a very long serotonin food list but we do highlight vital foods to eat.
Let us start by providing a brief review explanation of the process of the effect of food on serotonin levels in the body. As you consume food with serotonin-like carbohydrates, a hormone called insulin is secreted. This causes the blood level of most amino acids (used to build proteins) to be lowered except for tryptophan, which is a precursor to serotonin. So this increased tryptophan in relation to the other amino acids results in an increased production of serotonin
One thing that is important to know is that the low availability of serotonin in the boy may stimulate food cravings. The smell, sight, or even expectation of food may trigger a release of serotonin in the hypothalamus. This is a part of the brain that is known to regulate sleep and feeding.
So as you take some food or rather as you eat, serotonin levels increase. The continuous increase will eventually register in the hypothalamus as that it is enough. This is when you will feel full. So if you didn’t know, the feeling of being full in your stomach is actually from the brain.
This means then that if there is enough serotonin in your body generated say by exercise or other activities, which we mention in this site, you will seldom be hungry – this means you will reduce your food intake and consequently food cravings.
On the other hand, if you decrease serotonin in the system, the activity you will tend to increase food consumption. This lack may even trigger some cravings for other things such as cigarettes, caffeine, and alcohol. These things may increase serotonin but only temporarily. This is why when taking alcohol, you may be on a high for a few hours and they fall into major depression or anger soon after. For cigarettes, the nicotine element will increase serotonin activity in some parts of the brain temporarily, and then when the serotonin activity falls, the craving for another cigarette occurs.
Food that increases serotonin
There are various foods that increase the level of serotonin in the body – mostly these are carbohydrate-rich meals. This is why most “junk” food tends to increase serotonin thus making people feel excited or happy e.g. after eating chocolate of some sugary snack.
This often does not last as the serotonin is broken down faster when obtained from such food substances. The other carbohydrate foods which are mostly recommended break it down slowly and may not be as much because of some inhibition in its production e.g. presence of protein in the food.
For example, If you want to indulge, a small piece of dark chocolate is something very special. It starts with the initial taste of sweet and slightly bitter. The sugar helps release serotonin. Then there are some alkaloids identified in chocolate that may also raise serotonin levels. The fat helps with the release of endorphins. If you add the caffeine in chocolate for a temporary stimulant effect, you will have the perfect food for stimulating your brains and hence your mood.
Following the above example might result in an eating disorder and excessive food cravings as each time the sugar levels drop in the body you will start to crave more junk food. So If you want to know the food to eat to increase the levels continue reading below.
You can eat some potato with its skin every night. This will help in raising the levels of serotonin in the body – do it just 3 hours before you go to bed. You can take them mashed, baked, roasted, or simply cut into fries. Just make sure that you eat them with the skin.
Just avoid eating food that has too much protein. Good complementary foods to your potato meal include salsa, butter, mustard, olive oil, or some spices. Do not, we repeat, do not eat them with cheese, bacon bits, sour cream, or cream of chicken soup.
Another food type that boosts the level is to take a low-fat bowl of cereals. Do also eat some vegetables.
Read more: Serotonin Defined: Understanding serotonin