1. Whole Grains Are Your Friend
Now, all whole foods are gonna have some amount of amino acids in them.
But in order for serotonin to get produced you need to have a higher percentage of tryptophan inside in your blood stream… Higher percentage than other amino acids that is…
Now, a very moderate amount of carbs will create this proper percentage. Whole grains certainly have tryptophan in them and their carbohydrate content also allows the tryptophan to be a high enough % so it can get to the brain where it is needed. Whole grains also contain B vitamins which help the tryptophan to be converted to serotonin.
2. Throw Out That Junk Food… (And Stimulants)
Stimulants / Junk Food such as, or in the same realm as Chocolate and Coffee create large amounts of serotonin, now in short, small, bursts of usage it is much less harmful… But continuing to use them actually interferes and stresses the body disrupting many natural processes, although most notably, insulin production…
3. Get Nutty… And… Seedy?
More people than not are deficient in omega 3 essential fatty acids all of which have been shown to increase brain functioning and moods. The brain is mostly made out of fatty acids. A super easy method of getting omega 3’s is with flax seeds and flax oils. Whole seeds and nuts have the benefit of containing protein and therefore have enough tryptophan to help out. You can learn more about the benefits of almonds, and other seeds and how to sprout them at Nuts & Seeds.
5. Eat Those Nanners…
Even fruits have amino acids in them and bananas are surprisingly high in tryptophan. That along with its natural sugars makes an ideal situation for creating serotonin. This is not why monkeys seem so happy but it sure doesn’t hurt! Dates and Papaya are also high in tryptophan, but most fruits have enough to make a difference. Any food with a sweet taste will have a calming effect on the nervous system beyond its carbohydrate content.
4. There’s Good Protein and Then There’s Mediocre Protein
One can’t talk about serotonin and tryptophan without talking about turkey. Many people have heard that the extremely high levels of tryptophan in turkey is what causes that relaxed tired feeling after a Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. Many researchers now think this is somewhat of an urban myth. A turkey dinner certainly would raise your serotonin levels but much of the effect is simply from the HUGE quantity of food consumed. Your body just needs to focus all its energy on digesting! Turkey and white meats are usually more balancing for your body than beef, port or other red meats. Lowly beans contain extremely high amount of balanced proteins plus provide many other benefits for your body and the environment.