Serotonin, 4 Things To Know About The Happiness Hormone

Last updated by Katie M.

Serotonin is part of the group of happiness hormones along with oxytocin, endorphins and dopamine. Although we all chase happiness, we are often unaware of the physiological mechanisms that enable us to improve our well-being. And yet, our body contains a whole production chain dedicated to serotonin. Let’s take a closer look at this incredible mechanism, how it works and its manufacturing secrets.

Serotonin, 4 Things To Know About The Happiness Hormone
 Contents:

What is the role of serotonin? - It's Mother Nature’s antidepressant

Produced from an amino acid (tryptophane), serotonin enables information to be transmitted from one neuron to another in our brain. It’s a neurotransmitter, mainly secreted by intestinal cells (95 %) but also by neurons in a part of the brain.

It acts on the central nervous system and is involved in the regulation of behaviors, moods, emotions, anxiety and learning. It is also involved in motivation, decision-making, sleep and some sexual and eating disorders. As you can see, serotonin plays an important role in our well-being. A serotonin deficiency is therefore linked to some forms of depression.

Serotonin and depression: a limited and difficult to quantify responsibility

Although we recognize that it has certain powers over our well-being, it is difficult to control. Indeed, the level of serotonin cannot be determined by taking a blood or urine sample. To do this, cerebrospinal fluid would have to be taken, and even if the procedure was possible, the analysis of its dosage wouldn’t reveal much. This is because low levels can be associated with depression, but only in certain people and for a certain form of depression.

➡ Some forms of depression have nothing to do with serotonin.

What causes a lack of serotonin?

There can be many causes:

➡ A weak production of serotonin can originate from: stress, lack of sunlight or even a vitamin B12 deficiency.

➡ A deficiency in tryptophane (amino acid) linked to a poor diet can also disrupt the workings of our production chain.

➡ Finally, the cause can also come from a dysfunction of the receptors that serotonin binds to.

What foods are rich in serotonin? The happiness production chain

We can never say it enough, happiness comes from our plates and a varied diet. How? We stimulate serotonin production by including tryptophane on the menu. Despite its unpleasant name, we regularly consume this amino acid without realizing. It’s present in foods such as:

➡ Wholegrain rice, eggs, dairy products, soya, meat, oily fish, cabbage, dark chocolate, bananas or even grains and nuts.

Carbohydrates to encourage the transportation of tryptophane to the brain

Carbohydrates are the best fuel for this: honey, dried fruits, legumes, cereals, quinoa, bread, rice, pasta (give priority to “whole meal” pastas for their fiber content), potatoes, corn, hot milk… These foods enable tryptophane to reach its destination without any problems.

Optimize the transformation of tryptophane into serotonin by boosting the enzymes involved

For this, we slip in:

➡ Vitamins B3, B6, B9, iron, zinc, calcium, magnesium, vitamin C

➡ Vitamin D, fish, eggs, dairy products

➡ Finally, it’s possible to stimulate the action of serotonin thanks to Omega 3 found in oily fish, seafood, rapeseed or linseed oil.

And what can I serve this to you with?

🍽️ Tryptophane: wholegrain rice

🍽️ Carbohydrate: lentils

🍽️ Vitamin D/ Omega 3: salmon

And for dessert, we’ll have some more tryptophane

🍽️ Banana and melted dark chocolate!

We’re talking about a recipe for happiness, there’s no doubt about that!

How can you increase your serotonin levels?

A 5-HTP supplement: no, it’s not a new Star Wars character! Behind this code name is actually an extract of a climbing plant of African origin: Griffonia Simplicifolia (and it’s not a spell from Harry Potter either!).

It’s an amino acid that our body naturally produces from tryptophan. Once the 5-HTP is absorbed, this amino acid joins the highway of happiness to be transformed directly into serotonin in our brains. Sport as well as meditation naturally boost serotonin production, as does sunbathing. That’s why we’re always happier in summer!


Editor's opinion: take care of yourself!

Prevention is better than cure, so take care of yourselves and this wonderful machine that is the human body by giving it the right fuel to function properly and contribute to your well-being. Eat a varied, balanced diet and follow our favorite motto: eat, move. If you’re feeling symptoms of depression or a certain unease, don’t hesitate to contact a professional. He or she will be able to give you advice adapted to your situation, and the little boost necessary to get back on the road to happiness.

More articles:

Article presented by Katie M.

🌻 Discover the world through my eyes.

Read our latest articles here:

The Unbearable Habit Of Cutting People Off, Let’s Put A Stop To It!

If there’s one thing I don’t like, it’s getting cut off when I’m talking. I get the impression that what I’m saying is of no importance to the person in front of me. So yes, maybe the person we’re talking to is afraid of forgetting their train of thought and rushes the words out of their mouth, but still. The icing on the cake? It’s when there’s no excuse and it happens all the time. What an unbearable habit cutting people off is!

Friendship Test: How Well Do You Know Your Friends?

One day I learned that one in two friendships wasn’t reciprocal. This figure is quite disturbing, but in the end, it’s not that surprising. When you become an adult, your priorities change, and sometimes you drift apart or make new friends... and forget others! To find out where you stand with your friendships or to get to know each other better, there’s a very effective method: 50 questions to get to know each other by heart and (re)connect.

How Can We Identify Repetitive Patterns And Get Out Of Them?

For a long time, I had the feeling that I was repeating the same mistakes. For example, on more than one occasion, I missed out on a career opportunity. All because I was convinced I was useless… Unfortunately, I bet I’m not the only one to have observed this kind of repetitive pattern. This kind of cycle is vicious, so how do you identify it and get out of it? Now that I’ve learned how to work on it, I’ll explain.

Is Not Giving A Damn The Secret To Happiness? Really?

I often get told to take things less to heart. I admit that as a hypersensitive person, I put my heart and soul into everything. Perhaps a little too much because that tends to generate anxiety. So in the end, is not giving a damn about anything the secret to happiness? Well, I’ve tried to delve into the subject with my research, and it’s not quite as simple as that. Here are some explanations.

Forbidden Love Story

“Deny thy father and refuse thy name; or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love, and I’ll no longer be a Montague.” I think everyone’s guessed where this quote comes from! It is, of course, Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. I’ve always loved this story of forbidden love, and I’m not the only one because this play has stood the test of time. On the other hand, I find it much less enjoyable to experience forbidden love. You don’t know whether it’s better to give up on it or get burnt... I’ll tell you all about it.

I Hate Having My Photo Taken, But Why?

One of my hobbies is photography. You’d think then that I’d be very comfortable in front of the camera, but no! The reason I do photography is to get behind the camera and take photos of other people. Ok, I sometimes take self-portraits, but as soon as someone else takes my photo, I hate it. I know I’m not the only one who feels this way, which is why I’ve decided to talk to you about it today.

Get to know me! 🌻

Our February Challenge: The Month Of Self-Love And Pampering

When we think of February, do we think... icy feet 😬? Okay, it's not particularly known for that (even though it's true). No, when we think of February, Valentine's Day comes to mind. However, this celebration feels too commercial, putting pressure on couples and making singles feel guilty about being solo. So, instead, we thought we could create a little self-care challenge for you.

Wengood's favorite tunes 🎵

Wengood's playlist

wengood

  1. Only LoveBen Howard
    4:08
  2. Invalid date
  3. Fix YouColdplay
    4:55
  4. Beautiful DayU2
    4:08
  5. Thinking out LoudEd Sheeran
    4:41
  6. White FlagDido
    4:00
  7. Lay Me DownSam Smith
    4:13
  8. Nine Million BicyclesKatie Melua
    3:15
  9. Put Your Records OnCorinne Bailey Rae
    3:35
  10. Summertime SadnessLana Del Rey
    4:24
  11. Imagine - Remastered 2010John Lennon
    3:07
  12. Shake It OutFlorence + The Machine
    4:37
  13. Space Oddity - Love You Til Tuesday versionDavid Bowie
    3:46
  14. What A Wonderful WorldLouis Armstrong
    2:19
  15. With Or Without YouU2
    4:56
  16. HelloAdele
    4:55
  17. Don't Stop Me NowQueen
    3:29
  18. Skinny LoveBirdy
    3:21
  19. WingsBirdy
    4:12
  20. Californian SoilLondon Grammar
    3:41

How to detect a narcissist

How to detect a narcissist

How to soothe an anxiety attack

How to soothe an anxiety attack