Okay! Basically what is serotonin? It can be called as the happiness hormone. Serotonin gives a sense of wellbeing and happiness. It is a neurotransmitter. To put it in a more interesting manner, it acts like a radio tower conveying signals among cells called neurons. Approximately 40 million brain cells are influenced either directly or indirectly by this serotonin.
Serotonin is made by a unique biochemical process. Tryptophan is essential in the formation of serotonin. A diet rich in meat, chicken, turkey, dairy foods, tuna, soya beans, bananas and nuts can increase the level of tryptophan in the body .Can you guess why they eat turkey for Christmas?
Now what I am talking about is protein rich meal. You have to complement it along with a carbohydrate rich meal. I will tell you why? A carbohydrate meal triggers insulin which aids in the absorption of serotonin. The carbohydrate meal helps tryptophan to freely enter the brain and causes an increase in serotonin levels. Vitamin B6 speeds up the conversion of tryptophan to serotonin.
A deficiency in serotonin signals a wide range of health issues such as depression, addictions, epilepsy, obesity and eating disorders. Serotonin is also essential for the cardiovascular system, muscles and various elements in endocrine system. It regulates breast milk production. Talking about breast milk, scientists have found that the amount of bacteria in the gut during the early life was essential for our general health and mental wellbeing. Now, that is why it is essential to breast feed the baby.
One major factor to note about this serotonin is that the deficiency can cause sleep problems and aggressive and compulsive behaviour. In order to get good quality sleep eat dinner like a pauper, making the right choices of food because you won’t eat for another 10 hours or so. To maintain your cheerful composure and to better avoid being labelled as a grumpy person, make serotonin your best friend.
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Take care, Swarnam