Can food affect your happiness?

f2We can increase or decrease our happiness by what we eat. The magical ingredient? Serotonin.

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter and it affects our mood. It helps protect us against depression and anxiety. About 80% of the body’s total serotonin is in our gut in our enterochromaffin cells- where it regulates intestinal movements. It does not cross the blood brain barrier so serotonin that is used inside the brain must be produced within it.

So how do you get serotonin to increase?

Your body will make it by synthesizing the amino acid tryptophan (think turkey, cheese, beef). Tryptophan converts to 5 HTP (5-Hydroxytryptophan) which then converts to serotonin.

Serotonin blockers:

• Caffeine
• Alcohol
• Chronic Stress
• Artificial Sweeteners
• Grain based processed carbohydrates

Serotonin enhancers:

• Grass fed beef
• Turkey that grazes
• Organic free range eggs
• Nutritional yeast
• Milk products by grass fed cows
• Nuts and seeds
• Pumpkin
• Bananas
• Flax Seeds

So go ahead and serve some serotonin for dinner tonight and get the proper amino balance for a healthy serving of HAPPY!

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