7 foods to increase serotonin that help balance mood


Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that plays a crucial role in mood regulation. Incorporating these 7 foods into your diet can help increase serotonin levels naturally and promote a balanced mood. Learn more about these serotonin-boosting foods here.

Serotonin is one of the main neurotransmitter within the human brain. It is, along with dopamine, one of the most popular neurotransmitters in recent times due to its role in regulating mood or sleep, among other things, and its impact on mental health. Low levels of serotonin affect us by making us more negative and pessimistic, increasing irritability or anxiety, and in more extreme cases, playing a significant role in depressive disorders, insomnia, etc. The presence of serotonin in our body is crucial for the proper functioning of other neurotransmitters such as dopamine or norepinephrine, as well as in the production of melatonin.

What does serotonin do?

Our body synthesizes serotonin from tryptophan, an essential amino acid that must be provided through diet as it is a component of proteins. But there’s more: “The brain can only absorb tryptophan when combined with carbohydrates,” explain the experts at Cean Psychiatrists. An increased level of glucose in the blood stimulates the production of insulin, and insulin in turn makes the neurons in the brain receptive to tryptophan, from which the brain creates serotonin. In addition, to synthesize serotonin, the body needs, in addition to tryptophan, Omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, and zinc.

7 foods that increase serotonin levels

To increase serotonin levels in your brain, you need to include these foods in your diet:

Foods rich in tryptophan

1. Eggs. The yolk is especially rich in tryptophan.

2. Dairy (milk or cheese). In addition to tryptophan, they provide magnesium.

3. Skinless poultry such as chicken or turkey is not only lean but also abundant in vitamin B.

4. Nuts (walnuts, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, almonds, and peanuts). They also provide magnesium and/or zinc.

5. Fish. Bluefish provides tryptophan, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids.

6. Legumes. Rich in plant proteins.

7. Fruit (banana, pineapple, or avocado).

Foods rich in Omega-3

• Salmon
• Bluefish (sardines)
• Nuts

Foods rich in magnesium

• Cocoa
• Legumes
• Nuts
• Cereals (wheat and rice)

Foods rich in zinc

• Meat
• Fish
• Seafood
• Nuts
• Eggs
• Legumes


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