Serotonin, pictured above, is a substance known to increase feelings of contentment, health, ease, good welfare and overall well-being. So much so that pharmaceutical industries developed a class of medication is called SSRIs that have resulted in billions of dollars of profits. Serotonin reuptake inhibitor‘s are a widely used class of antidepressants that increases our serotonin levels. This may result in feelings of increased happiness, emotional health and welfare and contentment.
Little do most people realize however, is that approximately 90% of the human bodies total serotonin is located in the enterochromaffin cells in the G.I. tract, where it regulates intestinal movements. About 8% is found in platelets and only 1 to 2% in the central nervous system.
If you eat healthy, you will not only feel better physically, you will feel better emotionally. About the only time that donut or sweetened soda makes you feel good is the instant is in your mouth. If you want to feel better for the other 99.9% of the day, eat a healthy diet.
Most of the serotonin in your body is found in your gut, not your brain. Serotonin is required there to promote healthy digestion. It’s also essential regulator of mood, sleep and bone health.
Nonmedical ways to increase the level of serotonin in your system and realize the multitude of benefits on your mood, brain function and gut health include diet and exercise. Most beneficial are probiotic or fermented type foods such as yogurt or tofu. Oily fatty fish that are high in omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon or tuna and leafy greens such as spinach and kale are very beneficial. Hi omega-3 free range eggs, nuts and seeds are essential as well.
Exercise is also well-known to increase our sense of well-being as well as our serotonin levels. This is accomplished by increasing your endurance and overall fitness, and by controlling your weight and making you stronger.
Time and again, it is shown that good physical and mental health are strongly related to a healthy diet and exercise.