6 Natural Ways to Boost Serotonin Without Taking Medicine

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6 Natural Ways to Boost Serotonin Without Taking Medicine

6 Natural Ways to Increase Serotonin Without Taking Medication

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter, or chemical messenger, that regulates mood and digestion among other bodily functions.

It is also famous for:

  • aiding in the regulation of circadian rhythms to promote restful sleep
  • aiding in appetite control
  • improving memory and learning
  • helping to promote positive emotions and prosocial behavior

If your serotonin levels are low, you may:

  • Feeling jittery, down, or sad
  • feeling irritated or hostile
  • if you're having trouble sleeping or if you're tired
  • feel irrational
  • a reduction in appetite
  • suffer from nausea and stomach problems
  • sweets and carbohydrate-rich foods are on your mind

Continue reading to discover about natural strategies to boost serotonin levels.

1. Food

You can't get serotonin directly from food, but you can receive tryptophan, an amino acid that your brain converts to serotonin. High-protein foods, such as turkey and salmon, are high in tryptophan.

However, due to the blood-brain barrier, it's not as simple as eating tryptophan-rich meals. This is a protective sheath that surrounds your brain and regulates what enters and exits it.

In a nutshell, foods that are high in tryptophan are frequently also high in other amino acids. These other amino acids are more likely than tryptophan to pass the blood-brain barrier because they are more plentiful.

However, there may be a way to circumvent the mechanism. According to research, combining carbs with foods high in tryptophan may enable more tryptophan reach your brain.

Consume 25 to 30 grams of carbs with tryptophan-rich foods.

2. Exercise

Exercising causes tryptophan to be released into your bloodstream. It may also reduce the amount of other amino acids in the body. More tryptophan will be able to enter your brain as a result of this.

Aerobic exercise at a level you're comfortable with appears to have the most impact, so dust off those roller skates or sign up for a dancing class. The objective is to raise your heart rate.

The following are some other useful aerobic exercises:

  • swimming
  • bicycling
  • brisk strolling
  • jogging
  • trekking in a gentle manner

3. Bright light

According to ResearchTrusted Source, serotonin levels drop after winter and rise in the summer and fall. The known impact of serotonin on mood lends credence to a link between this discovery and the prevalence of seasonal affective disorder and mental health issues associated with the seasons.

Spending time in the sun tends to help boost serotonin levels, and study into this theory implies that your skin may be able to produce serotonin.

To get the most out of these advantages, try to:

  • Every day, spend at least 10 to 15 minutes outside.
  • Take your exercise outside to help maximize the serotonin boost that exercise provides — just remember to wear sunscreen if you'll be out for more than 15 minutes.

You can still enhance serotonin with bright light exposure from a light therapy box if you live in a rainy area, have a hard time getting outside, or are at high risk for skin cancer. These are available for purchase online.

Before using a light box, talk to your therapist if you have bipolar disorder. Some people have developed mania after using one incorrectly or for too long.

4. Supplements

Several dietary supplements may help stimulate serotonin production and release by increasing tryptophan levels.

Consult your healthcare provider before using a new supplement. Make sure they know if you're also taking:

  • Medication on prescription
  • over-the-counter (OTC) drugs
  • supplements and vitamins
  • herbal treatments

Choose supplements from a reputable company whose product quality and purity can be researched. According to research, these substances may help boost serotonin levels and alleviate depressive symptoms:

Pure tryptophan

Supplements with tryptophan contain far more than food sources, making it more likely to reach your brain. Although additional research is needed, a small 2006 study indicated that tryptophan supplementation may have an antidepressant effect in women. Learn more!


SAMe looks to help enhance serotonin and may help with depression symptoms, but don't combine it with other serotonin-boosting supplements or drugs, such as antidepressants and antipsychotics. Learn more!


This pill enters your brain readily and produces serotonin. It was just as effective as antidepressants for patients with early signs of depression, according to a small 2013 trial. However, additional studies on 5-HTP for raising serotonin and lowering depressive symptoms have produced conflicting results. Learn more!

St. John’s wort

While this pill appears to help some people with depressive symptoms, research hasn't demonstrated consistent effectiveness. It may also not be suitable for long-term use. It's worth noting that St. John's wort can make several prescriptions less effective, including cancer therapies and hormonal birth control.

St. John's wort should not be taken by anyone who are taking blood coagulation medication since it interferes with the drug's effectiveness. It's also not a good idea to take it with medications that raise serotonin levels, such as antidepressants. Learn more!

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