The food that we eat can have an influence on our mood. There are certain foods that contain chemicals or nutrients that affect the functioning of our brain. Serotonin in particular is a chemical in the brain that affects our mood. Including foods in your diet that include tryptophan, which is an essential amino acid that can help your body increase its serotonin levels. Here are foods that you can include in your diet to support your body's production of serotonin:
Salmon is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which helps naturally increase your serotonin levels.
Eggs are another great option for increasing serotonin. An omelet with veggies makes for a healthy meal.
Dark Green Leafy Vegetables
Veggies such as spinach, kale, collard greens, and cabbage are excellent sources of tryptophan
Lean poultry such as chicken breast can be helpful in boosting your body's production of serotonin. Lean poultry is usually low in fat and high in protein.
Seeds & Nuts
Seeds aren't high in tryptophan as poultry, eggs, or oily fish. But, they are a great source of tryptophan and protein. Nuts are also a great source of protein, fiber, and healthy fats. They are a healthy option to snack on in between meals.
Although our diet can play a role in influencing our mood, it does not substitute for mental health treatment. If you are struggling with your mental health, it is always encouraged to seek support.
Markus CR, Firk C, Gerhardt C, Kloek J, Smolders GF. Effect of different tryptophan sources on amino acids availability to the brain and mood in healthy volunteers. Psychopharmacology. 2008;201:107–114.