What is Serotonin?
Serotonin is a biochemical neurotransmitter, a type of chemical that helps relay signals from one area of the brain to another. Although serotonin manufactured in the brain, where it performs it’s primary functions, most of the supply can be found in our central nervous system, gastrointestinal tract and platelets.
Serotonin is believed to influence a wide variety of psychological functions and other body functions seeing that most of our brain cells are influenced by serotonin. Some of the outcomes include general mood, sleep, learning capabilities and memory, sexual desire and function, and social behavior.
It is mostly known as “the hormone of happiness” (despite not being a hormone), for being a high contributor to the feelings of well-being.
Serotonin and Anxiety
Researchers have discovered that serotonin and anxiety are a major cause of depression. The imbalance in serotonin levels (serotonin deficiency) may influence mood in such a way, which causes depression. Other possible problems may include low production of serotonin, serotonin deficiency, inability for receptor sites to receive serotonin or a shortage of tryptophan; chemical from which serotonin is produced.
Researchers have also discovered that there is a direct relation between serotonin and anxiety, and that serotonin deficiency can also lead to panic attacks, anger rages and anxiety disorders.
Serotonin and Anxiety Diet
An anxiety diet cannot directly supply serotonin to the body. It can however increase the levels of tryptophan, the amino acid from which serotonin is produced.
Tryptophan can be found in natural sources such as protein-rich foods. This includes beef, liver, meat and chicken, fish, soya protein, brown rice, peanuts and nuts, pumpkin, sesame seeds, lentils, dairy products such as cheese and milk. That is why a glass of warm milk before bed is the ideal solution for a good night sleep.
It is also important to balance the intake with the Vitamin B6 sources (meat, whole grain products, vegetables and nuts) as it is the Vitamin B6 that influences the rate at which tryptophan is converted to serotonin.
Exercise, Serotonin and Anxiety
It has not yet been proved that exercise can raise the levels of serotonin in your body, but however, it has been proved that it is a great contribution to change your mood. Regular exercise is as effective as, and is the equivalent to treatment for depression, antidepressant medication or psychotherapy.
Best Tip to End Anxiety
My best tip to help you end your Anxiety for good, and which helped for me, is to combine a serotonin and anxiety diet with exercise and a self-help program.
I used to suffer from anxiety disorder, and almost daily panic attacks, and ever since I began a regime of healthy dieting, 40 minutes of exercise 3 times a week and guided help, my anxiety levels dropped almost instantly, and were completely eliminated 5 weeks later.
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