Serotonin is the happy hormone, the secret to feeling content. It can also aid fat burning in the gut, according to new research from the Scripps Research Institute.
And the great news is you can eat your way to higher serotonin levels – yes, comfort eating is now officially a healthy move.
Here’s what you should add to the menu for a happier mind, body and gut.
“Almost 60% of our brains are made up of fat, and about half of that fat is omega 3 fatty acids found in fish,” says Dr Marilyn Glenville, nutritionist and author of Natural Alternatives to Sugar, “Omega 3 are needed for the brain cells to actually ‘pick up’ our neurotransmitters (i.e. serotonin) so they can be utilised by the brain cells for efficiently.” Add in olive oil for a super-rich omega boost.
An overload of bad bacteria in your gut can in turn lower your serotonin levels, so pop a probiotic. “Try Pro-Ven Adult Probiotic 25 Billion (£13.95, Boots),” says Nutritionist, Cassandra Barns, “This provides real benefits in supporting digestive and immune health.”
Turmeric contains the ingredient curcumin that has been shown to increase the absorption levels of serotonin and dopamine in the brain. Next month VictoriaHealth.com will launch the BetterYou Tumeric Oral Spray so that curcumin can whizz straight into the bloodstream.
“Magnesium plays a major role in the development of serotonin,” says Shona Wilkinson, nutritionist at Super Food UK. Try to include dark leafy greens, nuts, seeds, whole grains, chick peas, lentils and bananas in your diet, which all bring magnesium to the table.