How can you increase the serotonin level?

The neurotransmitter serotonin not only has a mood-boosting effect as the "happiness hormone", as it is popularly known, but also fulfills many other important tasks in the body. For this, sufficient serotonin must be available in the body. If this is not the case, health problems of a physical and psychological nature can occur. However, this does not have to be the case, because there are various ways to increase the serotonin level.

How to increase the serotonin level?

Serotoninspiegel erhöhen

In severe diseases associated with low serotonin levels, serotonin is increased by special drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). They prevent the reuptake of the released serotonin into the cells, which increases the serotonin level and brings various positive effects on health and well-being. However, serotonin levels can also be increased without drug support [1].

A simple measure to increase serotonin levels is a balanced diet with foods whose ingredients support serotonin production and in this way increase serotonin levels. Nuts, meat and other animal products as well as certain fruits and vegetables such as pineapple, avocado, bananas, dates, figs, chickpeas and prunes are particularly suitable for this purpose. Alternatively, there are supplements such as serotalin, which contain 5-HTP, the precursor to serotonin.

Sports or regular exercise also have a positive effect on serotonin levels. Why this is so has not yet been definitively clarified. It may be due to the interaction between serotonin release and positive mood. This is because serotonin not only produces a good mood, but feelings of well-being and happiness can apparently also increase serotonin levels [2]. This effect is known from laughter therapy, for example, but also from shared experiences with other people.

General well-being also includes reducing stress and incorporating moments of relaxation into everyday life, for example through meditation [3]. This, too, can theoretically increase serotonin levels.

When do serotonin levels increase?

Serotoninspiegel steigern

Serotonin production takes place primarily during the day, because daylight stimulates the production of the neurotransmitter and causes serotonin levels to rise. When it gets dark, the processes in the body change, then serotonin is converted into the sleep hormone melatonin. This is one explanation for why many people feel more tired and listless in winter - the dark season - and suffer more often from depressive mood ("winter blues"). In addition, diet, exercise, relaxation and good mood can also help to increase serotonin levels.

Conclusion on increasing serotonin levels

The neurotransmitter serotonin is essential for the smooth functioning of various bodily functions and processes. Therefore, it is important to have enough serotonin available to the body. If not, the serotonin level can be increased - depending on the type, cause and extent by drug treatment or by dietary supplements, a different diet, more exercise, less stress and more positive mood.