Serotonin...How to Boost it & What to Eat so Happiness Heals the Brain

The happiness starter pack. In addition to taking BLISS, try these helpful hints:

Get enough vitamin B6– since you must acquire this very important vitamin from your foods (or supplements), here are some vitamin B6-rich options: spinach, turnip greens, garlic, cauliflower, mustard greens, celery, fish (especially tuna, halibut, salmon, cod and snapper), poultry (chicken and turkey) and lean beef tenderloin

  1. You’ll be delighted to know that the many fermented foods and beverages contain beneficial microflora that manufacture B-Vitamins right down inside you…right at the gut wall so they assimilate quickly.
  2. Try- Amaranth, buckwheat, millet and quinoa seeds that have grain-like taste and properties. These are healthy, high-protein carbohydrates and small amounts of the right carbohydrates are critical to boosting serotonin.
I strongly suggest you have one of these grain-like seeds with organic vegetables. This nice dose of serotonin in the early evening will help you sleep better at night.

When you eat grain-like seeds in the late afternoon or early evening for your dinner meal…when blood sugar may be low…you will find the effects are especially helpful for boosting your mood and for combating the desire to over eat.
These grain-like seeds also provide important B vitamins. As just mentioned B vitamins play a critical role in brain health and in the manufacture of all your neurotransmitters including serotonin.  Vitamins B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin) and B6 (pyridoxine) as well as vitamin D, folic acid and selenium plus calcium, and magnesium are needed to make serotonin.

  1. For protein meals: focus on digestion and food combining – Eating foods that are high in protein – and specifically have a higher percentage of tryptophan (like turkey, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds), will provide much needed tryptophan, the precursor to serotonin. But beware: research shows that eating protein with simple carbohydrates actually works against your ability to make serotonin.  In essence, when eating tryptophan proteins for serotonin production in the evening avoid simple carb veggies such as white potatoes, peas, corn and carrots.
I recommend the principle of food combining, which reinforces your body’s ability to make serotonin AND improves your ability to digest protein(with complex carbs).  Eating a high animal protein diet alone does not help create more serotonin.

In fact, it can actually make things worse. This is because tryptophan competes with other amino acids to reach your brain. Unfortunately, tryptophan loses in this contest.  Quinoa, for example, is an excellent plant source of protein that also has those important B Vitamins.

  1. Include fermented foods and drinks in your diet– Fermented foods and drinks greatly assist in digestion and assimilation of all the important nutrients you need for serotonin. Additionally, they boost the nutrients in your food by at least a hundred fold. As mentioned above they manufacture those essential B vitamins that help with boosting your mood.  For instance...Microflora rich Dong Quai is an excellent fermented drink that supports your energy and mood AND decreases cravings for sugar.
  1. Get plenty of Exercise– Researchers have found that exercise boosts serotonin. Even gentle exercise like walking and stretching 30 minutes a day can boost your immunity and mood.
  2. Get massages and other forms of body work– We’ve heard about the healing power of touch, but now research backs it up! A study conducted by the Touch Research Institutes at the University of Miami School of Medicine shows that massage increases serotonin by 28% and decreases cortisol (the stress hormone) by 31%.4
  3. Have fun in the sun– Early morning sunlight is more intense and this can boost your body’s production of melatonin in the evening. Serotonin converts to melatonin for a great night’s sleep. Getting outside for a 20-minute walk in the early morning sunlight can boost your mood and improve your sleep!
  4. Relax– prolonged physical or emotional stress produce adrenaline and cortisol, which interfere with serotonin. It’s very common in today’s modern world to try to fit an overwhelming amount of work and errands into a day or week. This creates chronic stress. Shifting your lifestyle and adding 15 minutes of relaxation into your day periodically can make a huge difference.
  5. Eliminate sugar (or at least drastically reduce sugar)– If you have low serotonin, you may have intense cravings for sugar. This is your body’s way of trying to increase serotonin because eating sugar produces insulin, which helps tryptophan go into your brain. However, too much sugar can eventually cause addiction to sugar, insulin resistance, hypoglycemia and type 2 diabetes.
Instead, satisfy your sweet tooth in a healthy way with Stevia or Lakanto. Both of these sweeteners are zero calories, do not raise blood sugar (insulin), don’t feed candida and actually benefit your health!


Doing this naturally means you may have to shift many long-standing habits. Even baby steps towards changes in your eating habits can offer big rewards. Rewards like feeling better, sleeping better and feeling like your mind is more clear. This is nature’s gift to us.
It is often said we are spiritual beings having a human experience. As humans, we are NATURAL beings. Our bodies have not evolved much over the last 100 years, but our lifestyles, technology, manufactured foods, personal care products and environment have changed dramatically. Sometimes this means we have to go back to basics…back to nature…to create our best health.
You owe it to yourself to create healthy habits that will keep you feeling energized and vibrant for the long-term!


Chase Your Dreams
Aina D

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