Serotonin Rich Foods

A hormone that is produced between the digestive tract and the brain, serotonin also functions as a neurotransmitter. The primary role of serotonin is to help you in feeling calm and relaxed, in promoting sleep and causing blood vessels to constrict or narrow. People who have decreased levels of serotonin develop problems of insomnia, depression or both. Can serotonin secretion be influenced by our diet? Yes, it is influenced, but in an indirect way. Unlike foods rich in calcium that help in directly increasing the levels of calcium in blood, no foods are present that can directly raise the supply of serotonin. However, there are certain foods and some nutrients that can cause an increase in the amino acid tryptophan levels which is a precursor to serotonin.

Serotonin Rich Foods

The foods described in the following section have varying amounts of tryptophan present in them. Tryptophan is a type of essential amino acid that is used by the brain to make serotonin. Moreover, the nutrients present in these foods are also effective in relieving depression. Let us discuss some of these foods:



Foods High in L-tryptophan

Turkey, duck, peanuts, legumes, dairy products including cheese and milk, chickpeas, almonds, pine nuts, pistachios, Brazil nuts, pecans, hazelnuts, cashew, macadamia nuts, walnuts, whole grains, brown rice, pineapple, figs, avocado, spinach, potatoes, radish, beets, blue-green algae, bananas, fennel, soy products including tofu, tempeh, soy milk, miso and natto.

Foods High in Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Flax seeds and oil, chia seeds, hem seeds and oil, walnuts, fatty fish including sardines and mackerel.

Foods High in Glutathione

Garlic, walnuts, squash, potatoes, carrots, asparagus, okra, spinach, broccoli, purslane, apples, avocados, tomatoes, and grapefruit.

Iron-rich Foods

Spinach, organic, grass-fed beef, collards, bok-choy, kale, swiss chard, broccoli, lettuce, seeds, nuts, sprouts, and dried fruits.

Magnesium-rich Foods

Eggs, milk, leafy greens, seaweed, cacao, bananas, orange, peanuts, tree nuts, corn, whole grains, cheese, milk and white fish.

Calcium-rich Foods

Salmon, sardines, cheese, yoghurt, skimmed milk, eggs, soy, sesame seeds, artichoke, dried figs, green leafy vegetables, watercress, soy products, cabbage, peanuts, tree nuts, pumpkin seeds, lima beans, peas, orange, kelp, grapes, strawberries, avocado and kiwi.

Zinc-rich Foods

Nuts, pumpkin seeds, wheat germ, sunflower seeds, parsley, oatmeal, steak, oysters, and egg yolk.

Vitamin B3-rich Foods

Cheese, lean meat, whole grains, chest nuts, artichoke, tree nuts, lima beans, broccoli, potatoes, mushrooms, watermelon, squash, sweet potatoes, bananas, peaches, cantaloupe, avocado, and brewer’s/nutritional yeast.

Vitamin B6-rich Foods

Bananas, wheat germ, avocado, watermelon, carrots, Brussels sprouts, potatoes, beans, whole grains, green leafy vegetables, fish, chicken.

Folate-rich Foods

Black-eyed peas, wheat germ, tree nuts, peanuts, orange, bananas, strawberries, kiwi, cantaloupe, avocado, blackberries, bananas, dark green vegetables, tomatoes, green bell pepper, asparagus, liver and carrots.

Vitamin C-rich Foods

Cabbage, cauliflower, potatoes, sweet peppers, guava, black currants, strawberries, acerola cherries, goji berries, mango, raw cacao, parsley, nettle, camu-camu, dark green vegetables (leafy and cruciferous) and citrus fruits such as orange, grapefruit, and lemon.