Hormones are very important for the body. Believe it or not, these chemical messengers can affect everything from how we look to how we feel. There are four hormones that play an important role in making us feel happy, namely serotonin, dopamine, endorphins and oxytocin.
The four hormones are included in the hormone ‘feel-good’ or the happiness hormone. To keep these four hormones in balance, it only takes a few simple adjustments to our lifestyle and they can also be obtained naturally. Reported Byrdie, following 8 ways to increase happiness hormones naturally according to experts.
Despite ample evidence pointing to the dangers of sun exposure, the fact is that getting a little sun can be beneficial to your health. Sunlight can stimulate the retinal receptors in the eye and cause serotonin stimulation. Sunlight can also stimulate the production of vitamin D, which the body uses to convert tryptophan to serotonin.
Add Tryptophan and Antioxidants in the Diet Menu
Spinach, a vegetable that contains tryptophan/Photo: Unsplash.com/Louis Hansel
Serotonin is also found in the intestines and helps regulate digestion. If we lack serotonin, we may experience digestive problems such as nausea and irritable bowels. Adding tryptophan and antioxidants to your diet can have a positive impact on your mood.
Tryptophan is a precursor for serotonin production. Antioxidants like polyphenols and vitamins can limit the inflammatory response that causes tryptophan breakdown. Some foods that contain tryptophan include tuna, salmon, nuts, seeds, dark green vegetables, milk and soy products.
Consume More Fermented Foods
Kimchi, fermented food/Photo: Unsplash.com/Portuguese Gravity
Fermented foods can improve gut health and elevate mood. Foods that are fermented include kimchi, yogurt, kombucha, kefir, tempeh, and miso.
Fermentation allows good bacteria to live in food and creates probiotics. These microorganisms support the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut and can increase serotonin levels. In fact, the gut microbiome produces up to 90 percent of the body’s serotonin.
Don’t Forget Protein
Protein source/Photo: Unsplash.com/Jason Leung
The food we eat can directly affect our hormone levels, including dopamine. According to experts, tyrosine and phenylalanine are amino acids found in protein-rich foods, such as turkey, beef, eggs, dairy products, soybeans, and nuts. Fava beans also have high levels of L-Dopa, which the body can use to produce dopamine.