The Happiness Hormone
A few days ago I mentioned serotonin – Why? And what does that have to do with Sugar?
Well, when it runs low, people tend to get the blues and can relapse back into addictions (e.g. sugar, alcohol, caffeine abuse) or just never get out of them.
I was attracted to kicking sugar for that very reason. Our family history has some icky mood disorders that I wanted to see if I could stop. The sugar and some booze addiction in my family tree was symptomatic of something much deeper… I wanted to end it so my grand kids would never be touched by that hellish curse.
Did you know the Happiness Hormone – Serotonin plays an important role in:
The tone of your blood vessels
Perception of pain
And even the health of mucus membranes of your stomach and intestines
AND can also mess with:
Endocrine system (hormones)
Kind of important. Think?
However, it is TRICKY to raise serotonin levels. I want to write a blog worthy piece on this soon but for now, here’s what you want to do to get a handle on it:
1. Pick foods that are high in tryptophan (i.e.turkey, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds), as tryptophan is a precursor to serotonin. Without it, you CANNOT raise your Happy Hormone level.
2.Eat foods with vitamin B6 such as: spinach, turnip greens, garlic, cauliflower, mustard greens, celery, fish (especially tuna, halibut, salmon, cod and snapper), poultry (chicken and turkey).
The B vitamins play a GIANT brain health role in the manufacture of ALL your neurotransmitters (including serotonin) – but especially B6! Take a B Complex supplement if needed (made from plants).
3. EAT small amounts of these complex (slow) carbs:
Artichokes, asparagus, beets, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, cucumbers, eggplant, green beans, kale, leeks, mushrooms, mustard greens, peppers, pumpkin, radishes,
spinach, squash, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, amaranth, buckwheat, millet and quinoa. These are healthy, HIGH protein carbohydrates and small amounts are critical to boosting serotonin. Best to eat with fermented veggies,land vegetables and ocean vegetables.
Be Warned: Our ‘kicking all carbs to the curb’ culture has likely caused other issues… such as mood imbalance.
4. Eliminate/replace refined sugar (or reduce it) – If you have low serotonin, you likely have intense cravings for sugar.
Your body will actually trick you into eating sugar (sweets) to produce insulin. Why? It is desperate to help tryptophan go into your brain. Seems strange I know. But too much sugar leads to addiction to it. AND then insulin resistance (hypoglycemia, type 2 diabetes) is the eventual aftermath.
Do satisfy your sweet tooth with “Just Like Sugar” (chicory/inulin), Sweet leaf Stevia or Lakanto Maple Syrup instead, rather than denying it.
These will give you satisfaction, zero calories and not raise blood sugar!
PS Try the above for 30 days. If your Happy Moods are ‘under the weather’, you may find yourself feeling more cheery in days to come. Let us know!