5 FAST FACTS FRIDAY: SEROTONIN
Did you see this week’s Motivational Monday post? If you have, you know that we mentioned that physical activity has been linked to increased serotonin levels, which sometimes gets confused with endorphins. To clear things up, we’ve decided to make this week’s 5 Fast Facts post about serotonin.
1) Serotonin, like endorphins, is a chemical produced in the brain, and its production is usually closely correlated to endorphins.
2) However, serotonin has a much milder effect of happiness and security, while endorphins give you feelings of ecstasy.
3) Serotonin affects more than mood. It’s also been linked to social behavior, appetite, digestion, sleep, memory and sexual desire.
4) 80-90% of the serotonin in your body can be found in your gastrointestinal tract, and it cannot cross the blood-brain barrier. This means that any serotonin found in the brain must be produced there.
5) To boost your serotonin levels (and in effect your mood), you can spend a little time outdoors, collecting vitamin D from the sun.
Exercise also helps, and so does your diet. Foods with higher levels of tryptophan, like eggs, cheese, pineapple, tofu, salmon, nuts, seeds, and turkey. Happy Friday!