Serotonin Supports Good Mood with Food

The days are getting shorter, the air is getting colder, and let’s be real—we’re all ready for a beach vacation. The past eight months have been a lot to shoulder and many of us are experiencing an increase of symptoms related to burnout, anxiety, and depression.

We at garten want to equip you with some simple ways to support the development of serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that supports mood regulation, memory, and healthy digestion. 90% of serotonin is produced in our intestines. With the seasons changing in an-everything-but-normal year, it’s likely we could use a little boost in things that make us feel good.

Here are 5 tips to boost your serotonin levels:

  1. Exercise daily – outside is even better! We all know we should move more as part of our health. If you don’t have a regular exercise routine, start by taking a 30-minute walk daily. One trick that works is building rules like no coffee before your workout is done. Give it a try and see how you feel! 
  2. Stay hydrated to support gut health. Drinking enough water is challenging when you’re in back to back zoom calls and juggling life, but just like plants need water to survive, we need water to function properly. Ideally, we should be drinking half of our body weight in ounces daily. If that’s too much, start by making sure you’re finishing one bottle a day, then move to two, and keep building up to your goal. 
  3. Eat serotonin rich foods such as salmon, sweet potatoes, blueberries, and bananas. A diet rich in L-tryptophan is especially beneficial. Foods rich in nutrients such as magnesium, zinc, folic acid, fish oils, vitamins C and B6 help us use serotonin more effectively. 
  4. Try a meditation practice. At garten, we take 20 minutes daily for a Purposeful Pause. Many of our teammates use this time to meditate and it helps keep us focused and productive. It’s also a great way to reduce stress and keep your serotonin levels up.
  5. Take time to play. As adults, we often think we don’t have time to play or that it’s simply unproductive and useless. However, more and more research is coming out that proves play is vital to problem-solving, creativity, and relationship building. This week, take time to do something that brings you joy.

Our fall snack rotation includes snacks with ingredients that help support a good mood. Be on the lookout for those snacks and work to incorporate them into your regular diet. 

While you’re building your meal plan, add this recipe to your rotation. Snap a picture of your plated dish, tag us on social media, and use #gutgarten for a chance to win a free snack box!