Serotonin, or 5-hydroxytryptamine, is an important hormone produced by our brain, and also a neurotransmitter, which transfers impulses and nerve signals between nerve cells. It is very important substance fore our overall health and well being, as well as for normal function of digestive system, blood circulation and brain. Serotonin plays a role for stimulating our learning abilities, as well as for improving our muscle tone and our abilities to move.
However, the main function of this hormone is to improve our mood, protect us against mood swings and lower the risks of developing such conditions as depression, suicidal thoughts, sadness, aggression and so on. Correspondingly, as lack of serotonin can lead to depressions, increased sensitivity to stresses and emotional instability. In such case, a person can’t cope with stresses properly, gets easily irritated and depressed, goes aggressive without any reason and can’t keep an emotional balance for a long period of time.
In order to stimulate serotonin production in the body, it is necessary to consume the foods rich in such substances as tryptophan and other amino acids, which have a property to stimulate serotonin manufacturing. Serotonin is essential for our normal function as the main hormone responsible for our mood, emotions, sleeping and other factors. When we consume a lot of foods with tryptophan, our body starts producing more serotonin and catches the connection between the good mood and tryptophane supply. That is why when we are stressed out or depressed, most of us experience cravings for chocolate and other foods high in tryptophan.
Serotonin production in our body is closely linked to production of other important hormones. For example, dopamine is also produced in our brain and is responsible for our energy levels, abilities to react, experience pain and pleasure, move and so on. Another important hormone, melatonin, is an antipodes of serotonin, cos’ it is responsible for our good sleep. These two hormones are strictly connected between each other as melatonin can be produced from serotonin. Therefore, most of us tend to experience insomnia when we are depressed.