In 2007, 15.4% of Australians aged 16 to 24 experienced an anxiety disorder. This is equivalent to 440,000 young people today. There are no statistics for 2016 but I’m sure this percentage has increased.
We at Whole Food Nutrition do not claim to fix mental health but we believe that the practice of Nutritional Medicine appeases most mental illness. 90 % of our feel good neurotransmitters are made in the gut. Serotonin is just one of these important neurotransmitters therefore good gut health is vital.
Serotonin and Gut Health
- Low serotonin levels are associated with anxiety. The majority of serotonin is produced in the gut, therefore if your gut is under-functioning chances are you are deficient in serotonin. Get good gut health to set you up.
- You also need many vitamins and minerals to produce serotonin, for example, vitamins B6, C, zinc, iron and magnesium.
- How do you know you have low serotonin?
- Are you stressed, worried or anxious?
- Do you have a busy mind and can’t switch off?
- Are you depressed?
- Do you crave carbohydrates?
- Are you dieting and restricting calories?
- Do you have sleep problems?
How to boost serotonin!
- Support gut health by eliminating food sensitivities and reducing inflammation.
- Manage your stress levels – this could be a massage or a run. Anything that you enjoy.
Eat a whole food diet.
- Eat complex carbohydrates – brown rice, brown basmati rice, barley, beans, lentils, oats, spelt/buckwheat pasta, sweet potatoes.
- Eat tryptophan rich foods – pumpkin seeds, turkey, brown rice, cottage cheese, sesame seeds, chia seeds.
- Eat Vitamin B6 rich foods – fish, chicken, sunflower seeds, dark green leafy veggies, bananas and avocados.
- Get out in the sunshine – Vitamin D enhances the utilization of serotonin in the brain.