sinaumedia Literacy – The issue of mental health is becoming a hot topic of discussion, because in reality it is not only physical health that needs attention, mental health is just as important. Mental health itself is not only influenced by external factors but also internal ones such as hormones. The hormone that is predicted to play an important role in a person’s mental and emotional condition is the hormone serotonin. The existence of this hormone can affect the function of brain cells and ultimately result in a better mood, stress relief, and better quality of mental health. Check out a more complete explanation of the hormone serotonin below, Sinaumed’s!
KNOWING THE HORMONE SEROTONIN
There are at least four types of hormones that are always associated with ‘feeling happy’ namely dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin and endorphins. These four hormones have different functions but all four contribute to elevating mood, with serotonin playing a large role in changes in a person’s mood. A person who lacks serotonin is more at risk of developing psychological disorders, including depression and anxiety disorders.
Not only affecting mood, serotonin also plays a role in regulating circadian rhythms (sleep rhythms), regulating appetite, helping memory function, and digestive function. Serotonin itself is a chemical compound that can act as a neurotransmitter as well as a hormone. Serotonin is created by a biochemical process by combining various materials such as the amino acid tryptophan, protein components, and other chemical reactors. In addition to the brain, serotonin is also found in the intestines, so whatever you consume every day also greatly affects this hormone.
THE FUNCTION OF SEROTONIN FOR THE BODY
Know the function of serotonin in supporting your body’s daily work system, Sinaumed’s:
HELP THE FUNCTION OF THE DIGESTIVE SYSTEM
In the digestive system serotonin functions to regulate bowel movements. In addition, this one substance also plays a role in controlling one’s appetite. When you eat foods that are irritating or contain toxins, your intestines will produce more serotonin. This extra serotonin then helps the body get rid of these toxins so they are removed from your body more quickly.
During the blood clotting process, platelets release serotonin to help wounds heal. This substance will narrow the small arteries and slow down the flow until the blood clotting process.
Serotonin plays a role in increasing a person’s libido when levels are too low, but excessive levels of serotonin can also trigger a decrease in sexual desire. Therefore the balance of serotonin levels plays a very important role in controlling one’s sexual arousal.
CONTROLLING THE SLEEP CYCLE
Serotonin is also responsible for stimulating the part of the brain that controls when serotonin is low.
Serotonin is referred to as a body compound that is closely related to pleasure. Serotonin plays a major role in improving a person’s mood and making him feel happy.
Serotonin plays an important role in maintaining bone health and density. Research says that serotonin levels that are too high can increase the risk of osteoporosis. Even other research shows that antidepressant drugs, especially selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) can reduce bone mineral density, so that people who consume them are more at risk of experiencing fractures than those who don’t.
SIGNS OF YOUR BODY LACK OF SEROTONIN HORMONE
What happens if the body lacks serotonin? Generally, the normal level of serotonin in the blood is around 101 to 283 nanograms per milliliter. If the body lacks serotonin, then you will experience various symptoms such as:
- If you feel like eating something sweet and salty continuously, it could be because your body lacks serotonin. Sweet and salty foods can increase serotonin levels in the body and make you feel better. Unfortunately this only lasted temporarily. As a result, you will increasingly crave salty and sweet foods.
- Insomnia? Maybe you lack serotonin. Insomnia is a sign of low serotonin levels in the body. This can cause sleep problems and mood swings. People who experience stress and depression tend to have difficulty sleeping easily.
- Low self-confidence, constant feeling of anxiety, mood swings to the point of feeling dazed
Until now, experts are still studying the exact causes of depression. One theory of this question states that depression can be caused by an imbalance of neurotransmitters or hormones in the body. Depression is also associated with low levels of serotonin in the sufferer’s body. However, too much serotonin levels due to certain drugs can also cause a condition called serotonin syndrome. Various symptoms that will appear if you experience this syndrome are tremors, diarrhea, headaches, confusion, goosebumps and dilated pupils. If it becomes severe enough, the symptoms include muscle twitching, muscle stiffness, high fever, increased irregular heart rate to high blood pressure. Symptoms of serotonin syndrome will sometimes disappear within a day if you take the medication prescribed by your doctor. However,
HOW TO INCREASE SEROTONIN HORMONES NATURALLY
There are many healthy ways you can do to increase serotonin levels in your body. Here are some of them:
CONSUMPTION NUTRITIONAL FOOD
Choosing healthy foods that are high in tryptophan and carbohydrates can be an effective way to increase serotonin. Prioritize foods with complex carbohydrates, such as oatmeal and whole wheat bread. Health experts themselves recommend consuming foods that contain at least 25-30 grams of tryptophan every day. Some examples of foods that help increase serotonin include:
- Eggs, the protein in the yolk can increase tryptophan levels in the blood, thereby increasing levels of the hormone serotonin. Tryptophan and tyrosine in egg yolks also act as antioxidants.
- Probiotic or fermented foods, such as kefir, yogurt, and tofu. Tofu has a high tryptophan content, so it is the right choice for a menu that will help you increase serotonin levels.
- Fish, has a lot of healthy fats and important nutrients, one of which is tryptophan which is abundant in salmon, tuna and mackerel.
- Nuts (including kidney beans and black beans) as well as whole grains, which besides being rich in antioxidants and vitamins also contain tryptophan, so they are very good at increasing the hormone serotonin. In a study from the American Chemical Society, researchers asked 20 people to avoid nuts and 22 others to follow a nut-rich diet for 12 weeks. At the end of three months, researchers found that those who consumed nuts had increased serotonin levels as well as other health benefits.
- Cheese can be integrated into various snacks and main meals to help increase serotonin levels in a person’s body
- Green vegetables, such as spinach, broccoli, beets and kale, fruits such as bananas, pineapples, plums and tomatoes are also rich sources of vitamins B6 & B12 such as crabs, potatoes and pistachios.
Exercising can trigger the release of tryptophan into the blood. Tryptophan itself is an essential amino acid that plays an important role in the body, one of which is to create serotonin. According to researchers from the University of Vermont, exercise with a duration of just 20 minutes per day can improve mood for up to 12 hours in the future. The sport in question is a sport that can increase heart rate such as swimming, cycling, brisk walking, running, or hiking. Do the type of exercise that you really like and can do regularly. If you can’t find time to exercise regularly, try walking for 30 minutes to an hour every day. At the very least, this light exercise will help burn calories and increase tryptophan levels, so that serotonin levels increase Sinaumed’s!
Allocate about 15 minutes to bask in the morning sun every day. Because sunlight will help the formation of vitamin D, which also plays an important role in the production of the hormone serotonin, also increase outdoor activities. But keep in mind, avoid sun exposure at 10.00-14.00 because ultraviolet exposure is at its highest at these times.
Research at the University of Miami School of Medicine found that massage can effectively treat anxiety and depression. After reviewing more than 12 studies on massage therapy, they concluded that it affects the body’s biochemistry. This is what makes massage therapy effective in reducing depression and anxiety. A study involving about 500 men, women, and children with depression or anxiety, found that massage therapy reduced participants’ cortisol hormone by 53 percent. The hormone cortisol is known as the stress hormone. In addition, the study also found the fact that massage therapy can also increase serotonin levels in their bodies.
Research shows that meditation that is done regularly can lower blood pressure, reduce stress on the heart and arteries, which will then prevent you from various dangerous diseases such as heart disease and stroke. According to research from Johns Hopkins University, meditating for 30 minutes every day will also help the body improve symptoms of depression, stabilize activity in brain areas associated with positive thoughts and optimism. People who meditate have also been shown to sleep earlier and longer than those who don’t.
INDUCE MOOD WITH POSITIVE THOUGHTS
A study conducted by Perreau Linck and his team in 2007 found that changes in mind either self-induced or due to psychotherapy can change brain metabolism, one of which is increasing serotonin levels. This theory is referred to as self-induced mood, which allows for a two-way synthetic interaction between serotonin and mood. The point is that serotonin can affect mood, and vice versa. One way to induce a mood is by thinking about pleasant thoughts or recalling events that made you feel happy.
LISTENING TO MUSIC
Music can provide more than one happy hormone. Many people agree that listening to music can calm the mind and elevate the mood in a more positive direction. Listening to music, especially music you like, can increase the production of dopamine in a person’s brain. The same goes for playing and creating music. A study says that creating and performing music by dancing, singing, or beating drums can trigger the release of Sinaumed’s endorphins!
EAT SPICY FOOD
Chili contains a high amount of capsaicin compound. Compounds that can cause a sensation of heat has the ability to trigger the brain to release endorphins. Reporting from Medical Daily, a study even shows that taking capsaicin can reduce pain just like painkillers do. But of course consuming spicy foods must be in normal quantities, because the effect will also affect digestive conditions.
BEER GATHERING WITH FRIENDS
Doing fun things with friends is good for emotional well-being. When you get together with the closest people, of course there will be a lot of laughter and jokes that are ejected. In fact, laughter can make the brain release endorphins naturally. According to Reader’s Digest, laughter is described as an “inner jog” that is beneficial in lowering blood pressure, reducing stress, boosting immunity, and elevating your mood. Sinaumed’s!
Already many people believe that consumption of chocolate is beneficial in improving mood. This is because dark chocolate or dark chocolate contains polyphenols and other antioxidants which function as lowering blood pressure and make the body produce endorphins. Eating low-sugar chocolate can also help lower cholesterol and improve heart health. If you want to take advantage of the health benefits of chocolate, then choose unsweetened cocoa powder which can be served with low-fat milk, oatmeal, or other foods and drinks that you consume. One tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder contains at least 20 calories, about 0.5 gram of fat and 1 gram of fiber. This type of cocoa also does not contain saturated fat. Unlike dark chocolate, milk chocolate contains absolutely no fiber. Besides that, Milk chocolate contains higher calories, fat and saturated fat. To obtain the various benefits of chocolate that have been described above, pay attention to the label on the product packaging before buying it. It’s best to avoid products with lots of additional ingredients and excessive sweeteners, Sinaumed’s!
AVOID CAFEINED BEVERAGES
Avoid caffeinated foods, especially energy drinks. Caffeine will suppress the production of serotonin, which also delays hunger. Energy drinks contain a lot of sugar, which the body processes quickly, but results in low energy output once insulin levels decrease. If you really have to drink products that contain caffeine, consume it after eating.
Hugging is known to eliminate various negative emotions. Falling in love and being loved is proven to increase serotonin. In addition, hugs can also release oxytocin which can improve mood. Thus, hug with loved ones (family, brothers, sisters) to increase your happiness Sinaumed’s!
START A HAPPY LIFE
If you want to live happily, then start thinking, behaving and acting more positively every day. A positive attitude will radiate from a smile and friendliness that is full of sincerity towards others. Forgive sincerely those who have hurt our hearts, because by forgiving negative feelings will disappear and change into positive feelings so that they will continue to produce happiness hormones.
Understand that stress can interfere with serotonin levels. Stress in the long term will lower serotonin levels. Serious and systemic stress can also affect the body’s ability to produce and synthesize serotonin. Avoid stressors as much as possible, and find healthy ways to deal with them. If you experience stress due to your lifestyle, try to overcome it by doing: Yoga Meditation Deep breathing exercises Express yourself (for example through painting, dance or writing). If you start to experience depression or unreasonable sadness that continues to interfere with your daily activities, there’s nothing wrong with seeing a Sinaumed’s doctor!
A wise man said “If you want to find happiness, then happiness is outside. But if we want to feel happiness, then happiness is inside.” Therefore, choose to be happy from now on Sinaumed’s, Cheers!