Be the Boss of Your Brain. What balances your blood sugar balances your brain chemistry. Our three brain chemicals that produce happy, relaxed feelings and resilience to stress are Serotonin, Beta-endorphis and Dopamine.
What is Serotonin?
Serotonin is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that is our “feel good” chemical. It is responsible for helping to quiet the brain and create a peaceful, relaxed feeling.
Reason Why we Crave Refined Sugar to Increase our Serotonin Levels?
Tryptophan is the amino acid precursor to serotonin. Elevated insulin in the blood increases the amount of tryptophan that crosses over into the brain. That makes us feel good and triggers the desire to eat more refined sugar to quickly rinse insulin levels – setting off the cascade that creates a serotonin-induced relaxed mood. The problem with the cascade is that prolonged elevated insulin levels lead to complications like adrenal fatigue and insulin resistance.
Ways to Increase Serotonin:
- Maintain balanced blood sugar to ensure enough tryptophan is able to cross the blood brain barrier.
- Include tryptophan rich foods in your diet like turkey, shrimp, tamari, mushrooms, fish, mustard greens, spinach, chicken, lamb, liver, and pumpkin seeds.
- Magnesium and B6 helps convert tryptophan to serotonin. Get them both in fish, seeds, spinach, and bananas.
- Research shows that repetitive movements like chewing gum (xylitol-sweetened) increases serotonin.