How To Increase Serotonin Without Medication? 6 Best Foods Explained!


You may have heard of the existence of a happiness hormone; this is serotonin, a substance produced naturally by our body that has actions on our nervous system and is associated with the regulation of happiness.

We now know that the production of serotonin is influenced by our diet and lifestyle. Foods that increase serotonin improve brain function as well as mild depressive states or simple loss of motivation.

We must not forget that this neurotransmitter harmonizes blood pressure, strengthens the quality of our sleep, and, moreover, provides that small dose of energy and well-being that allows us to face our days.

In this article, we take stock of this happiness hormone, and we invite you to discover where to find natural serotonin and how to increase its production through suggested foods.

What is serotonin?

Serotonin is a hormone, that is to say, a chemical substance produced by our body that is then found in the blood to allow the transmission of information to target organs.

In the case of serotonin, this information concerns certain of our behaviors, notably emotionality and mood (closely linked to the perception of happiness), and the target organ is our nervous system. This is why serotonin is called the happiness hormone.

Serotonin Happy Hormone

What Are The 6 Foods That Increase Serotonin?

1. Oats

Oats are part of what we call smart carbohydrates. But what does this mean?

Quite simply, there are elements that have a tranquilizing effect on the brain. Among them, we find carbohydrates (mostly whole foods), which also have another wonderful property.

They promote the production of tryptophan, an essential amino acid from which serotonin is synthesized.

2. The banana

Among the foods that increase serotonin, bananas are undoubtedly one of the most important. It does not help fight depression, but it gives us a natural injection of energy, optimism, and health.

It succeeds in doing this because the effect of bananas on our brain is simply sensational. It promotes the production of tryptophan.

It provides us with large doses of vitamins A,C, K, and B6, which are the basic components that promote the synthesis and metabolism of multiple neurotransmitters such as serotonin.

Bananas are rich in natural sugars, which, combined with their natural fibers, offer us an incredible supply of strength and energy to overcome states of negativity.

3. Eggs

It is possible that today, many people avoid eating eggs because they are afraid of seeing their cholesterol levels increase.

However, science has confirmed that eggs are good for our health because they provide good cholesterol, or HDL.

You just have to consume them in a balanced way. Furthermore, eggs, like dairy products, help us produce tryptophan and vitamin B6, substances necessary for the production of serotonin and dopamine.

4. Chocolate

You were certainly impatiently awaiting the appearance of chocolate on this list!

Indeed, it is indeed part of it, and we can treat ourselves to it on a daily basis, especially in the morning.

Even if you should not eat more than one square of dark chocolate per day, the purest and sugar-free.

Chocolate, in addition to being one of the foods best known for promoting the increase of serotonin and dopamine, provides us with exorphin, a natural analgesic that reduces pain, and theobromine, a substance similar to coffee that gives us energy.

5. Pineapple

Sometimes we forget the benefits that many fruits within our reach bring us. Pineapple is undoubtedly one of those foods that should never be missing from our diets. What is the reason? Here are several:

  • Pineapple relieves anxiety and is anti-inflammatory.
  • It is rich in vitamin C and promotes circulation, concentration and motivation
  • It is recommended during dinner because it helps us produce melatonin, the sleep hormone

6. Salmon

Fish like salmon or mackerel are rich in B-complex vitamins. This type of essential nutrient is necessary to promote the production of serotonin.

Furthermore, our brain needs a regular intake of omega-3, and this is present in salmon. This helps improve processes such as attention, memory, or mood.

Tryptophan: a precursor of serotonin

From a chemical point of view, serotonin is a protein; it is made up of amino acids, the most important of which is tryptophan.

We will keep this amino acid in mind, since it is essential for the production of natural serotonin in the nervous system and the intestine.

As we have just described, the production of serotonin by our body requires certain basic elements.

The main constituent is tryptophan, an essential amino acid, that is to say, which is not produced by the body by humans and must be provided through food.

From tryptophan, our body is able to produce 5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan), another amino acid that will naturally transform into serotonin after passing through the blood-brain barrier.

To produce serotonin, we also need certain vitamins and minerals that act as cofactors; that is, they participate in the synthesis by facilitating the progress of the different stages of the production of the happiness hormone.

These cofactors include some of the B vitamins (B3, B6, and B9), vitamin C, and vitamin D, as well as trace minerals such as iron, calcium, zinc, and magnesium.


In conclusion, serotonin, also called the happiness hormone, is a substance made by our body from an amino acid called tryptophan.

Its production can be influenced by nutrition and lifestyle, which is why daily actions such as a varied and sufficient diet, regular physical activity, exposure to the sun, and stress management have a positive influence on increasing the natural production of serotonin.

To conclude, it is possible that many people include more than one food listed here in their daily diets.

Despite everything, it is worth remembering that they must all be part of a balanced diet, as natural as possible, and accompanied by healthy lifestyle habits, including exercise and good emotional management.

Only in this way will we promote this brain chemistry through which well-being is felt, palpable, and appreciated once we indulge in all the tips mentioned.


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Dr. David G Kiely is a distinguished Medical Reviewer and former General Medicine Consultant with a wealth of experience in the field. Dr. Kiely's notable career as a General Medicine Consultant highlights his significant contributions to the medical field.

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