Eating for Happiness – part 2
As mentioned in the last post, serotonin is often referred to as the ‘happiness’ hormone. Serotonin production relies on a healthy digestive system but it also requires the amino acid, tryptophan. In addition to helping create serotonin, tryptophan is also associated with playing a key role in brain function and contributing to healthy sleep. Our bodies cannot produce tryptophan, therefore, we need to find sources of this amino acid in our diets.
Some of the best sources of tryptophan include: salmon, eggs, turkey, chicken, spinach, nuts and seeds. In order for tryptophan to move from the digestive system to the brain, this amino acid needs to be digested with carbohydrates to help transport it through the blood stream to the brain. Unrefined carbohydrates are the sources of fuel for our bodies because they digest slowly giving your body time to absorb nutrients from the digestive system into the blood stream.
The relationship between nutrients your body needs and absorbability of these nutrients is why food combining is key. A salad with mixed greens including spinach topped with chicken or whole grain bread topped with nut butter are great choices to help create a dietary environment to provide your body with the nutrients it’s searching for. Keeping blood sugar levels consistent throughout the day is also necessary for providing your body and brain with the energy it needs to keep you functioning at your peak.