We have all struggled with depressive states in our lives at one time or another, Perhaps after the loss of a family member or a parting of ways with a dear friend. However there are many people who experience depression on a regular basis, The most common form being Major Depressive Disorder or Clinical Depression.

Many researchers believe there is a connection between serotonin levels in the brain and depressive moods as well as anxiety. So what is serotonin you might ask?

serotonin is manufactured by cells in the brain where it acts as a neurotransmitter, It helps to relay signals from one area to another. About 90% of serotonin however is found in our digestive tract and blood platelets. An imbalance of this chemical or low production is believed to cause depression and other mood disorders.

How can we boost serotonin in an attempt to alleviate the symptoms of depression?

There are a few ways to do this...

  1. Milk

Milk contains a-Lactilbumin which has more tryptophan than other proteins, Cells use tryptophan to produce serotonin. Drinking a glass of milk daily or a whey protein shake may be a good way to reduce the symptoms of a depressive mood naturally.

    2. Light

Get plenty of natural sunlight! Light signals the body to stop producing melatonin and instead tells it to start producing serotonin. Sunlight will also help your body synthesize vitamin D which is also very helpful.

    3. Exercise

Apart from being a very healthy thing to do, Exercising for 10 - 15 minutes a day releases many feel good hormones including serotonin and dopamine.

    4. Sleep

Plenty of rest is essential for a good mood. Lack of quality rest can lead to anxiety as well as depressive states. Try to get in 8 hours and take naps if you can.

   5.  Vitamins

Taking a multivitamin supplement can be very helpful, especially for much needed B vitamins. The body cannot store these so we need a balanced diet to supply them. A regular multivitamin supplement will provide these as well as many other important nutrients.

   6. Sweet treats

Sugary snacks will provide a quick fix! Carbohydrates trigger the release of serotonin and will also help u sleep better but will have no effect on increased production of the chemical.

A combination of these methods will be the most effective and without side effects from prescription drugs!