By: Rob Hill
When it comes to mood and depression disorders, most people think they are brain issues, but that is quickly changing. Recent studies by scientists have found that a large portion—up to 90%—of serotonin is produced in the enterochromaffin cells in your GI tract, not brain. Therefore, since serotonin is a large contributor to feelings of joy, happiness, and mood, one of the keys to feeling good is the food you eat, not the brain pills you take.
Serotonin is secreted from the enterochromaffin cells and into the blood. There, it is actively taken up by blood platelets, which store it. When the platelets bind to a clot, they release serotonin. And depending on how much you get, your mood can swing from pure happiness to down and out depression. And food is key.
Dubbed part of the “smart” carbohydrate class, Oats have a zen affect on your well being. When ingested, they spark production of tryptophan, an important amino acid that synthesizes with serotonin. Similarly, bananas are good for the blues because the delicious yellow fruit is bursting with an abundance of vitamin A, C,K, which together activate more production of tryptophan, essentially giving the body a big shot of energy, liveliness, and vitality.
When it comes to chocolate, the old wives tales are true: Eating chocolate makes you happy. Dark chocolate provides an eruption of exorphin, which is a natural pain reliever, and triggers a torrent of theobromine, a natural enzyme that has similar effects as caffeine.
Other foods that help battle the blues include, salmon, which have robust amounts of serotonin-friendly B vitamins, chickpeas, eggs, turkey, nuts, and, yes, even cheese. But if you are looking for a depression fighter that’s both succulent and second to none, look no further than the pineapple. The tasty and juicy fruit is a major source of bromelain, a protein that is a natural mood and pain reliever that also aids in digestion and gastro-intestinal disorders, so it has a dual affect on mood.