If You Want To Be Happy, Make Your Gut Happy
Serotonin is the neurotransmitter that contributes to your overall happiness, among other things.
It just so happens that 95% of serotonin is produced by gut nerve cells.
So it makes perfect sense to make your gut happy, if you want to be happy yourself.
Because everything that’s happening in your gut is relayed to your brain via the nervous system. After all, the small intestine has as many neurons as the spinal cord.
In the words of Mark Hyman, M.D, author of The Ultramind Solution – “fix the gut, and mood, behaviour, and cognition will improve.”
Happy gut, happy mind.
But some foods can be misleading.
Sugar, for instance.
You eat some sugary food and you feel a pleasure come over you in an awesome wave.
That’s because sugar causes a burst of serotonin.
So yes, temporarily, sugar will make you happy.
But sugar also causes inflammation.
And inflammation leads to low serotonin levels.
This is interesting – in the short term, sugar will make you happy. But in the long term it will make you miserable.
Why does inflammation lead to low serotonin levels?
Stress – The Enemy to Your Happiness
Because where there is inflammation, there is the stress hormone called cortisol.
And cortisol happens to stimulate the activity of enzymes that break down tryptophan, which is a precursor to serotonin.
In other words, tryptophan is needed to create serotonin.
Trytophan is an amino-acid which comes from food protein like nuts (e.g. almonds, peanuts), eggs, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, buckwheat, spirulina, oats, chocolate, red meat, chickpeas, and poultry.
Cortisol reduces vitamin B6 and Magnesium
But cortisol doesn’t only stimulate enzymes that break down tryptophan; it also happens to reduce tryptophan-to-serotonin-converting enzymes.
More specifically, stress (as well as alcohol or birth control) reduce vitamin B6 levels – an important catalyst for enzymes that convert trytophan into serotonin.
Enzymes needs B6 to tranform tryptophan into serotonin.
What else prevents the creation of serotonin?
Magnesium deficiency, which can also be caused by high levels of stress.
Also, people who have a diet high in caffeine, alcohol, or sugar are likely to have less magnesium in their bloodstreams.
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