Feeling stressed? Low? Anxious? You’re not alone! Statistics show that a whopping 74% of UK adults have reported feeling stressed, ‘overwhelmed or unable to cope’ at some point in the past year,1https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/about-us/news/stressed-nation-74-uk-overwhelmed-or-unable-cope-some-point-past-year 1 in 6 adults suffer with depression2https://championhealth.co.uk/insights/depression-statistics/ and approximately 8 million people suffer with some form of anxiety disorder.3https://www.clinical-partners.co.uk/for-adults/anxiety-disorders/what-causes-anxiety
With antidepressant and SSRI medication carrying their own health risks, including negatively impacting the intestinal microbiota,4https://www.nature.com/articles/s41398-021-01254-5 here at Chuckling Goat, we’re looking at natural ways you can support your mental – and gut! – health.
So, what’s one all-natural thing you can do, right now, to help boost your mood? Eat tryptophan-rich foods!
Serotonin, known as the ‘happy hormone’, is a natural mood stabiliser that can help reduce depression and regulate anxiety.5https://www.healthline.com/health/mental-health/serotonin#functions When serotonin levels are normal, you may feel happier, less anxious and more focused6https://www.healthline.com/health/mental-health/serotonin#functions. Lower levels are connected to increased anxiety, insomnia and feelings of depression.7https://psychcentral.com/depression/low-serotonin-levels-dont-cause-depression#connection
Put simply, if you don’t have the right amount of serotonin in your system, it’s biochemically impossible for you to feel happy!
In order to make serotonin, your body needs an essential amino acid called tryptophan.8https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4728667/ The body cannot synthesise its own tryptophan – you have to get it from what you eat. So, the connection here is your gut bugs! Your diet can directly affect the bacteria in your gut and influence your brain activity via the gut-brain axis.
What kind of foods contain tryptophan?
- Free-range eggs (especially the whites!)
- Leafy greens
- Sweet potatoes
- 100% wholegrain oats
- Pasture-raised poultry
- Wild-caught fish, such as cod and salmon
Here’s to eating your way to happiness! 😊
For more ways you can improve your gut health and mental wellbeing, check out 5 Morning Habits For Gut Health And Happiness.
Questions? Feel free to get in touch with one of our Nutritional Therapists on live chat, weekdays from 8 am to 8 pm.