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Hormones – Your Secret Weapon to Happiness?

Do you sometimes find yourself feeling down in the dumps? You are not alone. Across the UK, 1 in 6 adults are affected by depression,1https://www.ons.gov.uk and over 8 million people are experiencing an anxiety disorder.2https://mentalhealth-uk.org/help-and-information/conditions/anxiety-disorders/what-is-anxiety/ At Chuckling Goat, we are exploring ways to ‘hack’ our hormones to make us feel good and less stressed 😁.

Hormones influence our mood, appetite, tiredness, digestion, emotional states, and other bodily processes. The endocrine system produces and distributes these hormones. The hypothalamus and pituitary gland control the endocrine system. Exposure to extensive stress disrupts hormone secretion, leading to inflammation, accelerated cell ageing, depression, and other negative health consequences – certainly not what we want. Luckily, there are a group of four hormones known as the “feel-good hormones” due to the happy (and even euphoric) feelings they create. The good news is, you can boost your level of these happy hormones, and lower your stress hormones (such as cortisol, adrenaline, and noradrenaline) with some easy lifestyle considerations.

What are the Happy Hormones?

10 Steps to Boost Happy Hormones & Lower Stress Hormones

Hormone-Boosting Foods

Tryptophan

Tryptophan is the essential amino acid that the body uses to produce serotonin.21https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/serotonin-the-natural-mood-booster Here is a list of foods rich in tryptophan:

  • Oats
  • Quinoa
  • Chickpeas
  • Potatoes
  • Soybeans
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Chicken/turkey
  • Salmon, cod
  • Milk
  • Cheese
  • Spirulina
  • Wheat

Tyrosine

Dopamine is made from tyrosine. Furthermore, evidence suggests that consuming a tyrosine-rich diet may improve mental performance and memory.22https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/dopamine-the-pathway-to-pleasure Here is a list of foods rich in tyrosine:

  • Chicken
  • Dairy foods (e.g. milk, yoghurt, cheese)
  • Avocados
  • Bananas
  • Soy
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Sesame seeds

Polyphenols

Foods that are naturally high in polyphenols can lower cortisol. Eat plenty of the following foods whilst restricting sugar intake to keep your stress response controlled:

  • Probiotic foods e.g. sauerkraut, kimchi
  • Probiotic yoghurt drinks
  • Prebiotic fibre
  • Dark chocolate
  • Bananas
  • Green tea
  • Black tea

Take a look at some of our favourite Gut-Brain friendly recipes for some inspiration!

References

Questions? Talk to a Nutritional Therapist on live chat!

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