Food makes us feel good. Besides tasting great and nourishing the body, food also has an influence on appetite and mood.
Research demonstrates that certain foods affect powerful mood-modifying brain chemicals called neurotransmitters. These neurotransmitters (e.g. serotonin, dopamine) are made from the foods we eat and are present in higher concentrations after meals than between them.
Food that trigger the release of serotonin and dopamine essentially make your brain work better and have the power to improve mild depressive states and make you feel better when you’re blue.
Dopamine and serotonin:
- get your blood pressure in balance.
- help you sleep better.
- give you the energy you need for your day.
Your levels of serotonin and dopamine fluctuate in your body for various reasons due to:
- eating too much saturated fat, sugar, processed food, etc.
- thyroid disorders
- medication that reduces production of serotonin and dopamine
Serotonin, normally soothes your brain into a calm and tranquil state so sleep comes easily. If you awaken, serotonin prevents the anxiety demons from leaping out and filling your brain with worries that prevent you from falling back asleep.
oats fall under the category of “smart” carbohydrate. Basically, these carbs have a calming effect on your brain.
Oats are also a complex carbohydrate (whole grain), and also trigger the production of tryptophan, an essential amino acid from which serotonin is synthesized.
Carbs cause the body to release more insulin, which promotes amino acid absorption and leaves tryptophan in the blood. Your best chance at achieving a serotonin boost without using supplements is to eat them often