Exercise is essential for your overall health it has many benefits such as increase in mental clarity, immunity, and energy. It also serves as a preventative measure of a number of health issues. Do you ever notice that euphoric mood shift during and/or after you exercise? This is due to the chemicals and hormones that are released in your body while you are working up a sweat. Collectively these hormones will benefit you in many ways including helping you calm down, reduce pain, and increase happiness.
What is Serotonin?
Serotonin is a chemical in the central nervous system that helps regulate sleep, appetite, memory, mood, and learning. When your serotonin is on point it generates feelings of relaxation, happiness and gives you a general sense of well-being. Serotonin is primarily found in the GI tract where it is used to regulate digestion. If the serotonin is low you can expect depression, sleeping issues, low or increased appetite, and cravings of carbs and/or sugar.
How to Increase serotonin
Easy, there are activities that you can do and foods to eat that will raise your serotonin levels. When you eat clean you feel better, think better, and move better. It is important to think before you chew. Some serotonin increasing foods include walnuts, almonds, flaxseed, cauliflower, collards, garlic, bell peppers, green juice, avocados, berries, prunes, and spinach. Some activities include exercising, meditation, and getting some fresh air outside.
What is dopamine?
Dopamine is a chemical in your brain that affects your emotions, movements and your sensations of pleasure and pain. If your dopamine levels are low it can lead to lack of motivation, memory loss, mood swings, and addictive behavior. When you exercise it increases your blood calcium, which stimulates dopamine. Proper rest can also help regulate dopamine levels as well. When the dopamine levels are healthy there is focus, clarity and motivation.
How to increase dopamine
Dopamine is made from the amino acid tyrosine eating foods with this agent is helpful. Nosh on almonds, apples, bananas, oatmeal, watermelon, lima beans, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds. Foods that have probiotics such as keifer and Greek yogurt will also help increase dopamine. Activities include exercise and meditation.
What are endorphins?
Endorphins are neurotransmitters found in the brain that functions to transmit electrical signals within the nervous system. There are 20 known chemicals related to this hormone. There are three major types of endorphins. One is found primarily in the pituitary gland and the others are distributed throughout the nervous system. Endorphins are known to lower stress, support the immune system and block the sensation of pain. It is also known as the “runners high” hormone.
How to increase endorphins
Endorphins can be increased by using aromatherapy lavender and vanilla are top picks. Listening to music, laughter, safe sex, and exercise can also increase the hormone. Foods such as ginger, an antioxidant enriched dark chocolate, spicy foods, leafy greens, omega infused foods such as fish and nuts can all enhance endorphins.