Pitchrate | The Serotonin Cleanse:Foods that can make your anxiety go away

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Berit Brogaard

Berit Brogaard, D.M.Sci, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Philosophy and Psychology at the University of Missouri, Saint Louis, the American editor of the international philosophy journal *Erkenntnis* and President for the Central States Philosophical Association. Before returning to the States she ...

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02/22/2011 12:48pm
The Serotonin Cleanse:Foods that can make your anxiety go away

How to treat anxiety and depression? One way is to get a prescription from your doctor. The newest (affordable) drugs to treat anxiety and depression, also known as "selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors," raise the levels of the feel-good hormone serotonin in the brain.

Serotonin helps with anxiety and depression. Rockefeller neuroscientist Jennifer Warner-Schmidt and Ronald Duman of Yale University also found that extra serotonin increased the generation of new neurons in the hippocampus of rodents. Serotonin, it seems, can help keep your brain healthy.

But you can achieve similar effects without medication. The serotonin diet, if followed strictly, raises your serotonin levels. Load up on these foods and drinks to raiise your serotonin:

1. Buckwheat

2. Whey protein

3. Flaxseed oil

4. Bananas

5. Sour cherries and cranberries

6. Fish and Sea food

7. Turkey

8. Eggs

9. Dark chocolate

10. Nettle tea

Buckwheat is high in tryptophan. Tryptophan is essential to the synthesis of serotonin in the brain. Your brain cannot make serotonin without the protein building block, or amino acid, tryptophan.
Whey Protein

Whey protein can greatly enhance your health. Whey regulates blood sugar levels and appetite and helps to increase the brain's levels of serotonin.
Flaxseed Oil

Flaxseeds are great for weight loss and they contain high levels of tryptophan, an essential component of serotonin. Adding four tablespoons of flaxseeds or two tablespoons of flax seed oil each day can help to alter your mood.

Bananas too contain high amounts of tryptophan. Eat them as an afternoon snack, in whey protein smoothies or Thai dishes. Other serotonin-inducing fruits and vegetables include pineapple, avocado, spinach, asparagus and eggplant.
Sour cherries and cranberries

Sour cherries and cranberries contain plenty of melatonin. Melatonin doesn't have a direct effect on serotonin but can help you sleep better.
Fish and Seafood

The good fats in salmon, tuna and sardines can decrease the symptoms of depression and regulate mania. [http://www.mcmanweb.com/omega3.html] Fish is also rich in tryptophan, which helps the brain synthesize serotonin. You can also take fish oils as supplements.

Turkey is a high-protein food. Almost all high-protein foods are high in tryptophan but turkey is noteworthy. Ever noticed how sleepy people get after thanksgiving dinner? The reason: Turkey raises serotonin-levels. This makes your body relax.

Like salmon eggs are a good source of omega-3-fatty acids, which helps stabilize brain activity. Watch your intake of eggs if you have high cholesterol or blood-pressure. However, there is no direct correlation between high-cholesterol foods and high blood-pressure. While egg yolks contain high concentrations of cholesterol, they also contain chemicals that lower blood-pressure, reports a Canadian research team in the January 2009 issue of "Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry." In a series of studies, the team found chemicals in fried and boiled eggs that can turn into blood-pressure-lowering peptides.
Dark Chocolate

Cocoa increases serotonin-levels in the brain. Dark chocolate contains higher amounts of cocoa than milk chocolate. Cocoa also seems to lower bad cholesterol-levels and blood-pressure.
Nettle Tea

Nettle tea is thought to have healing powers, including the ability to fight coughs, remove the symptoms of arthritis, heal urinary tract infections, prevent allergies and improve moods. It comes from the top leaves of stinging nettles. You may have to get used to the somewhat grassy taste. You can also eat nettles after cooking them. They are taste a bit like spinach. When stinging nettles are cooked or dried, the stinging chemicals histamine and formic acids evaporate.

Besides these foods, consider adding the over-the-counter dietary supplement 5-HTP to your diet. Unlike serotonin itself, the supplement crosses the brain-blood barrier and is transformed into serotonin in the liver and brain.


generalized anxiety disorder, panic attack, serotonin diet, serotonin cleanse, depression
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