Serotonin Supplements – Be Happy Starter Pack 1

The food we eat does influence the way we feel, think and look like.

Of course, there can be many reason why someone is unhappy, but before we go and examine the mental part of it, it is worth to look at the nutritional side.

Our brain is a complex thing. What If I told you that you have another complex thing located in your gut? A mysterious second brain? What if I told you these brains connected through a chemical called Neurotransmitter (let’s just call them “messengers”)? Yes, that is right! It is called gut-brain axis. Do you think when you have a bad diet/lifestyle it does affect the way you feel, the way you think? Of course, it is! The key to happiness is to maintain this precious connection within!

It is a fact that people do not aware that certain vitamins & minerals can trigger feeling of sadness, even depression. If you ever feel down just ask yourself if you get the necessary nutrients to run your body on 100%!

Ladies and Gentleman the “Be Happy Starting Pack” includes:

Why Is Vitamin B Important?

B-Vitamin groups:

These are water-soluble vitamins (dissolving in water-are carried to the body’s tissues but are not stored in the body) and actually lot of food contains them, but they are very delicate and easily destroyed by cooking and alcohol!

In this group you can find: B1, B2, B5, B6, B12 and Folic Acid (as they are water-soluble vitamins, they must be replenished on a daily basis).

B1 (Thiamine), B2 (Riboflavin), B3 (Niacin) & B5 (Panthothenic Acid): converts food into energy, maintains healthy skin, hair and nails. Helps mental focus and brain function.

B6 (Pyridoxine): prevents anxiety by helping the amino acid tryptophan to convert into niacin and serotonin (one of our happy hormones) for healthy nerve function and also helps appetite, mood, healthy sleep cycle, immune system function and red blood cell production.

B7 (Biotin): helps to reduce blood sugar by synthesising glucose, helps to break down fat cells.

B9 (Folate): merges with vitamin B12 and Vitamin C. Essential for healthy brain development and for healthy red blood cell formation. It is very important to take before and during pregnancy!

B12 (Cobalamin): helps keep the body’s nerve and blood cells healthy and helps make DNA, the genetic material in all cells. It also helps to prevent anemia.

These vitamins are responsible for many functions in the body, the most important among is methylation.

Methylation is how your body keeps balance between thousands of neurotransmitters, hormones and other essential biochemicals.

optimization-chemical-process

Few symptoms of poor methylation are:

Low energy, depression, anxiety, hormone imbalance, obesity, poor detox capacity, infertility, birth defects, risk of cancer, fatigue…

There are many other factors that interrupts your methylation processes, these are the following;

  • Genetics
  • Malabsorption
  • Poor diet
  • Smoking
  • Medications
  • Toxic Exposures
  • Decreased Stomach Acid

Some Tips To Optimize Your Methylation Processes:

  1. Minimize sugar, animal protein and saturated fat
  2. Eat leafy greens – kale, spinach, bok choi, collard greens, beet greens, mustard greens
  3. Avoid processed foods & canned foods
  4. Keep your bacteria in your gut health (you can read more about it in my previous article)
  5. Limit alcohol
  6. Don’t Smoke
  7. Get more B vitamins in your diet:
    B1 – beef, liver, nut. oranges, seeds, pistachio, rye, soybean, macadamia, peanut, pistachio
    B2 – mushroom, eggs, fish, green leafy vegetables, oat, almond, red meat, beef, lamb
    B5 – turkey, duck, beef and especially animal organs such as liver and kidney, salmon, lobster, shellfish, whole grain breads and cereals, lentils, split peas, avocado, broccoli, sweet potatoes, corn, cauliflower, kale and tomatoes
    B6 – chickpeas, tuna, salmon, turkey, potatoes, banana, rice, nuts, raisins, onions, spinach, tofu, watermelon, squash
    B9 – legumes, asparagus, eggs, leafy greens, beets, brussell sprouts, citrus fruits, broccoli, nuts & seeds, beef liver, papaya, banana, avocado, Fortified grains.
    B12 – animal liver and kidney, clams, beef, sardines, tuna, fortified nutritional yeast, trout, salmon, eggs

 

Vitamin C Alias Ascorbic Acid

Centuries ago scurvy was a popular and deadly disease among sailors who sailed extended distances without fresh food and supplies. What we know as vitamin C was in short supply on most ships. Lacking of this vitamin caused them bleeding gums, loose teeth, haemorrhaging under the skin, slow healing wounds and eventually death.

Albert Szent-Györgyi was a Hungarian-born researcher who certainly decreased the death on sea by discovering ascorbic acid (vitamin C) extracted from paprika. He received a Nobel-prize for his work in 1937. He was a brilliant mind and we cannot be thankful enough for him!

It might be surprising for some, but people who have vitamin C deficiency often feel fatigued, depressed, low in energy, have frequent mood changes or feel lethargic. With the help of Vitamin C our body can use carbohydrates, fats and protein efficiently.

ascorbic-acid-vitamin-c-paprika

It is one of the best vitamin to take that support the immune system and the connective tissues. Vitamin C can also lower cortiosol (stress hormone) levels.

Natural sources of vitamin C in mg:

Medium red pepper 342
Kale, 100g 120
1 kiwi 64
Broccoli, 100g 89.2
Strawberries, 100g 58.8
1 orange 69.7
Tomato, 100g 22.8
Mange Tout, 100g 60

The sad truth is that vegetables loses their vitamin C content during cooking. Especially boiling! That method of cooking kills heat sensitive vitamin C in the food. Knowing this I like to take 1000mg vitamin C supplement every day just to be sure!

The Sunshine Vitamin D

If you live in a country where there are not enough sun, having intolerance, allergies or you follow vegan lifestyle you might be at risk for vitamin D deficiency. This essential vitamin helps the body to use calcium from the diet = strong bones!

There are some cases when you don’t absorb enough vitamin D from food because you don’t get enough exposure to sunlight.

Your liver or kidneys cannot convert vitamin D to its active form from in the body. Maybe you take medication that interferes with your bodies ability to absorb or convert vitamin D.

It occurs naturally in some foods like fish liver oils, some fish and egg yolks.

Low levels of this crucial vitamin associated with the following:

 

sun-power

 

  • Cancer
  • Cognitive impairment in older adults
  • Severe asthma in children
  • Increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease
  • Impaired wound healing
  • Bone loss
  • Muscle pain
  • Depression
  • Frequent infections

 

There are many variables influence the amount of UVB from sunlight that reaches the skin. These include season, time of the day, clothing, sunscreen, altitude, latitude. Pigmentation and age. Sometimes those who reside in a sunny climate they are deficient in this vital vitamin too, especially elderly.

There are limited amount of foods contains vitamin D, getting the right amount from diet alone is a bit difficult. Too much sun can cause skin cancer, so supplements might be needed. The recommended daily amount of vitamin D is between 400-800 IU/day or 10-20 micrograms. In case of more serious deficiency we can talk about 1000-4000 UI/day (25-100 micrograms).

 

Iron Deficiency Symptoms and Recommended Dosage

Iron is an essential component of haemoglobin, an erythrocyte protein that transfers oxygen from the lungs to tissues. It is also a fat-soluble mineral. It means that it gets stored in fat cells and in the liver. As it gets stored it is important to take the recommended dosage if we don’t want to fall on the other side of the horse In case of deficiency there is a good few month supplementation needed to make up the necessary amount of iron.

When I was a child I battled iron deficiency quite a lot. Nowadays it happens, but luckily not so often! If you see my kindergarten group photos I was the one shining like a diamond with my pale skin!

There is a very easy test do to at home if we want to find out whether we lack or not. People suffer from iron deficiency the inside of their lower eyelids are pale white, instead of reddish.

There are other signs that can point to that direction;

  • Cold hands and feet
  • Weakness
  • Headaches, dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Tiredness and lack of energy (lethargy)
  • Heart palpitation
  • An altered sense of taste
  • Hearing sounds that come inside of the body (Tinnitus)
  • Headache on one side of the head

If you have these symptoms that you most likely need to add more iron containing food to your diet and probably a supplement won’t hurt either.

Luckily, there are loads of high iron containing foods like;

Liver and red meat, beans and lentils, tofu, baked potatoes, spirulina, nuts and seeds, dried foods, brown rice, dark chocolate, sardines, green peas, dark leafy vegetables (not spinach though, that is a myth) -sorry for Popeye lovers…he was sure on anabolic steroids-!

Here is the daily iron intake recommendation from The National Institute of Health:

Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) for Iron

Age Male Female Pregnancy Lactation
Birth to 6 months 0.27 mg* 0.27 mg*
7–12 months 11 mg 11 mg
1–3 years 7 mg 7 mg
4–8 years 10 mg 10 mg
9–13 years 8 mg 8 mg
14–18 years 11 mg 15 mg 27 mg 10 mg
19–50 years 8 mg 18 mg 27 mg 9 mg
51+ years 8 mg 8 mg

* Adequate Intake (AI)

Bear in mind when you take iron it must be taken along with Vitamin C, otherwise it doesn’t absorb. You should not take iron with calcium, antacids, milk or caffeine. These interfere with the absorption!

 

Things To Remember

  • Vitamin B group contains water soluble vitamins essential for various metabolic processes
  • Vitamin C supports immune function and boost collagen production therefore supports joint health
  • Vitamin D supplements does not absorb without sun exposure
  • Iron does not absorb without Vitamin C

The absence of as little as a nutrient can cause wide variety of symptoms. Just think about the sailors and take a look at your diet and lifestyle.

When you chose your supplements make sure it is from the best source, preferably organic if it is available!

Let me know if you have any questions, you can also leave comments below! 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

14 thoughts on “Serotonin Supplements – Be Happy Starter Pack 1

  1. Awesome list of serotonin boosters in here! I’m glad that you incorporated vitamin D; I hear that over 75% of Americans are deficient in that these days. Being deficient in a lot of these serotonin boosters also increases oxidative stress and enhances aging, so that’s important to keep in mind as well.

    Thank you for this post!
    Ben Kuriger

    1. Hi Ben,

      Yes, it is quite interesting as in the US there is enough sun exposure, not like in the UK perhaps. That is why supplements are so important! They definitely give a little extra!

      Thank you for your comment and all the best! 🙂
      Rebeka

  2. thanks for the information rich content provided in this blog post. i was really looking for some thing like this is details which will help me stay fit and healthy

    1. You are welcome! The whole concept of my website is about being fit and healthy.
      There will be more informative articles coming soon!
      Thank you for your comment! 🙂

  3. Wow. I need to reevaluate my diet. I heard about the second brain, but didn’t really do any research on the topic. It seems like incorporating a plant based will have the greatest impact on health. Do you have any tips on starting out? As I’m getting older I’m starting to realize I need to start taking better care of myself. Thanks for the great article!

    1. Hi David,

      With age our body loses some of the enzymes that helps break down fat, protein and carbs, therefore does not process the food like before. If you are 30 years old your digestion slows down by 30%, if you are 40 then it decreases by 40%…etc There are great enzyme supplements on a market which helps aid digestion at any age.

      Being plant based is the best you can do for yourself, the environment and for the animals of course! Lifestyle change does not happen from one day to another..! The best way to start slowly by introducing plant based food week by week and at the same time remove anything that does not belong to your new lifestyle. Make sure you get most of the nutrients from food; vitamin B group, iron, zinc , calcium, omega 3’s. If you feel you need a bit of an extra then a good quality supplement can always help! 🙂

      Thank you for your comment and let me know if you need any more help!

      All the best,

      Rebeka

  4. Hi Rebeka. Just want to say thank you for a wonderful informative post about the important vitamins for our mood health. I am one who still struggles with anxiety and actually am passionate about sharing health concern tips with others as well. I love all the info you share about each vitamin and how they play a role in our bodies. Very refreshing to read and understand how the gut-brain works. We all can learn something new and this was a post of which I definitely did!

    1. Hello,

      Many thanks for your kind words!
      Unfortunately, anxiety is quite common these days. I have family members, friends who suffer from it and I experienced it myself too! After experimenting on myself it turned out to be a simple deficiency…most of the cases is just an absence of nutrients which can be easily replaced by paying attention on diet or take the right supplements! There will be a part two of this article soon! I am really happy that you find it useful!

      Thank you for your comment and all the best! 🙂

      Rebeka

  5. Hi Rebeka! I completely agree with you: the food we eat influences the way we feel and even the way we look.
    I have been paying special attention to my consumption of B-vitamins. And specially Cobalamin. You have stated it clearly when it comes to poor methylation symptoms. I also appreciate greatly these tips to optimize methylation processes. Thank you very much!

    1. Hi Henry,

      I am very happy that you found my article useful and you take care of your well being! Cobalamin aka B12 is important, especially if you are plant based or vegetarian! 🙂

      All the best,
      Rebeka

  6. Hi Rebeka, awesome post! You have outlined all the essential nutrients for a happy and healthy life. I am a great believer in natural supplements as they have certainly helped me to take my own health to new heights. Some people are of the opinion that you can get all you need from a healthy diet, but this sadly is not true considering the earth that our food is grown in is 2/3rds lower in minerals than it was 50 years ago. We have evidence and studies that prove this where I work.

    I do however, think that food does play a major part too and fortunately I do most of the things you say about on your list to help prevent the Methylation Processes.

    1. Hi Stefanie,

      Thank you for your comment! I am fully agreeing with you about sadly food doesn’t have much fuel these days. Luckily, we do have supplements to help us out! I am very happy that you are awake and taking care of your body, mind and soul! 😉

      All the best,
      Rebeka

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