Fill Up on Tryptophan to avoid a Serotonin Deficiency

If you have lost your appetite after a breakup, you may take this as an opportunity to lose a few pounds. If you need to lose weight, you certainly should think about making some dietary changes. But not eating properly after a breakup can prolong your breakup pain.

If someone unexpectedly dumped you, your brain levels of the mood-enhancing neurotransmitter serotonin decline. The decreased levels of serotonin create an optimal environment for anxiety, depression, obsessive thinking and compulsion.

If your breakup pain is so severe that it causes you to lose your appetite, your serotonin levels are likely to decline even further. The reason for this is that your brain needs the essential amino acid tryptophan to synthesize serotonin. Essential nutrients are food components your brain cannot synthesize on its own. They need to be supplied by the diet. When you don’t eat or you eat the wrong kinds of foods, the dietary levels of tryptophan decline. Without tryptophan, your brain cannot synthesize serotonin, and the resulting low brain levels of serotonin cause you to feel even worse

You can take tryptophan as an over-the-counter dietary supplement. But the best way to prevent low levels of serotonin is to eat a diet rich in tryptophan. Foods high in tryptophan include lean meats, lean poultry, fish, seafood, eggs, dairy products, soy products, nuts, seeds, fruit and whole grains products. Eating a variety of these foods every day is the best way to reduce the risk of developing a tryptophan deficiency.

There are other reasons for eating a variety of these foods. Though plenty of tryptophan is a good way to help your brain synthesize enough serotonin, you also need to ensure that serotonin can send signals to the neurons in your brain. Your brain neurons need vitamin B and essential fatty acids, such as Omega 3 and 6, in order to respond properly to neurotransmitters, including serotonin. Dairy products, lean meats and green leafy vegetables are good sources of vitamin B, while fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, herring and sardines are good sources of essential fatty acids.

To increase your appetite for good foods, cut out empty calorie foods, such as fast food, white bread, white pasta, chips, candy and deserts, and exercise every day. Cleaning your house, organizing a couple of messy drawers, doing laundry, walking to one of your closest destinations and parking your car some distance away from your destination burn extra calories and increase your desire for healthy foods.

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