For a long time, it’s been known that nuts and seeds have some very significant health advantages. They are rich in protein and good fats, easily digestible, and packed with vital vitamins and minerals such as magnesium and selenium.
With that being said, a recent study that has been published in the journal Nutrients, suggests that eating nuts may increase serotonin, the chemical linked to feeling happy!
This 24-week randomized trial involved 131 participants all of whom were obese or overweight. Participants in the study were given a diet plan to follow that included daily 1.5 ounce snacks.
Pretzels were given to some of them while a variety of nuts (almonds, cashews, macadamia nuts, pecans, pistachios, walnuts and more) were given to others.
To better understand the impact of the various snacks, the researchers examined blood and fecal samples at the end.
The researchers were able to establish a connection between eating nuts and a decline in cardiovascular risks, including a decline in blood pressure.
The findings also revealed that participants who consumed nuts had higher serotonin levels.
Halfway through the study, they noticed increases of 60 percent or more in their blood serotonin levels as well as an 80 percent increase by the end of the study’s 24 week period.
Serotonin is a chemical messenger in our brain that is able to transmit messages between cells, as
psychologist Aimee Harris-Newton, Psy.D., explained to mbg.
In addition to playing a crucial role in our mood, sleep, aggression, sexual behavior, pain, and anxiety, among other things, serotonin is particularly linked to feelings of contentment and happiness.
The chemical targets of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), the most common type of antidepressant, are serotonin receptors.
Although they may have side effects, these medications work by preventing the brain from reabsorbing serotonin, which increases the amount of this chemical that is available to the brain.
All in all, this new study proves that nuts may be a healthy snack if you wish to naturally raise your serotonin levels.
You can begin by eating more nuts to encourage a positive, upbeat mood, but make sure that your diet is healthy overall as well.