The happiness hormones serotonin and oxytocin don’t only help fight depression. They also cut heart disease, stroke, and Alzheimer’s risk by strengthening arteries, so nutrient-rich blood quickly reaches your organs.
Send some love.
Taking one minute to let someone know that you’re thinking about them can bring about an increase in your oxytocin production
Take a scented soak.
Relaxing in a warm bath scented with rose, vanilla, jasmine, or lavender can keep your blood levels of serotonin and oxytocin elevated by soothing your brain’s anxiety center. And when your brain is relaxed, it needs less serotonin and oxytocin to function, so more of those hormones are available to cells in the rest of your body.
Taking 100 mg. of 5-HTP increased serotonin levels, improving mood, energy, immunity-and even fat-burning. Want to sleep more deeply? Taking 5-HTP 30 minutes before bedtime can help. Cutting calories a priority? Take 5-HTP 30 minutes before your biggest meal each day.
Consume protein at breakfast.
After a night of not eating, blood levels of amino acids- the building blocks of serotonin and oxytocin- are low. The fix: Eat a meal containing 2 oz. of amino acid-rich protein, such as eggs, meat, or cheese. It’ll rev the enzymes that keep serotonin and oxytocin levels up, cutting your risk of the blues and blood sugar woes 33%.
Eat berries and kale.
Eating two cups each of berries and leafy greens (like kale) weekly could up your serotonin levels. Both foods are rich in anthocyanins, nutrients that encourage your brain to produce and release this “happy” hormone.
Getting caught up in a fun, romantic, or emotionally gripping program-enough to make you root for one of the characters- will send your oxytocin levels soaring. Your brain processes movies as if they’re happening, and the empathy you feel for a character stimulates oxytocin release.