Which Foods Increase Serotonin?

The best way to receive serotonin from foods is by consuming carbohydrate- and protein-rich meals, which aid in the body’s production of this mood-enhancing chemical. This is an easy task, as these foods are found in a wide variety of cuisines.



  • Consume carbohydrates from fruits and whole grains, as these types of carbohydrates are less likely to cause blood sugar (and energy and mood levels) to rapidly spike and drop. Incorporating these “good carbs” into every meal will keep energy and serotonin levels going throughout the day and help you avoid a mood “crash” after meals.


  • The top serotonin-boosting carbs include whole grains (pasta, bread, cereal, crackers and rice) and all types of fruits.


  • Carbs that do not aid in production of serotonin include processed carbs like white bread and pasta, candy, cookies and potato chips.


  • Serotonin production may also be increased through the consumption of protein-rich foods including chicken, white flakey fish, low fat dairy, soy and legumes.

Expert Insight

  • Exercise and exposure to sunlight also aid in serotonin production. However, some people experience lower levels of serotonin due to a chemical imbalance in the brain, which may only be regulated by certain medications, like antidepressants.






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