Understanding Happy Hormones
by Wildermart Team on Feb 14, 2023
Have you been confused about our happy hormones and mixing them up? There are 4 key happy hormones we have in our body:
These hormones each have a different role and are produced in different body parts - but a lot of it is in the gut (which is why the connection of gut health to mental health). Read on to find out what each hormone does and if you can actually 'eat' for these hormones.
This hormone is responsible for mood, digestion, sleep cycle, brain function. 90% of it is produced in the gut tract. Happy gut makes you happy - for this very reason. The gut bacteria in your body aid in the cells that produce serotonin in the gut. So the more the gut bacteria, the higher level of serotonin - and the better you feel. Also, tryptophan is the fuel that your gut needs to produce serotonin. So if you eat pre-biotic (food to make more good gut bacteria) or pro-biotic (bacteria) or foods rich in tryptophan like peanuts, pumpkin, sesame seeds, you can start elevating your mood. You can also do the same through exercise, meditation, safe sun exposure.
The quirky part here is that there isn't really that one thing serotonin does. It is responsible for everything but accountable for nothing kind of.
This hormone creates bonding and as a neuro-transmitter, it calms the nervous system. It is the hormone responsible for contractions during labour. Funnily, you cannot 'eat' anything to boost oxytocin. It is produced through caring relationships - friends, family, lovers, pets or loving gestures. So make a lot of happy memories and remember to give out free hugs.
This is a hormone linked to a lot of nervous system functions. motor control, memory, cognitive functions. It is the main hormone whose dysfunction is linked with Parkinsons. It is the reward program in our brain - wanting us to do something over & over. This is hence, the active neurotransmitter in addictions.
Once again, no food can give us dopamine. It is produced 50% in the gut - so good gut health will help increase the levels. However, doing activities which make you feel like you 'earned' it helps - like completing a task, self-care, little celebrations & wins. Good deeds & helping others also releases dopamine. So get going - be nice!
These are our body's natural pain killers usually released by the central nervous system when the body is under stress. They work by creating a euphoria which essentially masks and distracts from the pain. Familiar with runner's high? Or meetha dard? Laughing, exercising, sex releases endorphins in the body. Dark chocolates and spicy food can come to assistance here.