How smoking affects the brain
Nicotine increases the synthesis of serotonin from the brain. So, when we quit smoking, the brain doesn’t synthesize high levels of serotonin, anymore. Therefore, we feel anxious and stressed.
Serotonin is a powerful hormone. It regulates mood, appetite, temperature, eating behavior, sexual behavior, movement, and sleep! So, smokers who try to quit smoking should try to increase their serotonin levels naturally.
Above all, smokers should consume lots of foods high in serotonin, exercise and expose to sunlight regularly, in order, to increase their serotonin. Serotonin could help them stay focused and have a good mood!
Additionally, serotonin regulates appetite and help people lose weight effortlessly. Therefore, consuming foods with serotonin may prevent people who try to quit smoking from gaining weight!
Foods with serotonin
Serotonin is made from tryptophan. Tryptophan is an essential amino acid.
Every food that it’s a complete protein contains it. So, all foods from animal sources contain serotonin. Turkey and whole milk are particularly high in tryptophan!
But, even eating plant-based can provide you with more than enough tryptophan. Actually, there are many plants high in this compound. For instance, soybeans, tofu, oatmeal, pumpkin seeds, sweet potatoes, wheat bread, peanuts, spinach, broccoli, avocados, bananas, and even chocolate are great dietary sources of tryptophan!
Eat carbs to quit smoking
High tryptophan intake doesn’t necessarily cause high serotonin levels. Tryptophan is an amino acid that competes to other amino acids. Actually, only small doses of tryptophan reach the brain.
We should have a meal high in carbs, in order, to increase insulin levels. Insulin transfers other competitive amino acids away. So, more tryptophan is converted to serotonin, keeping us focused and in good mood.
Consuming a breakfast high in carbs can particularly increase serotonin levels. So, try to eat bread, marmalade, or oatmeal first thing in the morning. Your body will increase serotonin synthesis, helping you to quit smoking.
Other ways to increase the natural serotonin synthesis
Moreover, if you want to quit smoking, you should exercise outdoors. Exercise and sun exposure increase the synthesis of serotonin, as well. So, try to walk an hour daily, under the sun.
Actually, any outdoor activity is beneficial for the synthesis of serotonin, helping you with stress and anxiety while quitting smoking!
Furthermore, sunlight promotes the synthesis of vitamin D which is also vital for good mood.
More about increasing serotonin synthesis naturally here.