Serotonin Foods and Mood Disorders

2. Serotonin-Rich Foods Don’t Raise Serotonin Levels


You may have heard you should eat bananas to raise serotonin levels because they contain serotonin.

Or that you should eat turkey because it contains tryptophan, a serotonin precursor.

While these tips sound good, they are myths with no basis in reality.

There are very few natural serotonin food sources. (3)

The list of serotonin-rich foods is a short one:

  • walnuts
  • hickory nuts
  • pineapple
  • bananas
  • kiwis
  • plums
  • tomatoes

The serotonin in food does not cross the blood-brain barrier, your brain’s security system for keeping out foreign substances.

So the serotonin found in food does not get into your brain and will not boost your mood. (4)

Serotonin Foods and Tryptophan

Most “serotonin foods” lists are actually lists of foods that contain tryptophan, an amino acid that’s a precursor of serotonin. (5)

Most foods that are good sources of protein are also good sources of tryptophan.

The top tryptophan foods include: (67)

  • eggs
  • fish
  • seafood of all kinds
  • cheese
  • meat of all kinds
  • poultry of all kinds
  • seeds
  • nuts
  • soy
  • oats
  • chickpeas
  • bananas
  • beets

But eating tryptophan doesn’t guarantee it will get into your brain or turn into serotonin any more than eating serotonin-rich foods does!

Here’s why …

—> NEXT: The Serotonin Diet Solution