Serotonin is a key hormone that deserves our full attention as it impacts our entire body! Most people know that this hormone stabilizes our mood, feelings of well-being, and happiness. But it doesn’t end there. Serotonin helps with sleeping, eating, and digestion. It also enables brain cells and other nervous system cells to communicate with each other.
While we cannot directly ingest serotonin from our foods, we can fill our plates with the key players in the serotonin making pathway. This blogpost is going to be #2 of a five part series – with each part focusing on a different player. Today’s MVP is Vitamin D.
WHAT IT IS AND WHY WE CARE:
- Vitamin D is needed to activate Tryptophan, the essential amino acid that makes Serotonin
- It is a fat-soluble vitamin that is naturally present in a few foods, added to others, and available as a dietary supplement.
- It is also produced endogenously when ultraviolet (UV) rays from sunlight strike the skin and trigger vitamin D synthesis.
- It helps your body absorb calcium, one of the main building blocks for strong bones. Together with calcium, vitamin D helps protect you from developing osteoporosis
- Your muscles need Vitamin D to move, and your nerves need it to carry messages between your brain and your body.
- Your immune system needs vitamin D to fight off invading bacteria and viruses.