Foods That Boost Serotonin and Dopamine Levels

The chemical in the brain that can affect mood is known as serotonin. So eating foods that boost serotonin is vital to the body as it can help the body to produce more serotonin.

These foods must contain the essential amino acids known as tryptophan like salmon, eggs, spinach, and seeds are among those that help boost serotonin naturally.


This serotonin can be found in other places in the body apart from the brain like blood, intestines, and connective tissues.

In the blood, the chemical causes blood vessels to contract, helps transmit information across the nervous system, and has a role in brain function.


Most importantly serotonin is essential for overall health and wellbeing, and people often associate it with positive mood.

The reduction of serotonin levels in the brain may be a cause of memory problems and low mood. Also, low serotonin levels are more likely to affect a person negatively if they have had depression before.

So getting to know the foods that boost serotonin is very necessary, these foods are easy to find and some of them might have been your favorite foods with now they can boost your serotonin.

Foods That Boost Serotonin

Here’s an overview of foods that boost serotonin levels and help improve mood:


1. Salmon

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As said earlier salmon contain tryptophan that helps in boosting serotonin in the body. It is so hard to go wrong with salmon because salmon goes with every delicacy. Combine it with eggs and milk to make a smoked salmon frittata!

Also, salmon has other nutritional benefits, like helping balance cholesterol, lowering blood pressure, and being a good source of omega-3 fatty acids.

2. Spinach

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Spinach is among the dark green leafy vegetables that are great sources of tryptophan as well as a good source of iron.

Tryptophan helps boost serotonin while iron helps the body to make healthy red blood cells. A lack of iron in the diet can lead to anemia, low energy, or difficulty breathing.

3. Milk

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Generally, milk is also a good source of calcium, which helps to build healthy bones and teeth.

So choosing a low-fat option can be more healthful than full-fat milk, particularly for people watching their saturated fat intake and people with low serotonin levels.

4. Eggs

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Eggs as a very good source of protein are among the foods that boost serotonin levels naturally. That is why those with low serotonin levels make eggs a part of their breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

It’s important to remember that the preparation method is key. Boiling or poaching eggs is the healthiest way to consume them while frying or scrambling with lots of butter is the least healthy approach.

5. Dairy Products

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Dairy Products

Dairy Products are rich in calcium for strong teeth and bones, and dairy products like milk and cheese are great sources of tryptophan for those who are not lactose intolerant.

Also, always choose lower-fat dairy options to prevent adding too many unwanted calories for optimal health benefits.


6. Nuts

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Nuts are among the foods that boost serotonin because all nuts contain tryptophan.

According to a research review from 2018, studies show that eating nuts regularly also lowers your risk for heart disease by improving your lipid and apolipoprotein profile.

Nuts are also good sources of fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants.

7. Tofu

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Tofu is one of the soy products that are rich sources of tryptophan putting it in the list of foods that boost serotonin.

You can always substitute tofu for pretty much any protein, in pretty much any recipe, making it an excellent source of tryptophan for vegetarians and vegans.

However, some tofu is calcium-set, meaning that the manufacturer has added calcium. This provides a great calcium boost.

8. Pineapples

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Do you know the usefulness of pineapples? Yes, pineapples have been shown for decades to contain serotonin and nutrients that are healthy for the human body.

But it’s very good when you get them while they’re fresh. Although some other plants, like tomatoes, increase in serotonin as they ripen, that’s not the case with pineapples.

9. Cheese

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Cheese is another great source of tryptophan that also boosts serotonin in the body.  

You can make a yummy mac and cheese and cheese as your favorite, which combines cheddar cheese with eggs and milk which is also a good source of tryptophan.

10. Seeds

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Seeds are a plant source of tryptophan but they do not contain as much tryptophan as oily fish, poultry, or eggs.

However, they are very good sources of tryptophan and protein for vegetarians and vegans.

There are a lot of ways you can eat seeds comfortably, but some easy ways to eat more seeds include: Sprinkling seeds onto a salad, mixing nuts and seeds for a snack, choosing seeded bread, and adding seeds to cereal, porridge, or yogurt.


Are you in need of a natural and easy way to manage your depression or anxiety, tryptophan-rich foods may be helpful.

Don’t forget that these foods must be combined with healthy carbohydrates in order to affect serotonin levels.

In addition, exercise, light therapy, and a high-fiber diet are also good ways to naturally boost your serotonin levels and overall mood.  But if you’re considering taking tryptophan supplements, consult a doctor for advice.