Depression and low energy are often a result of some sort of chemical imbalance in the brain. Sometimes caused by Vitamin D deficiency, there’s another culprit to mood imbalance that’s not talked about as much — serotonin. Serotonin is a chemical produced in the brain so food alone may not help severe deficiency. Some doctors will prescribe SSRIs when a person’s levels have become low enough to create physical problems. Low serotonin can lead to insomnia, food digestion problems, poor memory, aggression, and depression.
Common SSRI medications prescribed to build serotonin in the brain include Zoloft, Lexapro, and Prozac. However, food combinations can help, too. Food is the key to good health, and if you struggle with any of the above symptoms and follow extreme dieting, serotonin deficiency could be an undiagnosed problem affecting your brain’s overall health.
Eating foods that help produce serotonin is not enough, though. You have to combine food groups to encourage the production of it in your brain. So, not getting enough tryptophan in your diet could prevent your brain from absorbing what you need to make serotonin. It’s important to know your food group combinations when extreme dieting, to ensure that you eat the right foods each day. Working with a nutritionist is a key step to overall health when dieting and exercise, as your doctor’s training may be limited in this area. Also, be sure to ask questions with your health care professional when dealing with insomnia. Being ‘team no sleep’ may seem normal since many people struggle to stay asleep, but this can be the first signal that your body’s chemistry set needs to be checked.