Serotonin: More than a Happy Hormone
Dr. Samantha Ristimaki, BSc, ND
Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine
Have you ever noticed that you crave more hardy carbohydrate and sugar rich foods in the winter? Winter weight gain is actually influenced as a result of the production of serotonin by your body. The production of serotonin is promoted with heat and sunlight. Without these components, your body tries to compensate by using starch to stimulate this production.
Serotonin is often thought of as the happy hormone because it influences mood. It plays a much larger role than that...it is also influential in regulating the body’s memory, cravings, self-esteem, pain tolerance, sleeping habits, appetite and digestion.
Multitasking and chronic stress depletes serotonin. Ongoing stress can deplete serotonin reserves leading to intense food cravings, compulsive eating, low energy, depression, worry and difficulty with making decisions.
People rarely have high levels of serotonin without antidepressant medication. Keep your body happy and healthy by boosting natural serotonin production.
Tryptophan: This is a protein building block that the body uses to make serotonin. The best food sources are turkey, brown rice, cottage cheese, meat, peanuts and sesame seeds.
Complex carbohydrates: Skip white breads and pastries that will only give you a short burst of energy and instead choose slow-release complex carbohydrates make from whole grains.
Vitamin D3: This nutrient should be taken daily with food in order to optimize the brains use of serotonin.
Vitamin B6: Supplementing with B6 will help support the body's production and use of serotonin effectively.
One thing at a time: Stop multitasking and focus on one thing at a time.
Seek Sunshine: Even during the winter months, its important to prioritize get outside in the sunlight whenever possible.
Please call us
at 905.465.4595 to book your
Naturopathic appointment with Dr. Samantha Ristimaki.
For pricing information
"No pain, no gain" does not apply!
Dr. Shima Shahidy, (Hon) B.Sc., DC
Chiropractor & Graston Technique Provider
If you have come to our clinic for chiropractic care, I have probably talked to you about exercise and posture. Sometimes it's a simple stretching routine to keep you from stiffening up after an acute back pain episode and sometimes it's a rigorous routine of strengthening the core to prevent future re-aggravation.
There is actually a correct and/or optimal way to perform most of your daily physical tasks starting with the way you lay down to sleep or get out of bed and including but not limited to how you put on your shoes, take out the garbage, lift your child, sit at work, iron your shirt and brush your teeth. And although exercise is good for you, not all exercise is appropriate for all people. This is especially important if you suffer from or have suffered from low-back pain. For example, if you have had injury to your discs in the past (i.e. disc herniation), flexion exercises (ones that force you to bend forward) such as sit-ups are not appropriate for you. If you suffer from back pain and an exercise hurts, then you must stop and talk to a professional before doing that exercise again. The "no pain, no gain" concept does not apply. The pain I’m talking about is not post exercise muscle soreness which is normal; it is the pain you felt when you injured yourself.
Many people find it difficult to maintain an exercise routine. There are so many reasons why we stop or never even start an exercise program. It becomes harder to exercise when we have had an injury because it is now even more physically uncomfortable. Research shows that physical exercise has a positive effect on the prevention of low back pain, the recurrence of low back pain and absenteeism from work (Linton & Van Tulder 2001). The reality is that long term relief from chronic back pain can only be achieved through strengthening the body and changing our pre-injury habits and most other interventions (therapy, medication, braces, etc) are more appropriate for short term relief of acute episodes of back pain. Once the pain has decreased, you and your health professional can come up with a feasible plan for long-term success.
The key here is figuring out which exercise program is right for you and how to fit it into your schedule. Discuss this with a health professional to help you brainstorm solutions. Make changes slowly so you will be able to maintain the routine. Once you start, you will be amazed at how great you can feel!
Please call us
at 905.465.4595 for more
and to book your appointment with Dr. Shima Shahidy.
For pricing information
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