But wait, what does serotonin do again? As Aimee Harris-Newton, Psy.D., a double-board certified integrative and interventional psychologist previously told mbg, serotonin is a brain chemical messenger that relays messages between cells and receptors on other cells. Serotonin specifically is involved in feelings of happiness and contentment, and it plays a key role2 in sleep, mood, aggression, anxiety, pain, and sexual behavior.
Serotonin receptors are the main chemical targets of SSRIs, or select serotonin reuptake inhibitors, the most popular type of antidepressant. These drugs work by blocking the reuptake of serotonin in the brain, leaving more of this chemical available to your brain, though they can come with side effects.
If you want to promote healthy serotonin levels more naturally, this study tells us that nuts may be a good thing to snack on. That said, this research is only one piece of the puzzle. In fact, there is a long list of ways to support natural serotonin production through diet and lifestyle changes.