Currently, melatonin is consumed as a natural supplement to improve sleep and combat the uncomfortable effects of jet lag or decompensation syndrome.
In many stores of dietary products, the hormone can be found in the form of capsules. But we can also choose to introduce foods which contain Melatonin in our diet and enjoy its benefits.
What is melatonin?
Melatonin is a hormone that regulates our biological clock, differentiating periods of sleep and wakefulness. Our organism naturally synthesizes small amounts of melatonin, through the pineal gland.
Normally, the production of melatonin decreases as we get older. For this reason, babies usually sleep many hours per day, while elderly adults can suffer many difficulties to sleep.
In addition to helping regulate sleep, melatonin is essential to strengthen the immune system. The consumption of foods which contain melatonin usually improves natural defenses, mainly of older adults and children in full development.
Benefits and indications of melatonin
The controlled ingestion of melatonin can prevent various diseases, which helps strengthen the immune system and fight cell aging. For older adults, maintaining good levels of this hormone usually means a better quality of life and greater longevity.
The hormone is also an essential ally of those who frequently travel to countries with different time zones. It helps regulate metabolism and favor adaptation, avoiding symptoms such as tiredness, headaches or excessive sleepiness.
Melatonin deficiency can cause insomnia or severe difficulty sleeping in adults and children. In these cases, the introduction of melatonin supplements in the diet is highly recommended for a natural hormone replacement.
As if that were not enough, the “sleep hormone” is also used to treat and prevent the following disorders:
- The so-called “smoking syndrome” (preventing and treating withdrawal symptoms in people who quit smoking).
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
- Movement disorders, such as tardive dyskinesia (TD).
- Osteoporosis and severe loss of muscle mass.
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
Care and contraindications for the consumption of selenium
Before including any new supplement, whether natural or industrialized, in our diet, it is essential to consult a doctor we trust.
Together with a medical specialist, it will also be essential to confirm the recommended daily dose to maintain a balanced diet.
It must be remembered that, generally, an adult person can consume up to 700mg of melatonin per day. Excessive ingestion of the hormone can cause kidney and liver damage, and lead to poisoning of the body.
Pregnant or lactating women and people under treatment with antidepressant or steroid drugs should stop taking melatonin. On the other hand, patients who have diabetes, allergies and other pathologies should avoid the use of melatonin. Regardless of age.
The 5 foods which contain Melatonin
Melatonin can be found naturally in various foods of plant origin. Below, we list the best sources of this hormone to help you supplement your diet naturally and economically.
Nuts are foods rich in “good fats”, such as omega-3 and 6, proteins, minerals, vitamins and hormones. The nuts have about 3.5 mg of melatonin.
The tomato is a vegetable rich in lycopene antioxidants, vitamins A, C, E and K, and minerals such as iron and potassium. In addition, it helps to provide a moderate dose of melatonin to the body.
Cereals such as rice, corn, and oats are excellent allies of our dream, as they provide a good amount of melatonin. They are also excellent vegetable sources of carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals.
Fruits rich in melatonin
Fruits are also excellent sources of various vitamins and minerals. If we want to include melatonin in our diet, we should consume bananas and cherries preferentially. Diabetic patients should be careful with the excessive consumption of fruits since they are rich in fructose (a type of natural sugar).