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17 Foods That May Help Increase Oxytocin Levels Naturally

Oxytocin is a small nine amino acid peptide hormone or neuropeptide produced in the hypothalamus, a small region of the brain. The hormone has a wide range of physiological and pathological functions in love, lust and labour, according to a study published in the Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism. [1]

Some of these functions include sexual activity, penile erection, milk ejection, social bonding, pregnancy, stress relief and uterine contraction. Oxytocin is also known as "the love hormone" or "the bonding hormone" or "the cuddle hormone.

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Foods play a vital role in boosting the levels of oxytocin naturally. Nutrients such as vitamin D, vitamin C, magnesium and dietary fats found in foods not only help trigger the hormones but also help in their proper functioning.

Here is the list of foods that may help increase oxytocin levels naturally. Take a look.

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1. Salmon

Salmon comes under the list of oily fish and is a great source of vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids. This seafood helps increase the oxytocin naturally and may help combat stress, facilitate birth, maternal behaviour and maintain cortical blood supply. [2]

2. Orange juice

Orange juice is packed with vitamin C, a vital antioxidant that may help improve the levels of the love hormone. Upon consumption, the juice may help improve mood and positive emotions and promote healing and social interactions.

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3. Dark chocolate

Dark chocolate contains a rich amount of magnesium that helps in the release of oxytocin hormones from the hypothalamus. Magnesium also helps oxytocin receptors to function well in the body. Oxytocin through the diet may help decrease the risk of preeclampsia and preterm labour in pregnant women.

4. Coffee

Caffeine in coffee excites oxytocin neurons and significantly improve energy balance, mood regulation and emotional response. However, chronic coffee consumption can cause adverse effects on the hormone. Therefore, it is suggested to consume a moderate amount of coffee to keep oxytocin level balanced. [3]

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5. Broccoli

Broccoli contains a high amount of vitamin C. This essential vitamin boost oxytocin production which is important for social attachment, maternal behaviour, lovemaking and lactation.

6. Figs

Figs are a rich source of magnesium. They help in the oxytocin release that further helps in improving the well-being, social bonding, learning and memory, pain, stress, anxiety and sexual behaviour.

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7. Egg yolks

Egg yolks contain a vital oxytocin-stimulating vitamin i.e vitamin D. Consumption of egg yolks affect oxytocin levels in both men and women. In women, the hormone helps in better ovarian functions and preventing complications during pregnancy while in men, it helps in the production of testosterone and movement of sperm.

8. Chia Seeds

Saturated fats not only help control cholesterol levels but also helps increase oxytocin levels naturally. Chia seeds are rich in dietary fats and may help improve oxytocin-deficiency symptoms such as social interactions, stress and mood changes.

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9. Banana

Banana helps in the release and proper functioning of oxytocin. Magnesium in bananas is the main cause of the release of the hormone. Oxytocin helps in the prevention of many psychiatric diseases such as autism, mood, schizophrenia and anxiety disorders. [4]

10. Berries

Berries are rich in antioxidants like vitamin C. During pregnancy, oxytocin facilitates the onset and maintenance of parental behaviour such as grooming and nursing. It also helps decrease the risk of preeclampsia.

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11. Acerola cherries

Acerola cherries are extremely high in vitamin C. They help boost oxytocin levels by improving the functions of the brain receptors. Oxytocin helps protect the brain against memory loss and cognitive decline.

12. Soy milk

Soy milk is rich in vitamin D, a vital nutrient that helps in memory improvement by enhancing the production of oxytocin. Consumption of soy milk is also linked to improved sexual behaviour and social interactions.

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13. Extra virgin olive oil

Extra virgin olive oil is rich in dietary fat. The food helps stimulate neurotransmitters like oxytocin that helps in pain relief of joint and muscles, reduce stress and anxiety, and promote well-being in humans.

14. Meat liver

The liver of meat products such as beef is a rich source of vitamin D, an oxytocin-stimulating nutrient. Oxytocin has positive effects on the regulation of the oxytocin gene that helps in neuronal functions, sexual behaviour and prevention of psychiatric disorders.

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15. Almonds

Almonds are rich in magnesium. This mineral helps in the muscle and nerve functions and their repair. Magnesium is a vital nutrient required by the body to help oxytocin receptors in their proper functioning.

16. Mushroom

Mushroom is rich in vitamin D. Consumption of mushroom helps in improving social behaviour, learning and memory, reducing aggressive behaviours and improving psychological symptoms.

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17. Butter

Butter is rich in saturated fats. This food item helps trigger oxytocin that promotes sociality, social functioning, positive mood and healing. Butter also helps in the brain development and development of the central nervous and peripheral nervous system in children.