Serotonin! Get it now!

An infomercial

TrueThings by Kinnari
3 min readDec 1, 2020

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*Cheesy infomercial music plays in the background*

Do you ever wake up from a restless sleep in a bad mood?

Have you ever had a small wound that took way too long to heal?

What about anxiety?

And have you ever just — not been able to sleep, just laid down the whole night restlessly?

Well not anymore!

Here’s Serotonin!

This 5-hydroxytryptamine is a monoamine neurotransmitter that can fix these problems. This hormone can stabilize your mood, feelings of well-being, and happiness while also stabilizing nausea, sleep, heals wounds, and bowel movements.

Even though you can’t get serotonin from food directly, there is an amino acid that is converted to serotonin in the brain. Tryptophan, which is an essential amino acid for the production and maintenance of neurotransmitters. But wait! What’s interesting is that due to something called blood-brain barrier (a protective sheath around your brain that controls what goes in and out) tryptophan doesn’t get absorbed to the brain. But don’t fret, there is a way for tryptophan to be absorbed into the brain. Research suggests that eating carbs (25 to 30 grams) along with tryptophan may help it be absorbed.

Some food that is tryptophan rich is salmon, seeds and nuts, chocolate, coffee, eggs, tofu and soy, orange, broccoli, pineapple, milk and cheese, and turkey and poultry. The best chance of gaining serotonin from the tryptophan is eating them with a serving of healthy carbohydrates like oatmeal, rice, and whole grain bread.

*Infomercial music continues*

You heard it here folks, carbs and tryptophan united can give you the happiness you deserve. Get serotonin today! BUT WAIT buy it now for a free boost of serotonin achieved by exercise and bright light! Let’s elaborate!

Like a plant, we need sunlight. Unlike a plant, we don’t photosynthesize, but we do synthesize serotonin in the sun through our skin (still not as cool as photosynthesizing though). Research suggest that even 10 minutes in sunshine can increase serotonin levels. Serotonin’s known impact on mood helps supports the occurrence of seasonal affective disorder (basically a sciency version of being sad — S.A.D) and mental health concerns linked to the seasons where there is less sunlight present. And for the people who live in a more rainy climate who have a harder time getting outside, you can also increase serotonin with light exposure with the help of a light therapy box.

And lastly we have exercise (ugh). Even though I hate exercising (who doesn’t?) I know it’s good as it releases tryptophan in the blood which travels to the brain, releasing serotonin. The most effect is Aerobic exercise as it get’s the heart rate increasing.

Some good aerobic exercises are swimming, brisk walking, bicycling, jogging, skating, and light hiking.

*More music begins*

Well, that’s everything serotonin does. With the help of tryptophan and carbohydrates, sunlight, and exercise you too can boost your mood, improve sleep, reduce anxiety, and heal wounds faster all with serotonin.

*Informercial music slowly fades out*

By Kinnari Setty

Sources -

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2077351/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3779905/
  3. https://www.healthline.com/health/how-to-increase-serotonin#exercise
  4. https://www.healthline.com/health/mental-health/serotonin#functions
  5. https://atlasbiomed.com/blog/serotonin-and-other-happy-molecules-made-by-gut-bacteria/#list-of-happy-hormones
  6. https://www.longdom.org/open-access/nutrient-and-stress-management-2155-9600-1000528.pdf
  7. https://www.purerecoveryca.com/foods-to-boost-serotonin-mental-health-mood/

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TrueThings by Kinnari

High schooler who loves Biology, Science, and Ingredients