3 Ways to get Serotonin

natural ways to improve mood, feel good, and have positive vibes

By Aditya Shukla, psychologist

What is serotonin?

It's a neurotransmitter and a hormone.  Hormone: It is made by the gastrointestinal tract and supplied via blood to other parts of the body. Neurotransmitter: It is released by the neuron's synapses to communicate with other brain cells.

What does serotonin do?

Its primary psychological function is to improve mood and positive feelings. That's why it's called the "feel good" molecule. It's non-psychological role is regulating the intestine and blood clotting.

1. Get sunlight.

Sunlight helps with vitamin D synthesis. Vitamin D helps to convert tryptophan (amino acid) into serotonin, which then regulates mood.

2. Improve gut bacteria.

Gut bacteria is directly responsible for 90% serotonin production. Gut biota helps EC cells (enterochromaffin cells) produce serotonin. Have a diet rich in tryptophan like tune, meat, milk, cheese, bread, nuts, oats.

3. Get exercise.

Exercise promotes tryptophan too, increasing serotonin.

Tip: Serotonin by itself is not enough or mandatory to counter depression. Depression has social, cognitive, genetic, and trauma components.