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A perky disposition depends on carbohydrates. Serotonin, your brain's primary mood-boosting neurotransmitter, comes from the amino acid tryptophan, which needs carbohydrates to reach the brain, according to Judith Wurtman, PhD, former MIT research scientist and co-author of The Serotonin Power Diet. Problem is, as cute as Christmas cookies are, their refined carbs spur an overproduction of insulin that's not only linked to sugar crashes but spikes in stress hormones as well. Reach for warm and gooey oatmeal instead, suggests Wurtman. It contains the healthy carbohydrates and fiber needed to boost your serotonin levels for a full three hours.

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