Chicken and turkey are good sources of tryptophan.
Foto: Olya Kobruseva / Pexels
Tryptophan is an essential amino acid for the body. This means that we cannot produce it so we need to obtain it in the diet. Taking tryptophan can help you have a healthier and better quality sleep. This is why people with sleep problems benefit from the consumption of natural tryptophan in food.
The body uses tryptophan to help make melatonin and serotonin. The United States National Library of Medicine explains that melatonin helps regulate the sleep-wake cycle and it is believed that Serotonin helps regulate appetite, sleep, mood, and pain.
The content of tryptophan, as well as other nutrients, makes the consumption of certain foods considered helpful to fall asleep and sleep better.
Tryptophan-rich foods for dinner
Tryptophan is especially found in protein-rich foods.
According to WebMD, the recommended daily allowance (RDA) in the United States is 250 to 425 milligrams per day.
Whole milk is one of the greatest sources of tryptophan. It provides 732 milligrams per quart. 2% reduced fat milk provides 551 milligrams per quart.
2. Chicken and turkey
A pound of raw turkey meat has 410 milligrams per pound in its light portion, while dark meat contains 303 milligrams. Chicken contains 238 milligrams per pound in the light part and dark meat contains 256 milligrams.
Eggs have about 210 mg of tryptophan for every 3.5 ounces. The whites are richer in tryptophan. In addition to tryptophan, eggs have other nutrients that can help you sleep better.
One ounce of canned tuna can give you 472 milligrams of tryptophan.
5. Red beans
A 3.5-ounce serving of kidney beans has 215 mg of tryptophan.
One cup of prepared oatmeal provides 147 milligrams of tryptophan.
Cheddar cheese contains 91 milligrams of tryptophan per ounce.
One ounce of peanuts provides 65 milligrams of tryptophan.
Other foods that also provide you with tryptophan are Protein isolate from soy, tofu, spirulina, spinach, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds.
The importance of tryptophan
Tryptophan has the lowest concentration in the body of any amino acid. But it is necessary for a wide variety of functions such as maintenance of the body’s proteins, muscles, enzymes, and neurotransmitters.
The liver can also use tryptophan to make niacin (vitamin B3), which is necessary for energy metabolism and DNA production.
Low levels of tryptophan can negatively affect mood and cognition
Scientific research has shown that Those experiencing depression may have lower than normal tryptophan levels.
It has also been found that those with low tryptophan levels may experience higher levels of anxiety, tension, and nervousness in stressful situations. Low levels of this amino acid can also affect memory performance.
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.