Tryptophan may sound like something out of a Superman comic but it’s not. Even so, it does have a bit of a superpower … it promotes better quality sleep and increases emotional wellbeing.
It’s an essential amino acid that’s naturally found in some foods, particularly those that are high in protein. You’ll find good doses of tryptophan in meats like turkey, chicken and fish as well as cheese, milk, peanuts, tofu, lentils, soy, pumpkin, sesame seeds and chocolate.
The body can’t make tryptophan, so we have to eat tryptophan-rich foods in order to obtain it. When consumed, synthesises into serotonin in your body and serotonin is a chemical messenger that stabilises mood and helps with healthy sleep patterns. Studies have linked people who have mood disorders like anxiety and depression with low levels of tryptophan. When the body is low in tryptophan, the brain is low in serotonin. One important note though is that tryptophan is more readily absorbed if eaten along with carbohydrates.
By incorporating tryptophan-rich foods into your diet, you may notice a positive effect on your mood, energy levels and sleep.
Consuming supplements doesn’t always have to be by capsule, tablet or powder. Tryptophan is in so many delicious foods that it’s easy and enjoyable to boost your levels!