Tryptophan makes serotonin and serotonin makes you happy.
Include these top 10 tryptophan-rich foods in your menu for happier you because tryptophan makes serotonin and serotonin makes you happy.
In the intricate orchestra of neurotransmitters that regulate our mood and emotions, serotonin stands as a maestro. This “happy hormone” plays a pivotal role in promoting feelings of happiness, well-being, and relaxation. At the heart of serotonin production lies an essential amino acid tryptophan.
Tryptophan – the precursor to serotonin
Understanding the pivotal role of tryptophan in serotonin production sheds light on the powerful connection between our diet and our mental well-being. By incorporating these tryptophan-rich foods into your meals, you can provide your body with the essential building blocks needed to support optimal serotonin levels.
Tryptophan-rich foods will make you happy.
Tryptophan is an essential amino acid, meaning our bodies cannot produce it naturally, and it must be obtained through our diet. Once ingested, tryptophan serves as a precursor to serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates mood, sleep, appetite, and a range of emotional functions. The conversion of tryptophan into serotonin occurs in a series of intricate biochemical processes within the brain.
The significance of serotonin
Serotonin is one of four major “happy hormones”. Biochemically derived from tryptophan, serotonin is primarily found in the gastrointestinal tract (about 90% of the human body’s total serotonin is located there), blood platelets, and the central nervous system. Serotonin is a contributor to feelings of well-being and happiness. It regulates mood, appetite, and sleep. Serotonin also has some cognitive functions, including memory and learning. Modulation of serotonin at synapses is thought to be a major action of several classes of pharmacological antidepressants.
Serotonin is often referred to as the “happy hormone” due to its profound impact on mood and emotions. Adequate levels of serotonin contribute to feelings of contentment, relaxation, and a sense of well-being. Low levels of serotonin have been associated with conditions like depression, anxiety, and mood disorders.
Top 10 tryptophan-rich foods for happier you
The influence of food on our mood has been known for millennia. There are many ways regarding how food can make you happier. Certain foods activate the production of hormones of happiness – dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin, and endorphin. Here are the top 10 foods rich in tryptophan to help boost your mood and overall mental well-being.
Serotonin is synthesized from the essential amino acid L-tryptophan. The recommended daily intake for tryptophan is 4mg per kilogram of body weight (1.8mg per pound). So, a person weighing 70kg (about 154 pounds) should consume approximately 280mg of tryptophan per day. Below is a list of the top 10 foods highest in tryptophan which is presented as amount of milligrams per 100 grams of food with the percentage of recommended daily intake Daily Value – % DV.
Pumpkin seeds are packed with tryptophan, along with a variety of other nutrients. They can be sprinkled on salads, yogurt, or incorporated into baked goods.
Pumpkin seeds: 576mg of tryptophan per 100g (206% DV), or 161mg of tryptophan per ounce (28g) (58% DV)
Turkey is renowned for its high tryptophan content. It provides the raw material needed for the synthesis of serotonin, making it a go-to food for elevating mood.
Meat (lamb, beef, pork)
Meat is rich in tryptophan. It’s a versatile and lean protein source that can easily be incorporated into various dishes.
Meat (lamb, beef, pork): 415mg of tryptophan per 100g (148% DV)
In addition to being a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids, salmon is also a tryptophan-rich food that supports both brain health and mood regulation.
Salmon: 335mg of tryptophan per 100g (120% DV)
Oats: 335mg of tryptophan per 100g (120% DV)
Nuts (almonds, cashews)
Nuts are a convenient and satisfying source of tryptophan. They make for a handy snack that can help regulate mood throughout the day.
Soy products (tofu, tempeh)
Soy-based foods like tofu and tempeh are not only rich in tryptophan but also provide a complete source of plant-based protein.
Soy: 575mg of tryptophan per 100g (205% DV), or 161mg of tryptophan per ounce (28g) (57% DV)
Eggs are a versatile source of tryptophan. They can be prepared in numerous ways, making them an easy addition to your diet.
Eggs: 167mg of tryptophan per 100g (60% DV), or 84mg (30% DV) per egg (50g)
Certain types of cheese, such as mozzarella and cheddar, contain notable amounts of tryptophan. They can be enjoyed in moderation to support mood and well-being.
Cheese: On average, 560mg of tryptophan per 100g (about 200% DV), or 150mg of tryptophan per ounce (28g) (about 50% DV)
Dark chocolate, in particular, is not only a delightful treat but also a source of tryptophan. Enjoyed in moderation, it can contribute to a happier disposition.
Embrace these foods as part of your overall well-being journey, and experience the transformative power of nourishing your body and mind.
Remember, a balanced diet, coupled with other healthy lifestyle choices, can contribute to a happier, more balanced emotional state.
Enjoy and be happy!