Tryptophan is one of the essential amino acids found in food that has many effects on the body. Most of us think as tryptophan with the association of thanksgiving, and the nap required after the turkey dinner. Tryptophan is found in many other foods and can have positive effects on the body like induced relaxation and positive effects on mental disorders, and other high anxiety situations.

Tryptophan is important in the body’s production of serotonin, melatonin and niacin and not surprisingly is found in most foods that are considered to be a source of proteins. Tryptophan has the ability to induce sleep, improve moods of those consuming the amino acid and even regulate the appetite. There are many benefits to the amino acid, and it can be used to treat a variety of disorders.

As ten of the twenty amino acids are, tryptophan is ingested into the body as they cannot be produced into proteins. It cannot be synthesized and therefore it is important that we gain access to the digestive system through foods – lucky that many foods contain high levels of the amino acid.

There are many foods that contain high levels of tryptophan, these foods are; chocolate, turkey, oats and many other whole grains, yogurt, chickpeas and sesame seeds as well as other sources of protein in poultry. Salmon, potatoes and many ricedishes also contain high levels of the amino acid, tryptophan.

Dried egg white contains the highest levels of tryptophan in foods that are consumed on a regular basis. It is important that we take account the effects o tryptophan on our systems when we are creating dishes for ourselves and our families. Turkey is not the only food that can create a sleepy effect after the food has been ingested. Many find that a change in diet and cooking with foods that contain lower amounts of tryptophan can increase energy and decrease the effects of chronic fatigue syndrome.

Tryptophan can have many positive effects on the body, such as; benefiting the pain of menstrual cramps or increasing levels of serotonin in the brain. Introducing tryptophan into the body assists in the production of serotonin and has been thought to assist the body in the metabolization of disorders like epilepsy and depression.

Although the amino acids are readily available in foods, there are prescription drugs available that focus on high concentrations of tryptophan. The prescription guidelines are created for use within the brain to treat depression, or as a suitable sleep aid.

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