Tryptophan is an essential amino acid. As it cannot be synthesized in the body, to meet your body’s tryptophan need you must consume foods rich in tryptophan daily. The best sources of tryptophan are poultry, eggs, fish, milk, dairy, nuts, soy and pumpkin and sesame seeds.Tryptophan plays a vital role in the growth and development of the body tissues and is essential for the functioning of various body organs. It is also needed for the synthesis of niacin or vitamin B3 and the neurotransmitter serotonin. World Health Organization recommends consuming 3.5 mg of tryptophan for each kilogram of body weight. Consuming sufficient protein rich foods daily helps in meeting your optimal tryptophan need.
Here Is How Tryptophan Rich Foods Are Beneficial For Your Health:
Makes You Happy
Tryptophan is essential for the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates mood. Tryptophan is converted into 5-HTP, which is a precursor to serotonin. Low serotonin level makes you sad. Hence, to improve mood and overcome depression, you must consume tryptophan rich foods.
Your body also uses tryptophan absorbed from foods to synthesize the sleep hormone melatonin. Melatonin controls the sleep-wake cycle and deficiency of this hormone causes insomnia. Increasing intake of tryptophan rich foods helps you to fall asleep fast.
Increasing consumption of tryptophan rich foods can also help smokers to quit smoking. Studies have shown that low serotonin level in the brain of smokers triggers withdrawal symptoms that make quitting the bad habit difficult. In a study researchers have found that increasing tryptophan intake helps in overcoming the withdrawal symptoms.
Reduces Bad Lipids
High low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or bad cholesterol level could be a sign of tryptophan deficiency. A significant amount of tryptophan absorbed from the food is converted into niacin or vitamin B3 in the liver. Niacin slows down production of triglycerides and bad cholesterol. Moreover, it boosts the level of high-density lipoprotein or the good cholesterol.
By raising the serotonin level, tryptophan rich foods also help in weight loss. Serotonin is a natural appetite suppressant. It helps in increasing satiety that makes you feel full after consuming fewer calories.