Do you often feel tired after a big feast? That’s because your meal was sure to contain a source of tryptophan, an amino acid that regulates our sleep and mood. In this blog post, we are going to explore how tryptophan works and discuss some of the benefits associated with it. So, keep reading to find out more!
Source of serotonin and melatonin.
Frederick Growland gave a precise definition of the tryptophan in 1901. It is an amino acid that the body particularly needs for its proper functioning. In the molecule of this nutrient, there are two types of isomers, namely “D” and “L”. The body naturally understands the “L” configuration which is of a physiological nature, leading in particular to the metabolic mechanism of serotonin, hence the name ” tryptophan serotonin “.
After absorbing L-tryptophan, the body produces tryptophan hydroxylase (metabolic enzyme) and proceeds to transform the nutrient into 5-HTP (L-5-hydroxytryptophan). It is an amino acid that will be immediately metabolized into a neurotransmitter by decarboxylase enzymes. Hence the obtaining of serotonin which is essential for regulating morale and mood.
Tryptophan: precision on its benefits.
About the benefits of tryptophan, know that the way you eat determines your state of health. This nutrient has superpowers, especially on brain function. Expert dieticians even come to the conclusion that it is one of the 22 amino acids that make up proteins. This serotonin precursor, once absorbed in the body, interacts directly with a dedicated enzyme. This is where the mechanism that transforms it into the hormone responsible for mood regulation comes into play. The quantity of tryptophan-rich foods will therefore allow you to better resist stress and boost your morale.
In addition, tryptophan also gives rise to the synthesis of the sleep hormone, melatonin. It will encourage you to fall asleep and improve the quality of your sleep. The roles of this amino acid on the brain-gut interaction and the strengthening of the immune system are not left out. Nutrition experts do not even hesitate to confirm that this super-nutrient can help the body fight against possible inflammation caused by bacteria in the intestinal microbiota.
Include tryptophan in your diet to better reap its benefits.
Precursor to the hormone of happiness, biological clock regulator, etc., many are the qualifications given to tryptophan. To reap its benefits, foods can be added to your dining table. Here they are :
Shellfish and fish, and all foods rich in essential fatty acids:
Tryptophan can be found in large amounts in seafood that also contains other essential fatty acids, including omega-3. By way of illustration, there are 704 mg of tryptophan in 100 g of cod, 618 mg in 100 g of dried smelt, 335 mg in 100 g of tuna and 370 mg in 100 g of lobster.
Eat eggs and meats:
Studies show that eggs and meats are the foods with the highest amount of tryptophan. Among other things, you get 19,000 mg of this amino acid by taking 100 g of chicken with skin, 458 mg in 100 g of game, 625 mg in 100 g of pork offal, 450 mg in 100 g of beef, 400 mg in 100 g of rabbit, 415 mg in 100 g of turkey and 400 mg in 100 g of egg.
As part of a varied diet, do not forget dairy products:
You can also take dairy products, to benefit from a certain amount of tryptophan. For this, know that a quantity of 100 g of cream cheese contains 1017 mg of tryptophan. Also, if you eat 100g of gouda, you are going to get 350mg. As for powdered milk, the intake is 510 mg per 100 g, and respectively 560 mg/100 g, 420 mg/100 g and 401 mg/100 g for Parmesan, Gruyère and Emmental.
Other foods added to the list:
Cereals also contain some amount of tryptophan, such as oats, brown rice and whole wheat. The same is true for dried fruits (almonds, walnuts, peanuts) and legumes (split peas, kidney beans, roasted soybeans, lentils). Some fruits are also carriers of this precursor to the hormone of happiness, for example bananas. For other sources, you can take spirulina (929 mg/100 g), soy protein isolate (1116 mg/100 g), and dark chocolate. In any case, you must eat better and balanced to ensure a recommended daily intake of tryptophan.
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