Properties and Benefits of Tryptophan: As an essential amino acid, tryptophan is crucial for keeping alive and in good health. Because it cannot be produced by the body, it must be supplied through diet. Why is it important to have tryptophan in our diet? Because it is the building block in protein synthesis, meaning it helps create new proteins. Proteins are involved in enzymatic reactions, cell signaling and help build tissue and organs.
At the same time, tryptophan is essential for serotonin synthesis. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that basically increases feelings of self-worth and happiness and tryptophan plays a pivotal part in the process of serotonin production. Tryptophan is a precursor of a neurotransmitter called serotonin and a precursor of vitamin B3 (niacin). The best food sources of tryptophan are milk and dairy products, red meat, poultry, eggs, chocolate, bananas, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and peanuts. It is also available as a food supplement.
Tryptophan is of crucial importance to mental health as well. It is a precursor of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates mood, sleep and even appetite. Serotonin is responsible for positive feelings such as cheerfulness, calm, confidence, dynamism, serenity, vivacity and so on.
A good intake of tryptophan leads to good levels of serotonin which, in turn, generates happiness and positive feelings, a healthy appetite and quality sleep. Low tryptophan levels cause low serotonin levels which can lead to depression.
Thus, eating tryptophan rich foods can improve sleep quality, treat insomnia and give a more positive attitude towards life by regulating serotonin levels. Personally, I do not recommend taking tryptophan food supplements. As long as there are healthier options such as the above-mentioned food sources, there is no need to ingest another pill. Enjoy a good meal and you will be happier and healthier.