During unusual times, consumption of foods rich in tryptophan will not increase its levels in the bloodstream in case there is deficiency of the nutrient. This is because other amino acids like leucine, tyrosine and histidine work against tryptophan and will not allow it to access the brain. Thus, consuming foods high in protein will only increase the level of other amino acids and result to the decrease of tryptophan. Nonetheless, you can increase tryptophan levels by:
• Use of tryptophan supplements
• Consumption of foods high in tryptophan while the stomach is empty
• Consumption of foods high in tryptophan only so that it will not contradict with other proteins or amino acids.
Foods that are High in Tryptophan
It is common knowledge that amino acids are the building blocks of proteins and aid in the neurotransmission of biochemical messages going and coming from the brain. Every now and then, eating some kinds of food make a person feel peaceful, relaxed and even drowsy. These are foods high in tryptophan. For example, some individuals feel tired after eating grilled turkey. Other foods which are rich in tryptophan are:
Milk – It is a good idea to drink milk before going to bed at night. This will allow a person to sleep better at night. Another good source of tryptophan is soy milk.
Meat – Both red and lean meat like mutton, turkey, chicken and beef are abundant sources of tryptophan.
Cheese – Cheese can be added to the daily diet. You can use different kinds of cheese like Swiss cheese, cottage cheese, tofu, cheddar processed cheese and many more. Gruyere which is a variety of Swiss cheese is extremely rich in tryptophan.
Other important foods rich in tryptophan are sunflower, bananas, roasted seeds of pumpkin, all kinds of nuts, sesame, dairy, poultry and fish. Eating red or brown rice will also help in increasing the levels of tryptophan in the bloodstream.
If you consume foods rich in carbohydrates, the body will quickly release insulin in clearing off the amino acids which contend with tryptophan. Since tryptophan is not affected by insulin, it reaches the brain once the other amino acids are cleared by insulin. This is exactly the reason why a person will feel drowsy after the consumption of foods high in carbohydrates. This is also the reason why foods rich in carbohydrates are termed as “comfort” food.