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Need a Serotonin Boost? Try out Some of These Foods

By Stephen R. Farris

Do you find yourself feeling unhappy? Maybe things are happening at home or work that could be causing you to become more unhappy than usual. Or even worse, maybe things are happening that should be making you feel pretty good -- dinner at a restaurant instead of slaving in a hot kitchen -- yet you still find it difficult to be overwhelmingly happy about it.

You could be low on serotonin, a chemical in our body that helps produce better sleep and can boost our mood in a positive manner, according to studies. However, more study is being done to help researchers better understand how serotonin has this effect on sleep and behavior.

Tryptophan has been linked to being able to increase serotonin in the body. There are several foods that are rich in tryptophan and can trigger or awaken serotonin.


The yolks in eggs have been found to be rich in tryptophan, as well as several nutrients that can give your mood a boost.


No wonder pizza can put us in a good mood. It's not the pepperoni or anchovies, it's the cheese! Tryptophan is found in cheese and other dairy products, such as eggs and milk. So now you know why your kids smile big when you mention that you're cooking mac and cheese for supper.


Tofu undoubtedly is a secret vegans have known for a long time. It is a soy-based product that is rich in tryptophan. However, if you're not into tofu, you can pretty much substitute it with another protein source.


There must really be something about salmon. It seems to always pop up in just about every nutritional article you find. On the up and up, salmon is rich in tryptophan and is beneficial for your overall nutrition.


On any given Thanksgiving Thursday in late November, you can bet that after consuming a meal where turkey is served, just about everyone is ready for a relaxing nap afterwards. Why is that, you ask? If you haven't figured it out, turkey also contains tryptophan. This explains everyone fighting over the sofa in the middle of Thanksgiving afternoon.

While we've looked at a few foods that are rich in tryptophan and that can serve as a boost in serotonin, tryptophan may affect serotonin in a rather small amount -- mainly because tryptophan has to compete with other amino acids in the body in order to get where it needs to be to cause and effect. On the plus side, you're still able to include these foods in a healthy diet plan.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.

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