Tryptophan and Anxiety
Diet plays such an essential role in our health. Importantly, everyone knows this, yet few know every inner working to their nutrition; in fact, it would take years to learn everything! Have you ever heard of tryptophan? How about serotonin?
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that controls our motor movements, manages emotions, and so much more. As with anything, you can have too much or too little, and this imbalance will disrupt your brain chemistry. Sometimes this will lead to anxiety, depression, or sleep issues.
There’s an amino acid that our body cannot make, and therefore, we must get it from our food! It’s called tryptophan, which is essential to making serotonin (and melatonin, the sleep hormone). Thus, the levels that our body has available impact stress, mood, and sleep!
When your serotonin levels are just right, it will improve emotion, decrease anxiety, and boost sleep and pain tolerance! Who doesn’t want that?
Natural Sources of Tryptophan
- egg white
- seeds and nuts
You may also consider supplements, but always check with your doctor first!
Are you getting enough tryptophan? Unfortunately, many do not, especially as it has a difficult time making its way to the brain. Consequently, tryptophan is most effective when ingested with carbohydrates, as they help the amino acid cross the blood-brain barrier!
Notably, diet cannot act alone. All lifestyle factors impact stress and mood, such as exercise and sunlight exposure. Make sure you’re spending lots of time outside this summer, doing what you enjoy. Wellness is a journey!
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