Tryptophan is an essential amino acid. Amino acids are basic building blocks that make up proteins. Tryptophan is considered essential since not ingesting enough each day could lead to health problems. It is necessary for many functions in the body, including, facilitating the transmission of nerve impulses within the brain and the nervous system by forming compounds called neurotransmitters. Tryptophan that can be converted into the neurotransmitter called serotonin and is used to produce melatonin. Serotonin plays an important role in the regulation of sleep, learning and mood. Melatonin helps control your sleep and wake cycles.

Increasing L-tryptophan levels has been shown to eliminate insomnia, epilepsy, bulimia, anorexia, schizophrenia, aggressive behavior, suicidal tendencies, and hallucinations. Increased levels can also alleviate the pain associated with headaches.

Sources include:
1. Turkey
2. Chicken
3. Elk (highest concentration of L-tryptophan)
4. Buffalo
5. Halibut, tuna, red snapper
6. Cheddar, mozzarella, colby, cottage cheese
7. Spirulina seaweed
8. Spinach, turnip greens, beet greens, red leaf lettuce, watercress
9. Portabella mushrooms, white mushrooms
10. Almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts
11. Butter
12. Pinto beans, lima beans, black beans