Tryptophan (abbreviated as Trp or W) is one of the 20 standard amino acids. It is an essential amino acid in the human diet, meaning it must be obtained form food sources.

Tryptophan functions as a biochemical precursor for serotonin (which can then be converted to melatonin by enzymes in the body). Because of this tryptophan produces a calming effect or acts as a sleep-aid.

Tryptophan is a found in most protein-based foods or dietary proteins. It is particularly plentiful in chocolate, oats, bananas, mangoes, dried dates, milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, red meat, eggs, fish, poultry, sesame, chickpeas, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, spirulina, and peanuts.


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IUPAC-IUBMB Joint Commission on Biochemical Nomenclature. Nomenclature and Symbolism for Amino Acids and Peptides. Recommendations on Organic & Biochemical Nomenclature, Symbols & Terminology etc. Retrieved on 2007-05-17. ; Radwanski ER, Last RL (1995). "Tryptophan biosynthesis and metabolism: biochemical and molecular genetics". Plant Cell 7 (7): 921–34. doi:10.1105/tpc.7.7.921. PMID 7640526.

About The Author

Kelley Herring, founder of Healing Gourmet, is a natural nutrition enthusiast with a background in biochemistry. Her passion is educating on how foods promote health and protect against disease and creating simple and delicious recipes for vibrant health and enjoyment.

Kelley Herring – who has written posts on Healing Gourmet.

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