You may have heard that your diet plays a large role in your mood, but did you know that the bulk of your body’s serotonin – or, the hormone most linked to happiness – is produced in your gut? Over 90 percent of serotonin comes from your intestines, which means that it only makes sense that how you eat can make a difference in how you feel.
According to experts, eating an amino acid called tryptophan can boost the production of serotonin and, as a result, make you feel happier and ward off depressive symptoms. Tryptophan is often found in protein-rich foods, meaning that tryptophan-rich foods not only help you feel better, but also provide the essential protein you need to power through your workout – or, even just your workday. Read on to discover a handful of different foods that have this amino acid in them.
Poultry, like chicken and turkey, is a great source of tryptophan. However, when eaten in large quantities, you can feel extra sleepy. Aim for a serving size around the size of a pack of cards.
Eggs are one of the oldest superfoods on record. Eggs are high in vitamins A and B12, selenium, and choline. They’re also rich in tryptophan, meaning that your breakfast could make you happier.
Great news for vegetarians: soy-based products are high in tryptophan. Tofu, soy sauce, and soy milk are three great examples of soy-based foods that you can eat to get that mood boost.
No, you’re not imagining it – salmon is nutritious for a million different reasons. Aside from healthy omega-3s, fatty acids, and Vitamin D, salmon is rich in tryptophan.
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