Tryptophan Makes You Smarter, Improves Mood and Sleep
Could tryptophan improve your chances of attaining a better mood, stronger cognitive function and better-quality sleep? Research shows tryptophan and its connection to serotonin production could, in fact, have a positive influence on your mental well being.
Tryptophan’s Positive Impact on the Way Your Brain Works
Studies indicate that there is a link between improved cognitive function and increased levels of tryptophan in the body. Memory, in particular, is a function of the brain that has shown notable improvement with the consumption of tryptophan. This phenomenon appears to be particularly strong in people who have been diagnosed with memory-related diseases like Alzheimer’s. In fact, low levels of tryptophan have been associated with memory loss of the long and short-term varieties.
Another facet of mental health, emotional wellbeing, is also believed to be improved by increased consumption of tryptophan-heavy foods. Many individuals report seeing improvements with issues like ADHD, depression and anxiety. For instance, participants in a 2015 study that focused on middle-aged women reportedly experienced a change in focus from a negative bias towards a more positive one. They also exhibited faster reaction times and more often experienced a “high energy” emotional state.
Tryptophan is of course a well-known booster of serotonin levels. Raised levels of serotonin are strongly linked to improvement in mental illnesses like depression and bipolar disorder. It can also be effective in treating seasonal affective disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Improving the Quality of Your Sleep with Tryptophan
Not only does tryptophan contribute to the production of serotonin, it is also vital to the production of the sleep hormone melatonin. Increasing the amount of tryptophan in your system can help promote longer periods of sleep that are more restful. Tryptophan can also help cut down on the number times you wake up throughout the night. To boost the effects of tryptophan’s sleep-related benefits, be sure to follow up your dose of tryptophan with a carb-heavy snack.
Eat Your Tryptophan
Some people swear by tryptophan supplements, but with higher, concentrated doses you may experience side effects like headaches, digestive issues and loss of appetite. A safer way to consume tryptophan is by eating it. Pumpkins seeds, nuts, tofu, chicken, eggs, fish, beans and lentils are all excellent natural sources of tryptophan. Seeing an improvement in your cognitive function and sleep quality could be as simple as incorporating these foods into your diet.
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