Tryptophan is one of the essential amino acids, the smallest units of protein. Tryptophan is necessary for the synthesis of neurotransmitter serotonin. Due to its effects in the synthesis and release of serotonin, tryptophan can modify sleep and mood.
Tryptophan containing foods include plant foods (nuts, flax seed, beans) and animal foods (beef, pork, egg). The amount of typtophan contained in food source,s however, varies. Below is a list of select typtophan food sources, ordered high to low.
|Tryptophan food sources||Tryptophan content (gram/100 grams food)|
|flax seed, raw||
|cowpea, catjang, mature seeds, raw||
|Salami, Italian, pork||
|Turkey, all classes, meat only, raw||
|Peanuts, all types, raw||
|Turkey, fryer-roasters, meat and skin, raw||
|Chicken, broilers or fryers, thigh, meat only, raw||
|Chicken, broilers or fryers, wing, meat and skin, raw||
|Turkey, breast meat, raw||
|Egg, yolk, raw, fresh||
|Nuts, walnuts, english||
|Egg, whole, raw, fresh||
|Beef, round, top round, separable lean and fat, trimmed to 1/8" fat, select, raw||
|Beef, top sirloin, separable lean only, trimmed to 1/8" fat, choice, raw||
|Turkey, sausage, fresh, raw||
|Egg, white, raw, fresh||
|Sausage, Italian, pork, raw||
|Milk, sheep, fluid||
|Milk, whole, 3.25% milkfat||
|Soy milk, fluid||
|Milk, goat, fluid||
|Pork, fresh, separable fat, raw||
|Snap beans, green, raw||
|Milk, human, mature, fluid||
|Amino acid symbols|
|Essential amino acids||Non-Essential amino acids|
Protein related links
Food sources of protein: animal and vegetable protein sources and content.
Protein requirement: for kids, adults and pregnant and lactating women.
Soybean/tofu: nutritional value and health benefits
Essential and non essential amino acids: Definitions and Functions
L-Arginine: Food Sources, Health Benefits and Side Effects
Fernstrom, J. D. Can nutrient supplements modify brain function? American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 71, No. 6, 1669S-1673s, 2000.
Data source: USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 19 (2006).