For better sleep, fewer headaches and migraines, and a stable food, get more tryptophan, L-tryprophan or 5-HTP for your diets.

Tryptophan, or 5-HTP, is a vital amino acid our bodies need for producing niacin and serotonin. Serotonin is regarded to be a chemical messenger that functions as a mood stabilizer that boosts healthy sleep and a stable mood. This chemical is associated to living longer and feeling good.

To increase your serotonin level, you can consume foods that contain tryptophan. The 5-HTP used in supplements usually comes from the seeds of an African plant (Griffonia simplicifolia). In our bodies, this 5-HTP rapidly transforms into serotonin, a neurotransmitter (a chemical that transports messengers to and from the brain) that affects appetite, mood and sleep cycles as well. Apart of that, 5-HTP has been used to treat numerous disorders including binge eating disorders, menopausal symptoms and PMS, fibromyalgia, tension headaches and migraines.

Obviously, extra tryptophan in our diets can lead to extra serotonin in our brains, explaining why the supplements are touted as a mood lifter as well as a sleep aid, in addition to other things.

Ongoing research reveals that tryptophan depletion is linked to mood disorders such as anxiety and depression. When the diet is lower in tryptophan the brain serotonin level will also drop considerably. Therefore, we should include tryptophan-containing foods in our daily diets. Foods that provide tryptophan or 5-HTP are almonds, tofu, seaweed, spinach, walnuts, oats, lentils, beans, nuts and seeds.

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