GoodMoodVideos Blog

anti-depression foods high in tryptophan

Anti-depression foods high in tryptophan are one of the best ways to boost your mood and increase your energy.

“You are what you eat,” it is said. Your mood and energy are determined by various factors, but a key factor is what you eat. Insufficient protein, in particular, can lead to low serotonin level symptoms.

How to raise serotonin levels? One of the best ways is to eat more food high in tryptophan – foods that increase serotonin.

Tryptophan is a precursor to serotonin, a mood-boosting neurotransmitter. Serotonin makes us happy. That’s nice. At night, serotonin coverts to melatonin, which helps us sleep. So trying increasing your intake of tryptophan for insomnia and sleep through the night.

One of the best known food sources of tryptophan is turkey, which gets a bad rap because of Thanksgiving and its alleged tendency to make you stuffed and drowsy. However, what really makes us groggy on Thanksgiving is the carbohydrates, booze, and the fact that we ate about 5 meals in one sitting.

The truth is, turkey is a great anti-depression food. First, it’s protein-rich. And if your mood is low – whether you’re depressed and/or low-energy – chances are you’re not getting enough protein. Some specialists will recommend protein – ideally meat or egg – at every meal, plus protein snacks in between such as nuts.

Other serotonin-producing foods include dried egg whites, dried spirulina, dried cod, soybeans, Parmesan cheese, sesame seeds, cheddar cheese, sunflower seeds and pork chops. Indeed, all these natural sources of serotonin have even more than turkey.

So, if you want to feel better by day, and sleep better by night, get over your Thanksgiving bias, and gobble up some turkey or other anti-depression foods containing l-tryptophan.


Erich Toll is the writer/producer of the forthcoming “Good Mood” video series. You can contact him at Champion Communications, a video production Denver company


In a Word: Mood

Mood is one of those words that’s bandied about casually, its definition varies broadly. “The boss is in a bad mood,” coworkers confide. “I’m not in the mood,” a wife tells her husband. says it’s “a state or quality of feeling at a particular time.”  On a bad day, it’s “a state of sullenness, gloom, or bad temper.”

But what’s really interesting is what the word – which comes from Old English – originally meant…mind and spirit. Etymology is always revealing.

As our world changes, millions of people increasingly find themselves mood-challenged – or flat out in a bad mood, depressed, etc. From the gnarly economic recession to the vertigo-inducing acceleration of modern life, we increasingly face physical and mental stressors, and this affects our mood: mind and spirit.

The ancient Greeks really had their act together – they espoused mind/body/spirit wellness. Today, millions of us focus primarily on body: for example, cosmetic surgery is a much bigger business than meditation instruction.

How much are we investing, say, in mind? How much are we monitoring our thoughts, where they come from (often childhood nasties), and their effect on our mood and behavior today? Meditation is a great way to increase this awareness.

Or what about spirit? For many, a rote weekly visit to church, temple, etc. is supposed to cover that. Ned Flanders. Again, the original meaning of the word spirit is equally revealing; it comes from Latin, and means breath.

This can be interpreted to mean anything from meditation – which centers around breath – to exercise or the outdoors. I once read that with every breath we take, we breathe at least molecule that every other human being on Earth has or will breathe; I don’t know whether this is true or not, but at least symbolically breathing – spiritus – connects us with all other living beings.

To enjoy a good mood – today and everyday – be mindful of the origin of mood. Take good care of your mind and spirit, and your mood will take good care of you.

Erich Toll is a journalist and video producer specializing in mind/spirit wellness.