Vegan foods rich in tryptophan to boost serotonin

Serotonin is a well-known hormone of happiness. Besides that, it is a main contributor to good memory, learning, appetite, sleep, and many other biochemical functions. Serotonin produces your happiness, and amino acid tryptophan produces serotonin.

Although, the main food sources of tryptophan are of animal origins such as cheeses, meats, poultry, fish, and eggs, vegans can easily maintain their daily tryptophan diet.

The recommended daily intake for tryptophan is 4mg per kilogram of body weight (1.8mg per pound). So, a person weighing 70kg (about 154 pounds) should consume approximately 280mg of tryptophan per day. Below is a list of the foods highest in tryptophan which is presented as amount of milligrams per 100 grams of food with the percentage of recommended daily intake Daily Value – % DV

Seeds and nuts high in tryptophan

The best source of tryptophan ever is pumpkin seeds – 576mg of tryptophan per 100g (206% DV), or 161mg of tryptophan per ounce (28g) (58% DV). Other seeds and nuts high in tryptophan include: chia seeds (44%), sesame seeds (39%), sunflower seeds (35%), flaxseeds (30%), pistachio nuts (29%), cashew nuts (24%), almonds (21%), and hazelnuts (19%).


Soy and its products are very good sources of tryptophan that on average contain 575mg of tryptophan per 100g (205% DV), or 161mg of tryptophan per ounce (28g) (57% DV)


Oats are very rich in tryptophan: 335mg of tryptophan per 100g (120% DV). Other uncooked brans and whole grains high in tryptophan (%DV per cup) are: wheat germ and whole oats (130%), buckwheat (116%), wheat bran (59%), oat cereal, regular and quick cook (53%).

Beans and lentils

Generally, beans have 115mg of tryptophan per 100g (41% DV). Other beans and lentils high in tryptophan (% DV per cup) include: cranberry (roman) beans (70%), yellow beans and small white beans (68%), pinto beans and kidney beans (66%), pink beans, navy beans and black beans (65%), and lentils (57%).

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