Essential for sleep, making serotonin and curbing sugar cravings; here's some easy ways to get this nutrient in to your diet

Tryptophan is an amino acid, one of the building blocks of protein

What is it important for?

  • Necessary for the production of vitamin B3
  • Needed for serotonin production ( low levels are associated with depression and anxiety)
  • Required for melatonin production; vital for sleep and our circadian rhythm
  • Suppresses sweet cravings and appetite
  • Important for the growth and development of nerve cells
  • Stimulates the production of blood proteins in the liver

Did you know…...?

Tryptophan is one of the amino acids that cannot be made by the body and must be consumed through diet.

So how can we include it in our daily diet?

Virtually all foods that contain protein will contain tryptophan

  • Vegetables and fruit; bananas, broccoli, spinach, watercress, asparagus, mushrooms
  • Beans ; soy beans, mung beans
  • Seeds and nuts; almonds , sesame seeds, chia seeds
  • Meat and fish; turkey, chicken, lamb, salmon , halibut
  • Wholegrains; oats

Try an easy tryptophan rich night time snack to help with sleep ...............


  • Oat cakes with cottage cheese sprinkled with sesame seeds
  • Oat, almond milk and banana smoothie
  • Warm edamame beans ( soy beans) with sesame oil and sesame seeds

My weekly ‘Nutrient Spotlight’ written for Fields to Fork Organics

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Scrumptious Squash

Butternut squash has a distinctive bell like shape, tan coloured skin and rich, sweet, orangey flesh. This winter squash is bursting with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals and is therefore an outstanding ingredient for any meal.

Butternut squash is one of the richest sources of alpha and beta carotenes, and is a great source of the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin. With the addition of high vitamin A content, this vegetable is a valuable food for eye health and offers overall antioxidant protection.

Butternut squash is also thought to have excellent properties for promoting cardio-vascular health. Squash contains a specific starch, fibre and B vitamins which contribute towards its blood sugar regulating properties and maybe beneficial for preventing type 2 diabetes.

Top Tip: Scoop out and separate the seeds (from the pulp), place them on a baking sheet and roast at 60° F for approximately 20 minutes and enjoy them as a healthy snack. The seeds are rich in healthy oils and are an excellent source of tryptophan, which is required to make the ‘happy hormone’ serotonin.

How to eat your butternut squash: Puree, steam, blend, bake, stuff or stew. Or simply roast, cut in half, add a drizzle of olive oil, lemon juice and a dash of tahini and tuck in!

My weekly ‘Nutritional Nugget’ written for Fields to Fork Organics

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