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Fraser Trevor Fraser Trevor Author
Title: tryptophan is the amino acid building block of serotonin, and by eating foods rich in it, like chicken, turkey, and salmon, you can actually increase your levels of serotonin.
Author: Fraser Trevor
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 “serotonin-rich” diet, which included foods rich in tryptophan.  tryptophan is the amino acid building block of serotonin, and by eating...
Space-filling model of the 5-hydroxytryptophan...
 “serotonin-rich” diet, which included foods rich in tryptophan.  tryptophan is the amino acid building block of serotonin, and by eating foods rich in it, like chicken, turkey, and salmon, you can actually increase your levels of serotonin. This makes perfect sense. I don’t know about you, but I always feel sleepy after eating my Thanksgiving turkey dinner. That’s because the tryptophan in the turkey is being converted into serotonin. The result is a calm, sort of sedated feeling.

Exercise is also a good way to promote serotonin levels. According to Dr. Amen, “tryptophan, a relatively small amino acid, has trouble competing against the larger amino acids to enter the brain. But, during exercise, more of the larger amino acids are utilized to replenish muscle strength, which causes a decrease in the availability of these larger amino acids in the bloodstream. As such, tryptophan can compete more efficiently to enter the brain and raise serotonin levels.”

No wonder I always feel so relaxed after running. The serotonin in my brain must be skyrocketing! With all of this, who really needs alcohol? I can feel just as relaxed and worry-free with the right combination of diet, exercise, and medication. I don’t find myself obsessing about personal achievement like I used to, and I certainly don’t let mistakes hurl me into a deep, dark depression. Today, I’m much more relaxed and flexible, and I enjoy a healthy balance of work and recreation.

Praise God!I’ve even started going back to AA meetings. Yeah I know, from what I said earlier, it sounds a little hypocritical. But the way I feel about AA, is the same way I feel about the Catholicism. I may not agree with all of its tenets—especially the one about being powerless over the “disease” of addiction—but I do appreciate the support and community. And now that I’ve tackled the underlying chemical imbalance, I actually want to be part of the community, instead of just isolating.
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