tryptophan

  1. Tryptophan can improve sleep and mood if you get it the RIGHT way

    The BIGGEST myth about your Thanksgiving turkey!

    Happy Thanksgiving, my friend!

    I hope you enjoy a delicious feast surrounded by those you care about most, and savor the company as much as the meal.

    Some families laugh. Some argue. Some watch the game...

    But before the day is out, one person is almost guaranteed to yawn with great satisfaction and announce the turkey’s TRYPTOPHAN must be kicking in.

    Well, here’s a little trivia you can whip out in response – along with a far SIMPLER way to get some EASY SLEEP ANY time of year.

    There are plenty of reasons people can feel sleepy late in the day on Thanksgiving.

    Maybe it’s waking up early to cook, or eating lots of delicious food. Maybe it’s the wine, or sugar “crash” from that extra slice of pie.

    But what it’s NOT is the tryptophan!

    While turkey does contain a little tryptophan, it’s really not much… and certainly not even close to the levels you need to feel any effects.

    And that’s a shame.

    Boosting tryptophan is actually a terrific way to boost your mood, ease anxiety and feel nice and relaxed… and it’s also terrific for helping you to sleep.

    But only in the right levels.

    While a turkey dinner won’t do the trick, there are two great ways you can get its all-natural, sleep inducing effect:

    Go right to the source. You can find tryptophan supplements in stores, and 1,000 mg before bed can help knock you right out.

    Taken in smaller doses three times a day, it can also help fight depression.

    Tryptophan supplements work because they help form 5-HTP, which can in turn be transformed into the neurotransmitter serotonin.

    And that brings me to the second way of getting the benefits of tryptophan...

    Skip the middleman. Go right to the 5-HTP. It’s cheaper, easier to find and works faster.

    Just 100 mg three times a day can chase away the anxiety, stress and depression so many people feel, especially here during the holiday season.

    And if you can’t sleep, taking 100-200 mg before bed on an empty stomach will put you into such a deep slumber that Santa and all the reindeer could come through and you wouldn’t know it.

  2. Downside of the vegan life

    I can think of plenty of reasons why we're not naturally suited to a vegan lifestyle.

    The latest can be found in the pages of the July edition of the American Journal of Nutrition, where a new study finds that vegans have a bone density that is about 5 percent lower than that of their meat-eating counterparts.

    The good news from the study is that vegans don't seem to suffer from more fractures despite this difference in bone density. But I'm concerned because there are other problems associated with decreased bone density, including a higher risk for osteoporosis.

    Plants and vegetables are crucial to our well-being, so vegans do have one part of it right. I can't think of many people who wouldn't do well to eat more greens, especially farm-fresh organic vegetables.

    But I don't think a vegan diet is a particularly good idea for some people. Organic sources of eggs, meat, fish and animal products are not bad for you unless they come from a can, bag or drive-through window. There are so many vital nutrients, fats and minerals that come from good, fresh animal sources.

    Vegans don't get any of these benefits, and it can be very difficult to try to make up for it using only plant-based foods. Many vegans rely heavily on supplements and protein powders, but they're still missing out on plenty of crucial fats and nutrients. Soy is not a very good substitute.

    So while the latest study shows that vegans are more likely to have lower bone density, I wouldn't call that the biggest reason to avoid their lifestyle. The biggest reason is nutrition.

    Take, for example, the amino acid tryptophan, which is absolutely vital to our mental well-being. Tryptophan is found in high concentrations in eggs, dairy products and turkey. Vegans eat none of these, of course, so it's harder for them to get it in proper amounts. A lack of tryptophan in the diet can lead to moodiness and even depression.

    What makes it even more of a challenge is that misguided FDA policies have prevented supplements from containing tryptophan in effective amounts.

    Vitamin B12, which helps keep our nerve cells and red blood cells functioning right, is hard to get in a strict vegan diet. It's found largely in – you guessed it – eggs, meat, and fish.

    There's one other reason to eat meat: Nothing on earth can match the taste of a free-range organic Montana steak grilled just right. I wouldn't trade that for all the tofu in the world.

  3. Saving teens from depression

    Two of the biggest problems when it comes to teens and depression is that many are overtreated – while many others are not treated at all.

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