Turkey vs Vegan Foods


Please check with your DBM Physician / Practitioner if eggs are permissible on your program

It is time we ruled out turkey as a good source of tryptophan. As Dawn Jackson Blatner, RD, LDN points out, turkey doesn’t have any more tryptophan than other types of poultry. Pretty much any good source of protein is going to have tryptophan – but that doesn’t mean the body can use the tryptophan from these protein sources.

For example, dairy products like milk have lots of tryptophan but they also contain lots of pro-inflammatory cytokines which will degrade tryptophan. Most animal-based proteins are loaded with saturated fat and lacking in fiber and vitamin C, which also makes it difficult for the body to use tryptophan for serotonin and melatonin production.

So, to the surprise of many, the best tryptophan foods are likely those found in plants. Unlike animal products, plants are rich in anti-inflammatory healthy fats, fibre, antioxidants and also often contain the tryptophan cofactors. Here are some of the best tryptophan foods which will have health benefits beyond just boosting your mood and helping you sleep.

Take a look at the chart alongside using turkey as a basis of comparison and you will see that if you are eating a well-balanced Whole Food Plant-Based diet, you will easily obtain sufficient tryptophan through natural sources:

  1. Turkey vs Vegan Foods

Spirulina and chia seeds also happen to be rich in numerous other nutrients, so you might want to consider adding these superfoods to your diet regardless of whether you think you need tryptophan.  You can find them in your local health food store. 

Turkey vs Vegan Foods
Turkey vs Vegan Foods