The Tryptophan Diet Plan operates on a 30/30/30/10 portion ratio. 30% of the overall diet consists of animal protein, 30% consists of cooked, starchy or sweet carbohydrates (including desserts!) 30% consists of fresh (not canned or frozen!) raw or steamed for under three minutes, green vegetables and 10% fresh, raw fruits or fresh squeezed juices.
Animal protein is the best dietary source for the amino acid Tryptophan which is the only substance that creates and transports Serotonin, the “Happiness” neurotransmitter. It is also the best dietary source for the essential dietary nutrients Iron and Zinc. Iron and Zinc are both necessary for the formation of serotonin. Animal protein is also our best source for seven of the eight B vitamins: B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, and B12. B9 is Folic Acid and is found in greatest quantities in citrus fruits and raw, leafy green vegetables.
Carbohydrates are your only source of energy! Food serves two purposes: to nourish and repair cells and to provide energy. Our brain needs a constant source of energy called ATP which is a form of sugar or glucose. A carbohydrate is defined as anything that turns to glucose in your stomach. Pasta, rice, bread, cereals, potatoes, yams and other cooked tubers are are carbohydrates. All of these are complex carbohydrates, a simple carbohydrate would be sugar and water. Sweet desserts are even complex carbohydrates because they contain eggs, butter, flour , etc. Sugar spikes insulin which allows Tryptophan to carry serotonin into the brain but…sugar itself burns too quickly and lacks other amino acids and nutrients that are essential to health and well being. It is okay to eat a little bit of sweets, homemade desserts, yogurt with honey, a high quality cocoa product as in hot chocolate or fine chocolate candy bars.
It is also okay to consume proteins and carbohydrates together (think a turkey sandwich with swiss cheese or steak and potatoes, cheeseburger and french fries). Tryptophan (animal protein) is like a train traveling to your brain with a load of serotonin.When it gets to what is called the blood brain barrier, it has to wait for an opening because other trains (phenylalanine, BCAA’s)are also getting on the same track to go into the brain. But wait! You have eaten carbohydrates along with your protein and maybe even some dessert! Now, the competing amino acids (trains!) are re-directed to the muscles because of the insulin that is created by the glucose that has entered your blood stream because you ate carbohydrates. Tryptophan carrying serotonin can now get into the brain and make melatonin which is responsible for healthy sleep.
Vegetables and fruit are where we get the majority of our Folic Acid and Magnesium, two very important water soluble nutrients necessary for the formation of serotonin and for the prevent ion of heart disease. Spinach, chard, kale, brussel sprouts, asparagus, watercress, parsley, cilantro, celery, iceberg and other lettuces lettuce are all good sources of magnesium and folic acid. Pumpkin, corn, tubers, cooked root veggies or pureed veggies added to soups count as carbohydrates because they are sweet and starchy and because of the lengthy cooking process involved in preparing these foods…except for gazpacho or a chilled cucumber or beet soup. Anytime you cook a vegetable for longer than three minutes, it loses its water soluble vitamin content and its nutritional value. The same applies for fruit: fruit should always be eaten raw.
Fruit is our best source of vitamin C. If anyone ever tells you that you cannot eat fruit because it is too “Yin”, ask them to show you a test tube of “Yin” while simultaneously exiting their office before they charge you $200 for a stool sample so they can charge you another $400 for vitamins. Science is clear: no vitamin supplement works better than the nutrition found in real food.
I only drink fresh squeezed citrus juices. RW Knudsen fruit juiced sweetened cranberry juice and Whole foods organic concord grape juice are my only bottled juice choices. Grapes are a “first food” and incredibly healthy for us. Unfortunately, the majority of the grapes grown today are hybridized, genetically modified and highly toxic due to the pesticide’s and herbicide’s sprayed on them. Always choose grapes with seeds and always organic.
I personally love pomegranates but only when they are in season and eaten fresh. The same can be said for almost all fruits: eat them seasonally. Banana’s , grapefruit’s and pineapple are my exception’s to that rule! Clearly humans evolved out of tropical climates and we all need vitamin C containing fruit as part of a healthy diet no matter what our blood type is!