A triptych of three serotonin-boosting meals.
Centr Team

6 recipes that could boost your serotonin

Centr Team

Your body is one of the most complex organisms on planet Earth, and your brain is its control center.

Is it any surprise it needs quality fuel to function at its peak?

As Centr nutrition expert Angie Asche explains, the food you eat impacts the production of neurotransmitters – your brain’s chemical messengers.

“You may have heard of tryptophan – tryptophan is an amino acid that your body converts into serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter known to boost mood,” Angie says.

But your body doesn’t produce tryptophan on its own. So to fire up your serotonin production, you need to eat the right stuff.

While turkey is probably the most well-known source of tryptophan, the way your body breaks down protein can make it difficult for it to reach your brain. Plant-based sources such as vegetables, nuts and seeds may be a better bet – the carbohydrates in these foods help your muscles to absorb more amino acids, giving tryptophan an easier path to your brain.

We’ve rounded up 6 recipes that deliver serotonin-boosting foods for every diet and time of day.

Centr's Choc Pistachio Cookie Dough Bar sliced into many pieces and drizzled with chocolate.

1. Choc Pistachio Cookie Dough Bar

Packed with pistachios and seeds, this bar is filled with plant-based tryptophan sources and quality protein.

A bowl of Centr's 6-ingredient garlic chicken with sweet potato and kale sits on a white linen napkin, knife and fork to the side, ready for eating.

2. Six-ingredient Garlic Chicken with Sweet Potato & Kale

Pumpkin seeds and chicken are both great sources of tryptophan, and they’re also a delicious flavor combo that powers this simple but satisfying dinner recipe.

A pan of Centr's Tofu Shakshuka rests on a wooden board on a grey table, ready for serving.

3. Tofu Shakshuka

This twist on the classic shakshuka contains tryptophan from tofu and yogurt, plus micronutrients from herbs and spices like cumin, turmeric and coriander.

A bowl of pasta with kale & cashew pesto pasta sits on a plate, with a jar of extra kale & cashew pesto on the side.

4. Kale & Cashew Pesto Pasta

This plant-based pasta uses cashews for a dairy-free creaminess – and just one serving delivers all of your daily tryptophan needs.

A toasted sesame seed bun with a Turkey burger patty, topped with caramelised onions sits on a white plate, ready for eating.

5. Turkey Burger with Caramelised Onions

Turkey is well-known for its high levels of tryptophan, but you don’t have to wait until the holidays to get your fix.

Two slices of toast with herby egg scramble stacked on top sit on a square wooden server board.

6. Herby Egg Scramble Stack

Start your day with eggs for a protein and tryptophan-rich meal to fuel a busy schedule and boost your mood.

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