The human body cannot synthesize the amino acid phenylalanine. Hence, your body depends on dietary sources to get this important amino acid. Your body needs phenylalanine to produce another amino acid called tyrosine. Tyrosine is an important constituent of protein, thyroid hormones and the neurotransmitters epinephrine, norepinephrine and L-dopa. Deficiency of phenylalanine causes lethargy, memory problems and poor appetite. According to studies phenylalanine helps in alleviating depression and chronic pain. It may even benefit people with vitiligo.
To prevent deficiency of this essential amino acid, make sure that your diet contains sufficient amount of phenylalanine rich foods. The recommended daily intake of the amino acid for adults is 16 mg for every kilogram of body weight. As phenylalanine is easily available in protein rich foods, you can easily meet your recommended dosage of the amino acid by eating a balanced diet.
Listed Below Are The Best Sources Of Phenylalanine:
Lean Red Meat
Red meat is a complete source of protein. It contains all the essential amino acids including phenylalanine. To reap the maximum benefit of red meat, opt for the lean portions. You will get more than your daily phenylalanine need by consuming three ounces of beef or lamb.
Chicken and turkey are the second best sources of phenylalanine. Per 3 ounce serving of cooked poultry provides enough phenylalanine to meet your entire daily need of the essential amino acid.
Tuna is an excellent source of phenylalanine. You can get your entire daily phenylalanine need from each 3 oz serving of tuna.
If you are searching for a vegetarian source of phenylalanine, pumpkin seeds are an excellent option. Per ounce of pumpkin seeds contains about 485 mg of the amino acid, which is equivalent to half of your daily phenylalanine need.
Soy products are excellent sources of phenylalanine. Tofu, roasted soybeans and soy flour are especially rich in phenylalanine.
You can meet a significant part of your daily phenylalanine need by consuming gruyere cheese. Although all types of cheese are good sources of this essential amino acid, Gruyere cheese is especially rich in phenylalanine. Swiss cheese contains slightly less amount of phenylalanine than Gruyere cheese.