For those of you who suffer with chronic constipation, related to serotonin this food list is for you. I know the FDA has not approved Resolor Prucalopride or Zelnorm, which I know is frustrating. Instead you could try a high tryptophan diet. Tryptophan is an essential amino acid which can not be produced by the body but instead we must get it from our diet. By eating a high foods high in tryptophan, our body can then synthesise serotonin (a hormone that makes us happy and creates the wave like motions in the bowel to speed up transit time) from tryptophan and then be converted to melatonin (the hormone that makes you sleep).
Below I have listed foods high in tryptophan which also coincide with the low FODMAP diet and are easy to digest. You may have noticed that I have not listed red meat here. That is because meat plays with the balance of intestinal flora, and if you suffer with SIBO, this could be a problem and if your body produces too much methane gas in the gut it contributes to constipation; but thats for another post.
I also recommend doing high intensity workouts once a day. Your body stores tryptophan from what you eat and as you exercise tryptophan is released and then converted to serotonin, hence that happy feeling you get after a workout.
High Tryptophan Foods
Fish– Such as Halibut, cod, tuna, shrimp, mackerel, salmon, snapper, scallops
Meat – chicken breast & turkey breast
Fruit – Bananas (make sure you eat them ripe, in other words soft, it is at this stage that they are 5% starch and 90% sugar), blueberries, strawberries, avocados, pineapple, raspberries
Vegetables – Spinach, mustard greens, eggplant, winter squash, broccoli, tomatoes, cabbage, cauliflower, cucumbers, potatoes (remember these are high in starch, which is hard on digestion)
Nuts, Seeds & Grains – Pumpkin, walnuts, almond, Oats
Remember to drink water to keep your bowel hydrated and prevent dry hard to pass stools, and check out my ‘Fiber & Constipation‘ post to understand the management of fibre in the gut.