Tyrosine is a non-essential amino acid. It helps to relay nervous system messages throughout the body, produce melanin, and to make hormones. This means that it can be made in the body using other amino acids and foods. Tyrosine is typically made in the body by using the amino acid phenylalanine. If you don't eat enough phenylalanine, or your body cannot break down phenylalanine, it is important to get tyrosine from food.
Meat and Beans
Foods in the meat in beans group generally have the most tyrosine per serving. Soy beans, egg whites, salmon, turkey breast, pork sirloin, chicken breast, canned tuna, and Alaskan king crab contain the most tyrosine out of all the foods in this food group. A 200-calorie serving of each can provide anywhere from 1,450 to 1,900 milligrams of tyrosine. Tofu is a great vegetarian option for getting in your daily protein and a hefty dose of tyrosine as well. Tofu contains approximately 1,321 milligrams of tyrosine per 200 calorie serving.
There are several healthy choices dairy that are not only good sources of calcium, but are low in fat and high in tyrosine as well. Lowfat cottage cheese contains the highest amount of tyrosine in this group providing about 1,833 milligrams tyrosine per 200 calorie serving. Shredded Parmesan cheese, provolone cheese, part skim mozzarella cheese, plain skim yogurt, and milk are all good sources of tyrosine providing anywhere from 930 milligrams to 1,117 milligrams per 200 calorie serving, which is approximately 1/2 cup.
Vegetables such as pumpkin leaves, mustard greens, spinach, and watercress are good sources of tyrosine providing 1,100 milligrams to 1,650 milligrams of tyrosine per 200 calorie serving. Seaweed actually contains the highest amount of tyrosine per serving out of all the food groups. A 200 calorie serving of seaweed provides approximately 2,050 milligrams of tyrosine.
Most fruits provide anywhere from 4 milligrams to 55 milligrams of tyrosine per 200 calorie serving. Oranges have about 52 milligrams of tyrosine per serving whereas apples have about 4 milligrams of tyrosine per serving. Cherries, grapes, bananas, and pears all have 20 milligrams to 45 milligrams of tyrosine per 200 calorie serving.
Grains are a good source of dietary fiber and can also be used to increase your tyrosine intake. Just 2 packets of instant oatmeal provides about 200 milligrams of tyrosine. For those who don't like oatmeal, try 2 slices of multigrain or whole grain bread to get your 200 milligrams of tyrosine. Wheat bread won't provide quite as much tyrosine but can still contain about 86 milligrams of tyrosine in 2 slices.