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Foods With L-Tyrosine

author image Janet Renee, MS, RD
Janet Renee is a clinical dietitian with a special interest in weight management, sports dietetics, medical nutrition therapy and diet trends. She earned her Master of Science in nutrition from the University of Chicago and has contributed to health and wellness magazines, including Prevention, Self, Shape and Cooking Light.
Foods With L-Tyrosine
Tyrosine is a non-essential amino acid. Photo Credit: Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images

Amino acids, which form the building blocks of protein, play a crucial role in your health. Take tyrosine for instance, your body uses this amino acid to produce epinephrine, norepinephrine, and dopamine, brain chemicals that influence mood. Your body can manufacture tyrosine from the amino acid phenylalanine. However, dietary tyrosine consumption is still important. Under certain situations such as stress, your body may not be able to manufacture enough tyrosine, so a tyrosine-rich diet serves as a critical backup.

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Dietary Tyrosine

Yogurt Photo Credit: pattymalajak/iStock/Getty Images

As with all amino acids, protein foods are the best sources, and tyrosine is no exception. You can get tyrosine from a wide variety of protein-rich foods. Chicken and turkey are good meat choices. Tyrosine-rich dairy foods include milk, cheese, yogurt and cottage cheese. Other tyrosine-containing foods are peanuts, almonds, avocados, bananas, lima beans, pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds. Tyrosine deficiency is rare, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. However, tyrosine plays a role in thyroid function, so tyrosine deficiency is linked to underactive thyroid.

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