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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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.