The question that vegetarians and vegans are constantly being asked is “How do you get protein?” As annoying as this question is (no one cared about how you got protein before you went veg!), you can’t blame the general public for mistakenly thinking that the vegan diet is lacking in protein. The meat industry has been very influential in getting people to think that meat = protein. For a long time, the government even promoted meat as one of the food groups to eat every day.
When we talk about tryptophan foods, it is usually in reference to turkey and the post-Thanksgiving coma it induces. Tryptophan is one of 8 essential amino acids that our bodies need. The body uses tryptophan to produce serotonin, which can then used to make melatonin, our “sleep hormone.” But there is absolutely no need to eat turkey to get tryptophan. In fact, there are many plant sources of tryptophan which have much more of the amino acid than turkey.