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Foods Rich In Amino Acids For Every Meal

Oct 6, 2009

Foods with amino acids are the building blocks of protein. That means they are responsible for strength, repair and rebuilding inside your body. Your tissues, your cells, your enzymes and your brain all get their nourishment and protection from amino acids.

Why You Need Amino Acids Daily

Amino acids make up 75% of the human body, and are vital to every part of human function. One of the most talked about properties of  amino acids is how it can assist in muscle building. Amino acids are boasted as the key ingredients in many body-building supplements, though the degree of success they achieve in that form is debatable. Careful attention to amino acids isn’t just for people who want to build muscle. Different studies have linked amino acid balances with fighting everything from depression to Fibromyalgia. 

You Can’t Store Amino Acids

The problem with amino acids is that they deteriorate. The body will store extra starch and protein as fat, to use later. Amino acids are not stored, but they can be replaced. There are upwards of twenty different kinds of amino acids that form proteins. Some of these the body makes. The ones it cannot make, called the essential amino acids, it must get from constant consumption of food.

The Best Foods

Studies have shown that the best way to get all the essential amino acids not made by the humans is to eat animal protein. Meat, eggs, and dairy are the most common sources of these important building blocks.

It can be difficult for strict vegetarians and vegans to get all their essential amino acids. Most vegetarian protein foods, such as beans and seeds, contain only portions of the essentials. A noted exception to this is soy, which contains complete protein. Add these different protein sources together to form a complementary (full) protein and receive the benefit of the accompanying amino acids. If you are vegetarian, make sure your diet is varied enough in its protein sources to bring in the needed amino acids, or consider taking a supplement.

Supplements

If you are concerned about getting your requisite amount of amino acids in your daily diet, you might want to consider supplements. When choosing amino acid supplements, you have a choice of complete amino acid supplements, or individual ones. “Individual” means you can chose supplements to increase a single amino acid to your diet. People often do this in an attempt to build muscle, or because of they believe that particular acids will medicate a particular conditions. Examples of this include taking a supplement such as lysine for cold sores and herpes, or arginine for enhancing the immune system.

As with any health promise, the effectiveness of these supplements should be thoroughly researched before you put them in your body. If you do take supplements, consider sticking to “L” form acids. The ‘L’ refers to the structure of the acid, indicating that the acid is a human form and easier on your system. Other tips to remember include knowing that that amino acid supplements are absorbed better on an empty stomach, and that vitamins B6 and C are also necessary for proper absorption. Make sure they are either in, or taken with, the supplement.

It is necessary to replenish your body’s essential amino acids daily. Though supplements are an option, the best way to replenish amino acids is to eat the foods that contain them. Meat, eggs, dairy and soy eaten in healthy moderation will provide all the amino acids your body needs.

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