You may have heard of amino acids, why they are important, or which foods are rich in amino acids.

If not, you are in the right place to learn. Let’s discuss amino acids, what they are, why we need them, and what foods are a good source of these organic compounds.

What Are Amino Acids?

Amino acids are often referred to as the building blocks of life because they are organic compounds that bind together and form a long chain to become proteins. As any high-school kid can tell you, our bodies need proteins to repair cells and create new ones.

Despite there being around 500 different amino acids, humans only need 20 of them to form proteins for healthy growth and body function. There are amino acid supplements available in the market, like those from Power Supps in Australia, to provide the right amino acids needed for a growing body. 

Amino acids can be classified into three main categories.

  • Essential amino acids
    Valine, tryptophan, histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, and threonine
  • Non-essential amino acids
    Aalanine, asparatate, cysteine, and glutamate
  • Conditionally non-essential amino acids
    Tyrosine, serine, proline, glutamine, glycine, arginine, and asparagine,

Some amino acids don’t fit into these three categories neatly. They can be classified as:

  • Branched-chain amino acids (BCAA)
  • Free-form amino acids

Why Are Amino Acids Important?

As mentioned earlier, amino acids chain up to make proteins that are extremely important for cell repair, generation, and function. They are an essential part of every cell in the human body.

They are great for extra energy, and athletes and bodybuilders use them for enhanced performance in the gym. For example, amino acids, like valine, isoleucine, and leucine metabolize in muscles easily and supply increased energy during workouts.

Similarly, amino acids repair cells, and this makes them great for recovery days in a workout routine. They help with muscle repair, reduce muscle damage, and alleviate soreness from working out. There are plenty more benefits of amino acids that make them important for a healthy body.

So, where can you get amino acids?

Foods Rich in Amino Acids

Nature offers some excellent sources of amino acids, and the majority of your essential amino acid needs can be met by animal protein and some plant-based proteins. Here are some foods rich in amino acids.

Eggs

An easy source of proteins, eggs provide all the essential amino acids your body needs. Moreover, research suggested that the amino acids in eggs are easier to process for human bodies, and this means you can utilize them better.

Fish

Fish provide some of the best protein content of any animal, and they are also rich in healthy Omega-3 fatty acids, which are great for the heart and overall health. They also contain essential amino acids, and fish like salmon can be an incredible source of amino acids.

Mushrooms

Mushrooms contain all the essential amino acids and are an easy food to defeat lysine deficiency in our bodies. Moreover, they offer 17 amino acids to our bodies, making them a very healthy source of amino acids.

Turkey Meat

Turkey is a well-known source of tryptophan. Tryptophan is an essential amino acid often associated with causing drowsiness; however, tryptophan also has many other functions. It helps maintain proper nitrogen balance and helps produce serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates your appetite, sleep, and mood.

It also helps your body produce niacin, an important B vitamin used for healthy nerves, skin, and digestion. Turkey is one of the best sources of tryptophan, and high-protein meat is often recommended as a natural sleeping aid, which means it is a good protein choice for dinner.

Quinoa

Quinoa is a grain widely considered a superfood, and rightfully so. It is a healthy source of all the essential amino acids and fibres. It has a higher lysine content than most other grains, and this is why it is a healthy source of amino acids.

Cottage Cheese

Cottage cheese is a rich source of leucine, tryptophan, threonine, and other amino acids. Being a protein-rich dairy food, it is a comparable option to meat sources, like lean meats, poultry, and fish.

Beans, Legumes, and More

Foods, such as soybeans, edamame, lentils, peas, and legumes, are also a great source of quality protein and amino acids like lysine.

Conclusion

Amino acids are an important part of a healthy body, and we must balance our diets to meet a healthy dose of foods rich in amino acids. Sometimes, foods rich in amino acids are not enough to meet the requirements of a person who is focused to increase muscle mass like an athlete or bodybuilder.

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