You must know by now that our body needs amino acids for it to maximize its functions. At the same time, we need them to build our muscles.
Amino acids are building blocks of protein. Aside from getting them from natural sources of protein, some seek help from supplements to make sure they give their body the right amount of amino acid it needs at a daily basis.
However, if you prefer to use plant-based sources, then there are also vegetables that you can include in your meals that can also give you a hand with your amino acid intake.
9 Essential Amino Acids in Vegetables
You might have heard of branched-chain amino acids or BCAAs which are pretty famous among fitness enthusiasts. In this case, leucine is considered one of the best essential amino acids that you can consume. What’s good about leucine is that it serves as an effective neurotransmitter in the brain which makes it helpful in treating depression too. It is also said to be effective in regulating the blood sugar of an individual due to its properties that manages insulin levels before and after exercises.
You can get leucine from leafy green vegetables, seaweed, legumes, hemp and chia seeds, grains, and beans.
You can also get a decent amount of leucine from selected fresh fruits if you want to add a sweeter taste in your meals.
Here is another kind of BCAA that you will also love. Similar to leucine, isoleucine has a few different function. Since this is an isolated form of leucine, isoleucine promises to increase one’s energy and hemoglobin.
Good vegetable sources of isoleucine include the following; cabbage, chia seeds, spinach, pumpkin, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, lentils, sesame seeds, and beans.
This type of amino acid comes in three different forms; L-phenylalanine (the natural form from protein), D-phenylalanine (the one produced from the laboratory), and DL phenylalanine (a combination of both).
This amino acid is useful most especially if there is tyrosine present in the body. This is because it helps tyrosine, another type of amino acid, to produce protein for the body. Research even claims that deficit of this amino acid can lead to various health issues such as brain fog, depression, lack of appetite, lack of energy, and poor mental focus or memory problems.
You may get this amino acid from leafy greens such as spirulina, olives, seeds, seaweed, and pumpkin.
Methionine is beneficial for the body since it helps in the production of sulfur. It is also known to be the only amino acid that contains sulfur – an essential mineral for the production of bone cartilage.
Without methionine, health issues may also take place such as arthritis, poor recovery or healing, and damaged tissues. On the contrary, a decent amount of methionine is important since it helps the body produce creatine which is needed for optimal cellular energy.
Vegetables that contain Methionine are the following; sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, legumes, seaweed, chia seeds, and onions.
Wanting to lower cholesterol levels? Lysine got you! This type of amino acid is perfect for the production of carnitine – a nutrient that helps convert fatty acids into fuel to help lower cholesterol levels. Aside from carnitine production, lysine is also known to help produce collagen for the body. Experts claim that lysine deficiency can lead to a some health problems which include depression, nausea, muscle depletion, fatigue, and osteoporosis.
To get Lysine, you need to include the following vegetables in your diet plan; beans, watercress, parsley, legumes, lentils, spirulina, chia seeds, and hemp seeds.
Want an amino acid that is beneficial for your mental health? Try including food that contains a good amount of tryptophan.
This certain kind of amino acid is said to promote good health for the nervous system and the brain. It’s always associated with its amazing neurotransmitter functions that can help put one into a good sleep. Once it reaches the brain, tryptophan then converts into serotonin which is perfect in combating stress and depression. Aside from that, tryptophan also contributes to muscle growth.
Good plant-based sources for tryptophan are seaweed, leafy greens, lettuces, carrots, onions, beans, lentils, parsley, mushrooms, and celery.
Valine is another kind of BCAA that plays a vital role in maintaining good muscle health and the same time it works best for muscle growth and repair.
In order to get Valine, you need to include the following vegetables in your diet list; legumes, spinach, beans, apricots, broccoli, sesame seeds, and hemp seeds.
What’s good about threonine is that it helps the body in so many ways – from muscle repair to skin care. This special amino acid is said to promote a healthy immune system and central nervous system, good heart health, and a strong liver. Threonine also helps balance out the protein in the body. Furthermore, it also helps the body produce glycine and serine – two essential amino acids needed to promote healthier skin, nails, hair, and bones.
You may get Threonine from leafy greens, winter squash, spinach, watercress, parsley, sweet potatoes, asparagus, mushroom, celery, pepper, carrots, onions, lentils, chia seeds, beats, and peas.
This amino acid helps not only with muscle growth and development but it also helps transport neurotransmitters to the brain for overall health function. Studies claim that lack of histidine in the body can lead to serious health issues such as sexual dysfunction, deafness, arthritis, and it could even make the body vulnerable to AIDS.
Good sources of this amino acid includes beans, seaweed, legumes, potatoes, cauliflower, hemp seeds, and chia seeds.
How much protein and amino acid do you need?
In terms of calculating for the amount of protein that you need in a daily basis, well it depends on your training goal and body weight. However, considering plant-based sources in your diet plan could give you a wide range of essential amino acids that you need.
Remember that eating a decent amount of plant-based foods can surely contribute to your body’s overall health – muscle function, muscle growth, muscle repair, and a lot more.