Are you getting enough glutamic acid in your diet? What are the foods high in glutamic acid?
This is one of the body’s non-essential amino acids that it produces naturally. Studies show it seems to help with areas like the immune system, mental health, muscle cells, and heart health. It’s one of the 20 amino acids that exist in the human body. Even though the body produces it there are times you’ll need to boost the amount of glutamic acid. That’s due to factors like health conditions that affect how much your body produces. Another factor is when the supplement is used to treat certain mental health conditions, for example.
There are different ways you can boost your body’s glutamic acid levels. One is through dietary supplements that you can get at supermarkets and health food stores. This is a convenient way to boost how much of the amino acid you’re getting in your diet. You can also increase your glutamic acid levels through real food. That includes options like fish, seeds, eggs, seeds, milk, and cheese. This is the best source since it’s always best to get nutrients from real food vs. supplements. When your body has enough of all 20 amino acids then it will work like a finely-tuned machine.
What Is Glutamic Acid?
First, let’s talk about what the amino acid is all about. Glutamic acid is one of the body’s 20 amino acids. This one is “non-essential” since the body produces it naturally and it’s not required through food or supplements.
In fact, it’s worth noting that this amino acid is actually the most common one. It was first discovered in wheat gluten 150+ years ago in 1866. A scientist found the amino acid’s chemical structure a few decades later in 1890.
So, what’s this amino acid all about? This is a “neurotransmitter” that helps to send messages between the brain and body. It’s important for the firing of nerve cells in the body’s’ central nervous system. That includes the brain and spinal cord.
This amino acid is one of the “non-essential” ones but it’s still important. That’s because it helps the body’s cells to function properly.
Based on studies glutamic acid seems to support the brain’s function. In other words, it’s one of the main “foods” of the human brain. When this stuff gets to the brain it uses an extra waste product by turning it into the salt glutamine.
In fact, this process is important in order to get rid of toxins. This shows that glutamine isn’t toxic and is important for some functions of antioxidants.
In most situations, people get glutamic acid from the food they eat. As a result, supplements usually aren’t required. That said, athletes and bodybuilders might need supplements in order to support their bodies better during sports competitions and high-intensity training sessions.
You can find several supplements that have glutamine in them. This is somewhat linked to glutamic acid. In fact, the two substances are different but also have many similarities.
If you take a glutamic acid supplement the dosage varies from 500 to 2,000 mg. You should always talk to your doctor first.
Benefits of Glutamic Acid
So, what are the main benefits of this amino acid for the body? Here are some of them:
1. Heart Function
Studies show that the immune system might help patients with heart disease. MSG seems to help with heart function and exercise when injected into patients.
This amino acid is also important for the detox of ammonia. Here’s how it works. The amino acid connects to nitrogen atoms. That, in turn, forms glutamine. This is the only way to get rid of this waste product. So, it’s very important to maintain a healthy body.
3. Immune System
The body uses glutamate acid so it can use glutathione. This is one of the body’s most important antioxidants. It’s very important for protecting the body’s cells and boosting the human immune system. This is important for the body to function at 100%,
4. Mental Health
Glutamic acid is important for fueling the brain. It’s an energy source for high-level brain function. The amino acid is important for better memory and mental alertness.
This amino acid is sometimes recommended to treat various mental conditions like ADHD. It’s believed the amino acid can help kids with behavior problems. This makes it easier for them to focus on. It can also provide a better learning environment.
Some studies show that glutamic acid can help with other mental disorders. They include depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder. It can also help with general mood disorders.
Studies show that people who have these conditions often have an imbalance of their neurotransmitters. This affects the signals sent between the brain and body, which can, in turn, affect mental health.
Low glutamic acid levels are sometimes linked to certain conditions like aggression. In fact, various studies show that this is a common symptom of people with low levels of the amino acid.
Foods High in Glutamic Acid
Here are some foods that are generally high in amino acids. They are also foods high in glutamic acid, which is, again, an amino acid:
Different seeds have different quantities of glutamic acid. However, you’ll get, pre vs. foods with low amounts of protein.
One example is sesame seeds. You’ll get 9.3g of glutamic acid in 3 oz. of sesame seeds. The figure is higher or lower for different seeds.
This is a super-rich source of glutamic acid. Besides being high in the amino acid it’s also high-protein and low-fat. So, eating chicken not only helps to get your amino acids but also is important for maintaining a well-balanced diet. Fun Fact: More chickens than humans live in the world!
This protein source is high in glutamic acid and lean protein. Atlantic cod is one species that are high in the amino acid. There’s around 15g of glutamic acid for each 6 oz. of fish. Make sure to research the amounts of the amino acid in other fishes to pick the best one for your dietary needs.
The amount of the amino acid is based on the type of cheese we’re talking about. One of the best options is Parmesan cheese with 8g of this amino acid for each 100g of cheese.
Eggs are high in protein and are a natural source of glutamic acid. There’s an average 10/11g of the amino acid in a 100g serving of egg. This is about two or three eggs and is based on a particular size.
6. Soy protein
This is the “isolate” version that’s extracted from soybeans. It’s one of the top protein sources for vegans/vegetarians. The isolate has one of the biggest amounts of glutamic acid vs. other high-protein foods. There’s 17g of glutamic acid for 100g of soy protein in one of the foods high in glutamic acid.