Amino acids are essential for your general health. They are twenty in number and are known as protein building blocks. Some of these amino acids are produced within our body but there are others that are solely gotten through your diet, for example, the essential amino acids. Natural amino acid foods are protein-rich meals. Once this protein gets into your mouth, the digestive system begins to work on it breaking it into amino acids. These amino acids are then combined in the body to begin their functions. A deficiency of this amino acid may result in certain health problems like depression, decreased immunity, fertility issues, digestive problems, decreased mental awareness, slow development in children, etc.
Essential amino acids are nine in number, they include histidine, arginine, lysine, isoleucine, valine, leucine, tryptophan, phenylalanine, methionine, and threonine. As their name implies, they are very essential and since your body can’t make them as it does for the other eleven then you have to supply your body with it naturally. Thankfully there are lots of food that can help you achieve this, consuming a balanced diet which includes protein-rich meals will help you ensure that your body is getting a sufficient quantity of amino acids.
Health Benefits of Amino Acid
These are the functions and health benefits of the nine essential amino acids that cannot be produced within the body.
This essential nutrient has a critical role to play in muscle building, post-surgery recovery, injury healing, maintains bone strength, and regulates enzymes, hormones, and antibodies. It is also suggested to have some antiviral effects. The evidence on this is not strong but there is a claim that the deficiency of lysine can cause stress-based anxiety.
This amino acid function in creating blood cells, facilitating growth, and repair of tissues. Histidine also aids in maintaining the myelin sheath, a protective covering of the nerve cells. Your body forms histamine from histidine, histamine is a substance that is vital for immunity, digestion, and reproductive health. In a past study, obese women and those with metabolic syndrome were given supplements of histidine, it was observed that their body mass reduced and their resistance to insulin decreased.
For healthy teeth and skin, you need threonine because it is part of the tooth enamel component, elastin, and collagen. This amino acid also helps in fat metabolism, relieving indigestion, mild depression, and anxiety.
This functions in aiding the flexibility of the hair and skin. It also keeps the nails strong. Methionine also aids in the right zinc and selenium absorption and eliminating of some heavy metals like mercury and lead.
This aids in muscle coordination, mental focus, and emotional calmness. Valine deficiency leads to insomnia and decreased mental function.
This aids in wound healing, regulation of blood sugar, production of hormones, and immunity. It is present in the tissue of your muscles and control energy levels. Its deficiency can cause muscle shaking and wasting.
Leucine regulates the level of blood sugar and helps in the repair and growth of bone and muscle. It also helps in healing wounds and growth hormone production. A deficiency of these essential amino acids leads to hair loss, fatigue, and skin rashes.
This amino acid works with other enzymes and proteins. Tyrosine is produced from phenylalanine a necessary substance for certain brain functions. Deficiency in phenylalanine is rare but when it does happen it can result in poor infancy weight gain and can also cause fatigue, eczema, and adult memory problems.
This amino acid is needed for proper development in infants. It is also a precursor for melatonin and serotonin. Melatonin regulates sleep while serotonin acts as a neurotransmitter for controlling sleep, mood, appetite, and pain. Tryptophan is used as sedatives and used in making sleep aids. A deficiency in this amino acid causes pellagra, which can result in dementia, digestive issues, and skin rashes.
Amino acid is popular among muscle builders and trainers for its bodybuilding characteristics. It also helps in healing sore and torn muscles after a strenuous exercise. Amino acids also help to reduce stress and fatigue after a workout session. If you regularly engage in workout activities and practices and had not been deliberate about your protein diet then it is good that you start doing so.
Liver disease patients also benefit from amino acids. It is known to improve the health of individuals with cirrhosis, this is a condition that affects the proper functioning of the liver. Cirrhosis leads to brain malfunction and the symptoms are severe. It was discovered in a study that taking amino acid can help relieve symptoms of cirrhosis and prevent further degradation of the condition.
Natural amino acid food sources
The best way to increase your natural amino acid intake is by eating certain meals. Some foods have higher amounts of particular amino acid than others but when you eat a bit of each then you are good to go.
- Lysine can be obtained by eating eggs, soy, pumpkin seeds, meat, black beans, and quinoa.
- Fish, nuts, meat, seeds, whole grains, poultry, and fish are rich in histidine
- Wheat germ and cottage cheese contains threonine
- Valine is found in cheese, soy, mushrooms, peanuts, vegetables, and whole grains
- Isoleucine is obtained in foods like meat, poultry, fish, lentils, seeds, nuts, cheese and eggs
- Soybeans, dairy, legumes, and beans have large quantities of leucine
- Phenylalanine is gotten by eating meat, dairy, nuts, fish, poultry, and soy
- Tryptophan is found in cottage cheese, turkey, chicken and wheat germ
These are but some examples of natural amino food sources. Most protein-rich food has a substantial amount of proteins whether it is animal-based or plant-based. To stay safe, ensure that you maintain a good dose of protein in your diet.