Amino acids are often discussed as being the building blocks of protein. They are compounds that play many vital roles in your body. In addition to this, they’re needed for critical processes. These include being the building of proteins as well as synthesising hormones and neurotransmitters.
Some amino acids may also be taken as a supplement. This is a natural way to boost athletic performance or improve one’s mood. Amino acids are categorised as essential, conditionally essential or non-essential.
How can amino acids benefit you?
There are several benefits of amino acids in your diet. Here are some of them.
Amino acids, such as glutamine, can contribute directly to healthy hair and skin. This is done by supplying essential nutrients which strengthen connective tissue. This supports the:
- The elasticity of the skin, and
- Strength of nails and hair.
Unfortunately, the body produces glutamine more slowly as we age.
Arginine and carnitine form creatine. These support natural skin functions that produce collagen and elastin via cells that can repair damaged DNA. Forming collagen through creatine is essential. This is because connective tissue is protected. It contributes to strong tendons, cartilage, and ligaments.
Collagen replenishes moisture in healthy skin. This reduces fine lines, increases elasticity, and improves skin smoothness.
Foods that are high in protein help people feel fuller for longer. This is as opposed to foods that are high in carbohydrates or have a sky-high harmful fat content. The majority of carnitine, which is a non-essential amino acid, is found in the body’s muscles. It has been shown that carnitine supplies oxygen to tissues. This can help in recovery after exercise.
One of the claims to fame of glutamine is improving gut health. However, glutamine can also be converted into glucose. This happens without affecting the body’s glucagon and insulin counts. In this manner, the energy supply of the body is enhanced. The body’s fat storage, which is caused by insulin, is passed up. In essence, glutamine protects your body from storing sugars and fats. This allows one to feel more energised and alert.
Development of muscles
Amino acids are essential for the development of muscles. Because it is one of the nine essential amino acids, Methionine has been shown to promote creatine production. This helps in the development of muscle mass. Lysine can help muscles recover after copious amounts of movement.
What foods contain amino acids?
Here are some of the more common foods that contain essential amino acids:
- Lysine is contained in meat, eggs, soy, black beans, quinoa, and pumpkin seeds.
- Meat, fish, poultry, nuts, seeds, and whole grains have significant amounts of histidine.
- Cottage cheese and wheat germ are known for their large quantities of threonine.
- Methionine is to be found in eggs, grains, nuts, and seeds.
- Valine is present in soy, cheese, peanuts, mushrooms, whole grains, and vegetables.
- Isoleucine is plentiful in meat, fish, poultry, eggs, cheese, lentils, nuts, and seeds.
- Leucine is to be found in dairy, soy, beans, and legumes.
- Phenylalanine is seen in dairy, meat, poultry, soy, fish, seeds, and nuts.
- Tryptophan can be found in most high-protein foods, including wheat germ, cottage cheese, chicken, and turkey.