Amino acids are organic compounds required by the human body to perform various functions. For example, amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. And no one could deny the importance of protein in our daily diet.
Long chains of amino acids form proteins. Besides being the building blocks of proteins, amino acids perform other functions, such as controlling muscle growth, repairing and improving brain health, weight management, and energy synthesis.
The human body needs 20 amino acids to function correctly and create protein out of them. These are classified under three categories: essential amino acids, non-essential amino acids, and conditional amino acids.
Nine amino acids are classified under essential amino acids, including histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine.
An average human body can make non-essential amino acids, while one must try to obtain essential amino acids from foods.
Hence, there are high chances that if one consumes a balanced diet, they will be getting most of the amino acid benefits.
Some of the best sources of amino acids include eggs, meat, and some plant-based foods like soybean.
List Of Foods High In Amino Acids
All the 20 essential amino acids have different functions to perform. Eggs contain each of the 20 essential amino acids. Eggs are especially high in lysine, histidine, leucine, valine, and tryptophan.
Research has shown that the total amino acid content in a dry egg yolk is 10 milligrams per gram.
This study also shows that the eggs produced by chickens who are pastured or the ones who are allowed to roam freely outdoors and graze on seeds, insects, and grass have relatively higher omega-3s and vitamin D.
Other than this, eggs are also a great source of choline, lutein, and zeaxanthin. They can prove to be a healthy and nutritious addition to your breakfast.
Quinoa is one of the best sources of amino acids. It is regarded as one of the most nutritious seeds available on earth. A detailed study has shown that 100 grams of quinoa seeds contain 87.11 milligrams of total essential amino acids.
Quinoa also contains all the essential amino acids like eggs. Quinoa is gluten-free which may help with cholesterol and high blood sugar levels.
It is also rich in antioxidants and is also high in fiber contents. In addition to being a rich source of amino acids, quinoa is also rich in starchy carbohydrates, dietary fiber, phosphorus, magnesium, and iron along with stress and anxiety-reducing properties.
Quinoa can easily be included in your diet in ground form or you may mix it with lentils, ground pumpkin seeds, mushrooms, and onions.
This study suggests that cottage cheese is another rich source of amino acids. Cottage cheese contains threonine and tryptophan and other essential amino acids as well.
Another study proves that 100 grams of cottage cheese contain 11 grams of proteins which is 25 percent of the daily requirement of proteins.
Cotton cheese is delicious and is a great option for vegetarians to fulfill the daily requirement of amino acids. In addition to amino acids, cottage cheese also contains calcium, vitamin B, and minerals like calcium, selenium, and phosphorus.
Fish is known for being rich in nutrients. It is an excellent source of amino acids. Researchers have found that cold water fish is rich in essential amino acids such as lysine and aspartic acid.
Marine fish is rich in leucine, small indigenous fish is rich in histidine, and craps and catfish are rich in glutamic acid and glycine.
Fish varieties like salmon, tuna, Katla, rohu, and surmai are also high in amino acids. In addition to this, sardine is also rich in omega-3 fatty acids which makes it heart friendly.
This article states that mushrooms contain a total of 17 amino acids, including all the essential amino acids, mushrooms are rich in amino acids such as histidine, leucine isoleucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine.
Oyster mushroom species such as Pleurotus ostreaus and P. Sajor-Caju are especially known to be rich in essential amino acids.
Other than this, mushrooms also have other benefits such as lowering blood pressure, boosting the immune system, promoting weight loss, and being highly nutritious.
Mushrooms are also a great source of minerals such as selenium, copper, thiamin, magnesium, and phosphorus.
Poultry products are a rich source of amino acids. Poultry products contain high amounts of tryptophan which is an essential amino acid.
Tryptophan is essential for the absorption of vitamin B. Tryptophan may also promote cognitive health, skin health, and digestion.
It also helps in the secretion of serotonin which is used as an antidepressant. Eating poultry products, as it contains tryptophan, lifts your mood and keeps you relaxed.
In addition to this, it also contains zinc, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12 and is also low in cholesterol.
Beans, Soybeans, And Legumes
Beans and legumes such as peas, chickpeas, lentils, soybeans, peanuts, cooked kidney beans, black beans, garbanzo beans & edamame are excellent sources of amino acids.
Legumes contain amino acids such as lysine and methionine. Soybeans are especially known for being rich in proteins and amino acids.
It also promotes the secretion of growth hormone which may aid in the growth and development of children.
Soybean contains phenylalanine, methionine, threonine, valine, isoleucine, leucine, tryptophan, and lysine as stated by this article. Beans, legumes, and soybeans can easily be included in your diet as a salad.
Dairy products are essential for bone health. They have all 9 essential amino acids and hence are considered complete proteins. Low-fat dairy products and especially greek yogurt are high in amino acids.
It is considered a traditional powerhouse. Dairy products are low in carbs and are rich in proteins, as per the study.
They also contain calcium, promote digestive health, may promote bone health, and dental health, might promote weight management, and improve overall health as well.
Milk, yogurt, and other dairy products are delicious and can easily be included in the diet in various forms. As per this study, yogurt serves around 37 percent of the daily protein requirements of women and 30 percent of women.
Yogurt also contains several good bacteria which may also promote digestive health.
Turkey is highly nutritious. According to this study, turkey contains tryptophan which has multiple functions. The body uses tryptophan to make melatonin and serotonin.
The liver also uses tryptophan to produce niacin which is a B vitamin and is needed in the production of DNA. It is also necessary for bone health, and skin and digestive health.
This study found that 100 grams of proteins contain 27.4 grams of proteins. In addition to this, turkey is also rich in vitamins and minerals such as zinc, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, folate, vitamin B12, vitamin E, and iron.
Turkey is low in fats and might support heart health which makes it a nutritious food to be added to your diet.
Vegetables are packed with multiple benefits. Vegetables contain essential amino acids such as methionine, valine, histidine, threonine, and tryptophan.
Some of the vegetables known to be high in amino acids are cauliflower and celery. They also contain a compound known as phenylalanine which may help the thyroid gland in hormone synthesis.
Hence, vegetables may help to regulate metabolic activities in the body such as weight loss or gain, heartbeat regulation, and blood glucose levels management.
Eating vegetables is necessary not only to obtain amino acids but also to provide other vitamins and minerals as well to the body. Vegetables provide essential vitamins and minerals including other nutrients such as antioxidants and fiber.
In addition to this, most vegetables are low in fat and high in vitamin A and vitamin C, which makes them one of the best inclusions in your daily diet. Vegetables can also be molded in various recipes and give variety to your taste.
Amino acids are essential for the proper functioning of the body. Amino acids may promote brain health, and prevents depression as it includes tryptophan which helps in the production of serotonin, responsible for uplifting the mood of an individual.
A sports person needs amino acids to release energy. Athletes use leucine, isoleucine, and valine supplements to enhance their performance.
Amino acids also promote growth. Amino acids combine to form proteins which are essential for body growth and development.
It might promote weight loss, regulate blood pressure, may help boost memory, and may help to regulate the immune system. We can easily obtain the 9 essential amino acids by incorporating amino acid-rich foods into our diet.
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Louise Rodriguez is a full-time health and fitness writer. She considers herself a gym rat and takes pride in showing her biceps. She dedicates most of her time to her health. With the time left, she spreads information regarding health and fitness among the masses. Harry Potter is her first love.