Important for all your body’s systems
Protein is an essential part of any healthy diet; it plays a major role in our growth, muscle-building and repair.
Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. If the term “amino acid” only triggers a distant memory of biology class, it is important to know that amino acids play a vital role in our diet.
Twenty amino acids build the body’s protein – eleven can be created by the body itself, but the other nine must be consumed from another source.
These nine essential amino acids are lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, valine, leucine, tryptophan, isoleucine, and histadine.
Amino acids are mostly found in meat, poultry, fish, eggs and dairy products. While plants provide an excellent source of protein, they are often lacking in a few essential amino acids – vegetarians will have to eat a variety of plants to ensure they get these missing amino acids. Firm tofu is also a great source of amino acids for vegetarians.
Amino acids hold a multitude of benefits; Lysine helps our bodies absorb calcium and produce antibodies, while leucine and isoleucine aid in energy, brain health and muscle coordination.
Other benefits include promoting digestive health, the immune system and collagen formation. Supplements may be taken to build muscle, which in turn may help with weight loss.
However, these supplements are only meant to enhance, not replace, our dietary protein.
Consult your doctor before taking any amino acid supplements; amino acid supplements are not meant to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.