Threonine is one of the nutritionally essential amino acids. This means it is one of the 9 amino acids that you must get from your diet. It has a wide range of benefits for your overall health. You can’t afford to risk threonine deficiency. The negative effects could be very severe. Food is very important to fill you up. But the nutrients you get from them is much more important. So what are threonine food sources? Which foods can give you an adequate supply of threonine? What should you eat to get as much threonine as your body needs to function as it should?
The functions of threonine include the maintenance of protein balance. It is also very vital for the production of structural proteins like elastin and collagen. These proteins are integral parts of your muscles, skin, hair, and nails. They also make up some of the tissues of the heart. You also need threonine for the synthesis of digestive enzymes. Furthermore, your body needs threonine to make some other amino like glycine. For all of these things, you need about 1g of threonine daily if you are an average-sized adult. The recommended daily intake in the US is about 20mg per kg of body weight. We will show you some rich threonine foods to include in your diet.
Top Threonine Food Sources for Your Diet
The following are the best foods that you can get threonine from:
Turkey is generally known to be protein-rich. It has a lot of threonine in it. You will get an adequate supply of it. The Department of Health and Agriculture in the US recognizes Turkey as one of the richest threonine sources. A 100-gram turkey serving can provide you virtually all the threonine you need for the day.
2. Lean Beef
Lean beef is also very rich in threonine as well as other various amino acids. The amount of threonine in lean beef depends on how you cook it. 100g of lean meat would contain well over your daily need of threonine.
3. Egg White
Egg white is good as a source of threonine because it has no cholesterol or saturated fat. You could even get your threonine from egg white powder. All you need to do is simply add about two tablespoons to your meal. It will give you 513mg of net threonine. This is about 30-34 percent of your daily requirements.
4. Chicken Breast
Chicken is one of the common meats we eat daily. What we may not be aware of is that it is very abundant in threonine. It has a lot of other amino too. One whole chicken would give you 137 percent of your daily threonine needs.
5. Soy Products
If you are vegan, you have one more reason to be glad about soy products. They are very rich sources of threonine. Can you imagine that one cup of soybeans contains 3g of threonine? This is so much more than what you need daily.
You can eat pork in any way you want. If you like, eat bacon, pork chops, or salami. They are all very rich in threonine. It is one of the richest threonine sources in the world. 100g of pork would give you more than your daily needs for threonine.
Health Benefits of Threonine
The following are the health benefits of Threonine:
1. Digestive Health
Most of the threonine you eat would be absorbed in your ileum. The ileum is the upper part of your small intestine. Threonine protects this part of the digestive tract.
It helps in the production of the mucus-layer that acts as a gel to cover the digestive tract. This mucus protects the tract from enzymes that can cause intestinal damage.
Furthermore, threonine supports the healthy function of the gut by promoting endogenous secretions. Threonine deficiencies often lead to digestive problems.
2. Immune Function
L-threonine found from food sources helps in the production of antibodies. These antibodies function like the police in the body that arrest any ‘intruder’. This way, threonine boosts your immune system.
Your thymus gland uses threonine in the making of T lymphocytes (also called T- Cells). T- Cells help to ward off infections. Thus threonine supports immune function and safeguards your body against diseases.
3. Liver Health
Threonine works as a team with two other amino – aspartic acid and methionine. These three amino acids together support the health of your liver. They facilitate something called the lipotropic function.
It is in the process of lipotropic function that your body digests fat. Without threonine, the number of fat in your body will overwhelm your liver and damage it. In very extreme cases, this would lead to liver failure.
4. Structural Protein Benefits
The usefulness of the structural proteins, elastin, and collagen, in your body cannot be quantified. They are beneficial for all the muscles, bones, joints, and connective tissues in your body.
Collagen is the structural protein that is most abundant in your body. You can find collagen in your heart, as well as in many other vital organs.
Threonine is an important part of these structural proteins. Your body can’t make them without threonine. You can imagine the chaos that could occur in different parts of your body, including your heart, if threonine is absent.
5. Cognitive Function
You can find a very high concentration of threonine in your central nervous system (CNS). Many experts have tried to find out why this is so.
It is not clear yet why there is so much threonine on the CNS. However, one thing sure is that threonine boosts cognitive function. It has helped in reducing the symptoms of CNS conditions like Multiple Sclerosis, depression, and other mental disorders.
Signs of Threonine Deficiency
Common symptoms that indicate threonine deficiency are as follows:
- Digestive difficulties
- Emotional agitation
- Fatty liver
- Lower immunity
You can avoid these symptoms and other health complications that come with threonine deficiency. Thankfully, you now know the best threonine food sources. And if you can’t get enough in your diet for whatever reason, you can always take supplements.