The human body has 20 amino acids, about half are essential amino acids (EAAs). This might seem like they’re the most critical ones. However, what we’re talking about is the amino acids’ source. It’s important to define nonessential amino acids (NEAAs). These are also important but the body produces them naturally so it’s not always important to get them from food/beverage intake or dietary supplements. EAAs are better known since you have to know which foods contain them. Read on as we define non-essential amino acids and how it is also critical to have it
Amino acids, in general, are critical in terms of the macro-nutrient known as protein. What’s the big deal? Amino acids are known as the building blocks of protein. They’re required in order to build and maintain protein. So, if you want to build muscle mass, for example, it’s critical to know which foods are the best sources for different amino acids. It’s also important if you have a condition that affects your body’s production of certain amino acids. In that case, you should consider options like food and supplement sources for the “aminos.” This will boost your level.
What in the World Are Amino Acids?
Before we take up EAAs it’s important to get to backtrack and discuss amino acids themselves. The name explains that they’re acids but what are they all about? Amino acids are important to the human body’s manufacturing of the macronutrient protein.
Aminos have other functions. For example, they help to boost wound-healing and support healthy tissues found in hair, skin, bones, and muscles. Another function of amino acids is to help the body get rid of waste. This is a key function for good overall health.
There are two main types of amino acids in the human body. They include essential and non-essential amino acids. The types are based on whether the body produces the acids naturally. “Essential” amino acids must be consumed through dietary supplements or food. Meanwhile, the body naturally produces the “non-essential” amino acids.
However, it’s worth noting that it’s possible to have a deficiency in any of the 20 amino acids. So even if your body produces a particular type of amino acid naturally it might not make enough of it. More on that later.
That said, if you want to get all 9 EAAs in single superfoods here are some good options:
- Chia Seeds
- Whey (dairy)
If you want to boost your overall intake of EAAs then these are some of the foods to add to your diet. Besides the protein, they’re also high in other nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and enzymes.
The process of how amino acids team up to form proteins is very complex. What’s most important is to know that there are 20 including 9 essential and 11 non-essential types. This helps to distinguish different ones. For example, many are found in everyday foods. MSG is a combination of sodium and the amino acid known as “glutamic acid.”
How Do We Define Non-Essential Amino Acids?
NEAAs are one of the main types of amino acids and makeup 11 of the 20 total amino acids found in the human body.
How do they work? All amino acids connect to other ones in order to make long chains of protein. The body makes several types of NEAAs. One of the most well-known ones is glutamic acid, which is used to make MSG.
It’s important not to read too much into the amino acids’ name. They’re important like EAAs. The difference is they can provide the human body with several benefits. They include functions like removing toxins that the body doesn’t need when doing high-intensity workouts, for example.
Meanwhile, if you get too many of these amino acids you can experience side-effects. If an amino acid provides energy then getting too much could actually make you tired. That’s why it’s critical to watch your intake through dietary supplements in particular.
These amino acids can have other functions related to:
- Immune system
- Good bacteria
- Hormone release
- Central Nervous System (CNS)
- Brain function
Even though these amino acids are produced by the body you can also get them in different foods like meat, fish, eggs, brown rice, nuts, rice, and raisins.
As noted there are certain health conditions and diseases that can affect the body’s ability to produce certain NEAAs. If you have such a condition it’s important to get diagnosed ASAP. If you observe certain symptoms that are linked to amino acid deficiency then contact your doctor.
He/She can then do an examination and order tests to run. This can help to determine whether or not your body isn’t producing enough of certain amino acids. Besides health conditions, it could also be related to the natural aging process. As this happens, our bodies produce less of certain substances including amino acids.
What Are Amino Acid-related Conditions?
Sometimes people have health conditions so they’re unable to metabolize particular amino acids. It can cause problems like buildups of toxins in the body. In some situations, this can cause major issues. So, it’s important to find out if your body can’t metabolize certain amino acids properly.
If you have such disorders you’ll likely have to reduce or ditch particular foods. The reason is the body is unable to process the foods correctly. There are different factors that can trigger symptoms including illness, long-term fasting, infection, and the “wrong” foods.
So, it’s critical to know the causes and symptoms of certain conditions related to amino acid deficiency. This can help you determine when you’re experiencing symptoms of such conditions.
These are actually genetic disorders so they’re passed on via genes from parents to children. The cells of human bodies contain genes that store data about how the body develops and functions. It’s important to have tests run to check if a newborn has certain genetic disorders. This can include amino acid disorders.
The testing is important because there’s no way to be 100% sure he/she has a condition unless tests are run. The baby might appear and act healthy yet still, have one of these amino acid-related conditions. This all explains why it’s critical to have your baby tested right after birth.
Another issue to consider is that different conditions have different symptoms. So, it might be tough to determine if a person has a certain amino acid condition just by watching for certain symptoms. This is part of the process. However, a diagnosis can’t be made until the tests are run.
As always, eating a healthy and well-balanced diet can help to make sure you are getting/making enough of all 20 amino acids. Eat foods like lean meats/fish, whole grains, veggies/fruits, seeds/nuts, dairy, and healthy oils after you define nonessential amino acids.