What are the foods high in amino acids and enzymes? In this article, learn more about amino acids, enzymes, and the 12 foods that are rich in them so you can keep your body strong and healthy. Amino acids are organic compounds that bond with each other in long chains. They are there to create protein. Without amino acids, there is no protein, a vital energy source in the body. The two go hand in hand and serve a main bodily function which is to digest food. Much of our muscles and cells are created from amino acids that give structure to cells. Your body requires plenty of amino acids to function and grow well.
What are enzymes? Enzymes are the molecules of protein in the body’s cells that fire up chemical reactions. Nearly all biological beings require enzymes as these molecules speed up the inside’s chemical reactions. What’s great about them is they do not run out once they go through the process. There are various types of enzymes performing different roles and breaking down several nutrients in your body. For example, protease enzymes make amino acids out of protein, while amylase enzymes are responsible for breaking down sugar from starch. Read on to understand foods high in amino acids and enzymes.
Foods High in Amino Acids and Enzymes
Some essential amino acids include threonine, leucine, histidine, isoleucine, tryptophan, and threonine. There are nine essential amino acids in the human body. That means your body requires them from food sources because they are not produced naturally by our bodies. Because amino acids build up protein, the top foods with the most protein content are also those with the highest amino acid amounts.
Amino Acid-Rich Food Choices
Dairy and Eggs
Plenty of amino acids are found in dairy products and eggs. The non-fat and low-fat sources offer the most protein/gram. For example, an ounce of mozzarella cheese (non-fat) offers protein at 9 grams, while Swiss cheese (low-fat) is 8 grams. Get your regular fix and get your energy.
Poultry and seafood
Chicken meat, seafood, and even turkey meat contain great sources of amino acids. Chicken offers complete protein as it is packed with all the amino acids based on scientific research. ½ breast of skinless chicken already contains 27 grams and only 3 grams of fat. Three ounces of fish like salmon, tuna, or halibut also pack a good 22 grams of protein.
Poultry and fish are the better choices, but red meat also contains a high protein source, particularly beefy lean cuts at 31 grams per three ounces. A steak has about 29 grams of protein. Ham provides 28 grams with every 3-ounce serving. Better to pick meats with less fat and mostly lean.
Did you know that soybeans contain 21 grams of protein already at just one cup? Health experts recommend beans to be your number one protein source. Other beans include black beans, pinto beans, garbanzo beans, Lima beans, and kidney beans. These already provide up to 16 grams per serving. If you cook beans, fat content is only less than a gram.
Yogurt, especially plain yogurt that is fat-free offers about 14 grams of protein + 50 percent DRI for calcium. Way to yogurt.
Plant-based food sources
If you are looking for amino acids at full range, quinoa and soy products offer your body all the essential amino acids compared to any other plant-based protein. There are roughly 29 grams of protein in a cup of beans, 9 grams of protein for one cup of quinoa (boiled), 7 grams protein in 3-ounce tofu serving. Nuts or seeds like peanuts, walnuts, pistachios or sunflower seeds already give up to 9 grams of protein in just one ounce.
Enzyme-Rich Food Choices
Moving on to foods high in amino acids and enzymes, here is a list more detailed for enzyme-rich foods particularly. Our body seeks digestive enzymes to break down what we eat very well for nutrients to be transported and absorbed fully.
Bananas are best known for their high potassium source. But more than that, this fruit is also a good source for maltase and amylase. Maltase aids in the breaking down of malt sugar found in carbohydrate foods. These foods include veggies and starchy cereals, while amylase breaks down complex carbs that are found in cereals and bread.
Fans of the superfood avocado will love that the fruit hosts a wide list of enzymes, particularly lipase. This enzyme is responsible for the dietary fat breakdown. Avocado is an excellent choice for ketogenic dieters. That is because it contains plenty of healthy fats (omega 3 fatty acids) and nutrients such as vitamins K, C, B. Lipase in avocado + healthy fats make a superb go-to healthy fruit for its many advantages. It also reduces the risk of heart problems.
Pineapple has protein-digestive enzymes named bromelain. This enzyme is best known for being able to break down the chain of the protein. Bromelain is responsible for hydrolyzing gel network protein that prevents its development, making pineapple harder as it is and not grow into something more liquid. Bromelain is an ingredient that can tenderize meat.
Mangos have the enzyme amylase that works to absorb and break down starch to low carb molecules. Chunked or sliced mango pieces for salad or snacks are a good go-to hunger buster.
Papaya is unique for its protease enzyme by the name of papain. Papain aids in the digestion of protein. Papain, like bromelain, is also used in tenderizing or marinating meats. It is more common to perform this in South American countries, but many powdered marinades already contain the papain enzyme. Note that too much heat and age can reduce papain content which means eat your papaya as soon as you buy it for best digestive benefits.
Kiwi contains actinidin, a proteolytic enzyme that helps in the digestion of gluten, protein, gelatin, among other substances. It is also used as a tenderizer for meats as papain and bromelain are. It can break down gelatin, making its ripe kiwi form the best form and shape.
Listed are the top 12 foods high in amino acids and enzymes: time to incorporate it into your daily diet!