“Treat your food like its medicine, or someday, you might have to treat your medicine like it is food.” This saying resounds with a simple but straight to the point type of honesty. The food that we eat today will determine our overall health and wellness in the future. Science backs this observation up as what we consume can greatly affect the quality of our lives. Observing a healthy diet can be challenging though, as modern society puts extreme demands on men and women. With tight deadlines and voluminous work duties, professionals and people, in general, choose to go for convenience instead of whole and real when it comes to food items. With food items that are made from real ingredients, people can expect to get the nutrients and healthy compounds they need such as Amino Acids. But why are Amino acids so important and what are some of the best foods with high levels of amino acids? In this article, let us look at the list of foods that contain plenty of amino acids.`
Amino Acids: What are they?
Amino acids are crucial for the effective functioning of the human body. It is considered the building blocks of proteins and most of them can be produced by the body. However, some amino acids need to be obtained or acquired through diet or through the food items that we consume. These amino acids are called essential amino acids and they are lysine, histidine, threonine, methionine, valine, isoleucine, leucine, phenylalanine, and tryptophan. Out of these nine (9), amino acids are three very important amino acids that are required for weight gain and muscle development, and these are called BCAAs or Branched Chained Amino Acids. These amino acids have a unique side chain that makes it quite special for muscle building compared to the other amino acids.
People must focus on getting a balanced diet that can provide the right amounts of needed amino acids since these compounds can greatly contribute to overall health aside from muscle building or development. It is recommended that people eat various meat and plant-based products or items to ensure that they get the right amount of amino acids they need daily. This will ensure that the body can have what it takes for tissue repair and growth, for the digestion of food, for enzyme function and formation, and the transportation of certain molecules (ex. Oxygen, etc.).
Best Food Items that Contain Increased amounts of Amino Acids
Listed below are some of the best food items that contain high levels of amino acids:
1. Whole grains
Whole grain food items can provide individuals with some level of amino acids and proteins that are considered acceptable for vegetarians. For example, a serving of long grain rice and pasta that is whole grain can give people proteins in the amount of six (6) to seven (7) grams.
One specific whole-grain food, quinoa, is considered a complete protein as it contains the entire list of amino acids. People who eat a cup of quinoa will obtain around 8 grams of protein. In this regard, people are advised to take in or consume foods that are considered whole grains instead of focusing on grains that are processed. These whole-grain foods can provide the human body with its needed minerals, vitamins, fiber, and amino acids per portion size.
2. Legumes, nuts, and seeds
Nuts are fantastic snack items but did you know that eating nuts can provide the body with its needed amino acids? This is an excellent reason to snack on seeds, nuts, and legumes as they can help complement those other vegetarian proteins, which are considered incomplete proteins. When the aforementioned combo of legumes, seeds, and nuts are consumed, then the body can have the amino acids it requires daily.
One of the few foods that are considered a vegetarian that contains the complete gamut of essential amino acids is soybeans. On the other hand, certain types of legumes contain eleven (11) to eighteen (18) grams per serving. These include pinto beans, black beans, chickpeas, and lentils. On the other hand, nuts can provide around six (6) to eight (8) grams of protein per serving. Examples of such nuts include sunflower seeds, walnuts, and almonds.
Another way to properly get the required amino acids is through the consumption of seafood. Per the Department of Agriculture of the United States, seafood can provide around seven (7) to eight (8) grams of proteins. These include seafood items such as halibut, tuna, salmon. On the other hand, crustaceans can provide around six (6) grams of protein per ounce, slightly lower than that of fish. These crustaceans include crabs and shrimps. These seafood items also have all the amino acids which make it a complete protein.
Consuming Seafood items also have an added benefit of possibly helping people fight against chronic diseases. This is because some of these seafood items, such as tuna, mackerel, and salmon, all contain fatty acids known as omega
4. Meat and Animal Proteins
Most people will think meats or aminal-based products when thinking about protein and rightly so. This is because tissues of animal-based food products contain all the essential amino acids that an individual needs per day making the said food items complete proteins.
Consuming eggs, chicken, turkey, pork, and beef can aid in completing the recommended daily intake for proteins. These proteins contain around nine (9) grams of protein for each ounce. Other animal-based food products such as dairy can provide around eight (8) grams of protein. Some of these dairy products include cheese, yogurt, and milk. These products, if eaten in large quantities can lead to increased calorie intake, and as such, it is recommended that individuals go for their fat-free or low-fat lean meats and dairy. Individuals can also remove the meat’s excess fat or remove the skin from poultry or chicken.