Amino acids are a crucial part of the body’s ability to synthesize proteins, and contribute to overall healthy functioning. Unfortunately, most amino acids are not made naturally by the human body, and cannot be stored in the body after being consumed.
This means that, in order to stay healthy, it’s essential that you regularly add amino acids to your diet on a consistent basis. Without them, the body fails to function properly and may even begin to break down muscle tissue in an attempt to secure enough amino acid.
Luckily, it’s fairly easy to fit enough amino acids into your diet on a regular basis. Healthy foods like nuts, eggs, fish, and red meats are actually some of the best natural sources of amino acids. If you eat protein based foods several times a day, your body should have more than enough amino acids for proper functioning.
Let’s take a look at some of the best natural sources of amino acids:
Add Eggs to Your Morning Routine
Eggs are an inexpensive, low calorie protein option, and contain large amounts of naturally occurring amino acids, especially tryptophan, methionine, isoleucine, and lysine. Consuming eggs for breakfast or as a snack can add these important amino acids with very little effort. If you’re on a budget, eggs are a great way to stretch your protein dollar, allowing you to add a nutritional boost without spending a lot of money on expensive cuts of meat.
Consider Red Meat as a Dinner Option
Red meat is typically more expensive than other natural sources of amino acids, and over consuming it may stress the liver and kidneys. Red meats are also typically fattier than lean meats such as fish and poultry.
However, occasional red meat consumption is an excellent way to add iron, protein, and amino acids to your diet. Although fatty, red meat is one of the best natural sources of amino acids available. So go ahead and have that steak or high quality hamburger — your body will thank you!
Increase Fish and Poultry Consumption
Fish and poultry are lean proteins and excellent sources of most amino acids. Fish is also an excellent source of essential fatty acids that are necessary for energy, brain health, and to protect against heart disease. Mercury levels in some fish populations can be an issue, so be sure to carefully research the source of your fish and keep consumption limited to one to two times per week.
Go Nuts for Healthy Snacks
Nuts and legumes are some of the best natural sources of amino acids. Different varieties of nuts contain different amino acids; most also assist with building muscle, managing blood sugar, and sustaining energy. This makes nuts an easy and convenient snack, especially for busy people on the go. If you’re out and about, consider reaching for a small bag of nuts instead of potato chips or a candy bar — you’ll be building energy and sustaining long term health.