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Amino acids are chemical structures that build the different types of proteins. Today we know 21 amino acids. These 21 types are separated in two main groups – essential and non-essential. They are both extremely important for the body since they are great sources of energy and prevent the development of cardiovascular diseases.
Proteins are the second most common substance in the body (after water, of course). Here is some further information about the different types of amino acids and their benefits.
Action of amino acids
When we consume foods with a high content of proteins, such as meat, dairy products and legumes, our body breaks them down into their building components. This helps the intestinal wall to absorb the nutrients. The different types of proteins contain specific amino acids, which are arranged in a fixed manner. The process of digestion breaks down the chains to the corresponding amino acids. As a result, these amino acids regroup into other proteins which the body uses as sources of energy.
Types of amino acids
Generally, as we already mentioned, there are two types of amino acids – essential and non-essential.
Essential amino acids: histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan and valine.
Non-essential amino acids: alanine, arginine, asparagine, aspartic acid, cysteine, glutamic acid, glutamine, glycine, proline, serine, taurine, and tyrosine.
Because of their various benefits, the body uses these amino acids all the time. That is why it is very important for a person to know different types of proteins and include them in their diet. Very often, amino acids deficiency is caused by a diet with a low protein content. Medical conditions such as stress, infection, or trauma can affect the levels of proteins in the body since it requires an additional amount of amino acids in order to restore the functions of the body.
Taking drugs or other chemicals could also be a reason for the lack of amino acids in your body. The main symptoms of amino acid deficiency include fatigue, decreased metabolism, insomnia, skin and nail problems, anxiety and other health problems.
Food sources of amino acids
When it comes to healthy eating, the most important thing is diversity. For a healthy, rich-in-proteins diet, it is enough to eat various and tasty food. Among the greatest sources of amino acids are meat, milk, eggs, dairy products, raw vegetables, nuts, etc. Animal food sources contain all the essential amino acids. Fruits and vegetables, on the other hand, also contain all of the essential amino acids, but some of them must be combined with some other foods. This way, our body will be able to get the necessary amino acids. Most grains, for example, have a high content of lysine and legumes are low in methionine.
Other vegetable products, such as soy beans and spinach, are high in all of the essential amino acids. One cup of raw spinach, for example, contains 0.86g protein. Although it is not classified as a complete protein, spinach contains high quality protein with all the essential amino acids. However, some of them, such as tryptophan and cysteine, are in very small quantities.
Amino acid overdose
The amount of amino acids in our body in extremely important for our health. However, taking amino acids in the form of food supplements may lead to plenty of unpleasant side effects. High doses of lysine, for example, can cause gallstones.
Also, if a person suffers from anxiety, nervousness or hyperactivity (especially in children), this could be a result of the DL- phenylalanine – a combination of natural and synthetic phenylalanine, which in some cases can be toxic and cause plenty of serious health diseases.
Jessica Conars knows a lot about healthy eating and loves to share her experience. Currently she works as a manager of http://www.cleantoperfection.co.uk/end-of-tenancy-cleaning-sw15-putney/ and has the time to read a lot about foods.