Nutrition & Health

Amino Acids: Benefits And How to Incorporate it Into The Diet

The body needs 20 different amino acids to maintain good health and function normally. People should get nine of these amino acids, called essential amino acids, through food.

Good food sources include meat, eggs, tofu, soybeans, buckwheat, quinoa, and dairy products.

Amino acids are compounds that combine to make proteins. When a person eats food containing protein, their digestive system breaks down the protein into amino acid. Then the body combines the amino acids in various ways to perform the functions of the body.

A healthy body can manufacture the other 11 amino acids, so these rarely need to enter the body through the diet.

Amino acids build muscles, cause chemical reactions in the body, transport nutrients, prevent disease, and perform other functions.

Amino acid deficiency can lead to decreased immunity, digestive problems, depression, fertility, decreased mental alertness, slowed growth in children, and many other health problems.

Each of the essential amino acids plays a unique role in the body, and deficiency symptoms will vary accordingly.

To Read: Top 10 Glutamine Supplements in 2021

The basic amino acids

The basic amino acids

There are many types of essential amino acids, including:


Lysine plays a vital role in building muscle, maintaining bone strength, aiding in recovery from injury or surgery, and regulating hormones, antibodies and enzymes. It might also have antiviral effects.

There isn’t much research available on lysine deficiency, but a study in mice suggested that lysine deficiency can lead to stress-induced anxiety.


Histidine facilitates growth, blood cell formation, and tissue repair. It also helps maintain a special protective covering over the nerve cells, which called the myelin sheath.

The body metabolizes histidine into histamine, which is crucial for immunity, reproductive health and digestion.

Results of a study in women with obesity and metabolic syndrome show that histidine supplementation may help lower BMI and insulin resistance.

Deficiency can cause anemia, and low blood levels seem to be more common among people with arthritis and kidney disease.


Threonine is essential for healthy skin and teeth, as it is a component of tooth enamel, collagen, and elastin. It aids in fat metabolism and may be beneficial for people with indigestion, anxiety, and mild depression.

A 2018 study found that a deficiency of threonine in fish reduced these animals’ resistance to disease.


Methionine and the nonessential amino acid cysteine play a role in the health and elasticity of the skin and hair.

Also help keep nails strong. It helps with the proper absorption of selenium and zinc and the removal of heavy metals such as lead and mercury.


Valine is essential for mental focus, muscle coordination, and emotional calm. People may use valine supplements for muscle growth, tissue repair, and energy.

The deficiency may cause insomnia and decreased mental function.

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Isoleucine aids with wound healing, immunity, blood sugar regulation, and hormone production. It found mainly in muscle tissue and it regulates energy levels.

Older adults may be more likely to have isoleucine deficiency than young adults. This deficiency may cause muscle wasting and shaking.


Leucine helps regulate blood sugar levels and aids in the growth and repair of muscles and bones. It is also essential for wound healing and growth hormone production. Leucine deficiency can lead to skin rashes or hair loss and fatigue.


Phenylalanine helps the body use other amino acids and proteins and enzymes. The body converts phenylalanine into tyrosine, which is necessary for certain functions in the brain.

After that, Phenylalanine deficiency, although rare, can lead to poor weight gain in infants. It might also cause eczema, fatigue, and memory problems in adults.

In addition, we often find phenylalanine in the artificial sweetener aspartame, which manufacturers used to make diet soft drinks.

Large doses of aspartame can increase levels of phenylalanine in the brain and may cause anxiety, nervousness, and affect sleep.

People with a rare genetic disorder called phenylketonuria (PKU) cannot metabolize phenylalanine. Because of this, they must avoid eating foods that contain high levels of this amino acid.


Is necessary for the proper growth of infants and is a precursor to serotonin and melatonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that regulates appetite, sleep, mood and pain. Melatonin also regulates sleep.

In addition, Tryptophan is a sedative, and it is a component of some sleep aid. One study suggests that tryptophan supplementation can improve mental energy and emotional processing in healthy women.

Tryptophan deficiency can cause a condition called pellagra, which can lead to dementia, rashes, and digestive problems.

Basic amino acid and exercise

Several studies show that low levels of protein and essential amino acid affect muscle strength and exercise performance.

According to a 2014 study, not getting enough amino acid may cause decreased muscle mass in the elderly. An additional study shows that amino acid supplements can help athletes recover after a workout.

How to eat foods containing essential amino acids

Doctors previously believed that people should eat foods that provide all 9 essential amino acids in one meal.

As a result, unless the individual eats meat, eggs, dairy products, tofu, or any other food that contains all the essential amino acids.

It was necessary to combine two or more types of plant foods containing all nine foods, such as rice and beans.

Today this recommendation is different. People who eat a vegan diet can get essential amino acids from various plant foods throughout the day, and they don’t have to eat them together in one meal.

Although 11 amino acids are unnecessary, humans may need some of them if they are under stress or disease. During these times.

The body may not produce enough of these amino acids to keep up with the increased demand. These amino acids are “conditioned”, so a person may need them in certain situations.

Sometimes people may want to take a basic amino acid supplement. But it is best to seek advice from a doctor first regarding safety and recommended dosage.

To Read: Abdominal Muscles: Training and Appropriate Diet for it 

Amino acid benefits

Amino acid benefits

Amino acids are of great importance for building the protein chains that the body needs in the manufacture of cells, hair, skin, blood cells, muscle building, genetic genes.

Many other functions, and among the most important benefits of amino acids for the human body, are:

  • Amino acids are the basic unit in building a protein group responsible for many functions. And as it breaks protein down, it can produce new chains of the resulting acids.
  • Certain amino acids. For instance tryptophan, help keep the body relaxed, and lysine helps maintain bone health.
  • Amino acids help repair damage to body tissues, when injured or after exercising for a long time, and it stresses muscles.
  • Helping to form hemoglobin, whose function is to transport iron inside the human body.
  • Maintaining the blood sugar level, as it is within the normal levels.
  • Reducing the likelihood of developing depression and improving a person’s mood.
  • Contribute to enhancing the performance of the immune system, besides ridding the body of toxins.
  • Maintaining the health of the digestive system and the digestive process. Maintaining the health of hair, skin, and nails, by strengthening the tissues.
  • Reducing fatigue and revitalizing the body by increasing the body’s flexibility, giving it energy and activity.
  • Reducing the loss of muscle mass, especially in the elderly who are more likely to suffer from this problem.
  • Fight obesity by supporting weight loss by stimulating excess fat burning.
  • Provide a source of energy for the human body. The production of various hormones and enzymes in the body.
  • Reducing insomnia, enhancing the ability to sleep, and reducing suffering from sleep disorders.
  • In addition, improving the construction of structural proteins such as keratin and collagen, which lead to the formation of connective tissues.

Incorporating essential amino acids into the diet

Although it is possible to have a deficiency of essential amino acids, most people can get enough of them by eating a protein-rich diet.

The foods on the following list are the most common sources of essential amino acid:

  • We find allicin in meat, eggs, soybeans, black beans, quinoa, and pumpkin seeds.
  • Meat, fish, poultry, nuts, seeds, and whole grains contain large amounts of histidine.
  • Cottage cheese and wheat germ contain high amounts of threonine.
  • We find methionine in eggs, grains, nuts, and seeds.
  • We find valine in soybeans, cheese, peanuts, mushrooms, whole grains, and vegetables.
  • Isoleucine is abundant in meat, fish, poultry, eggs, cheese, lentils, nuts, and seeds.
  • Dairy products, soybeans, beans and legumes are sources of leucine.
  • We find phenylalanine in dairy products, meat, poultry, soy, fish, beans, and nuts.
  • We find tryptophan in most high-protein foods, including wheat germ, cheese, chicken, and turkey.

These are just a few of the foods rich in essential amino acid. All foods that contain protein. Whether they are plant or animal, will contain at least some essential amino acids.


In conclusion, consumption of amino-acids or essential amino acids is crucial to good health.

Therefore, eating a variety of foods containing protein every day is the best way to make sure you are getting adequate amounts of the essential amino acids.

With today’s modern diet and access to a variety of foods, deficiencies are rare for people who are otherwise healthy.

However, people should always consult a doctor before using nutritional supplements. Or write to us on our website or on our social media sites, and we will provide you with the required information.

To Read: Omega 3: Benefits and Best Source 

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