Amino acids are important to the human body. Vital, in fact. Fortunately, there are animal-based dietary solutions to getting all nine essential amino acids. Animal-based amino acids are abundant!
Amino acids are organic compounds that combine to form proteins. Essential amino acids in general repair tissue and provide the body with energy.
Three types of amino acids
- Essential: Amino acids that are required by your body and cannot be produced by your body itself. Food will need to provide those acids.
- Non-essential: Amino acids that can be made by humans without dietary supplementation.
- Conditional: Amino acids not normally required by our bodies, except in times of illness or stress. Healthy people don’t need these amino acids.
The essential amino acids
AMINO ACID No. 1: PHENYLALANINE
Phenylalanine may help to reduce pain, may help ease the effects of depression, and may be vital to overall brain health.
Animal-based food solutions: Cheese (parmesan), beef, lamb, chicken breast, pork (chops and shoulder), bacon, fish (tuna), and eggs.
AMINO ACID No. 2: VALINE
Valine may help to prevent insomnia and nervousness, as well as improved mental function. It may also help as an appetite suppressant. Body-builders seek to stay on top of this amino acid as it appears to help to repair muscle tissue.
Animal-based food solutions: Cheese (parmesan), lamb, beef, chicken breast, pork tenderloin, bacon, and fish (tuna).
AMINO ACID No. 3: THREONINE
Threonine is believed to help the well-being of connective tissue, the immune system, liver health, and bone health. Threonine has also been used on patients to slow the progression of ALS (aka Lou Gehrig’s Disease), multiple sclerosis, and other nervous system disorders.
Animal-based food solutions: Lamb, beef, pork (shoulder and tenderloin), bacon, chicken breast, turkey, liver, cheese (parmesan), fish (salmon), and clams.
AMINO ACID NO. 4: TRYPTOPHAN
Tryptophan is essential to the normal growth of infants. For adults, it helps regulate mood and sleep by changing into the brain chemical known as serotonin. It may also help skin health and brain function. It may also help lower your blood pressure and triglycerides through vitamin B3, which is also known as Niacin.
Animal-based food solutions: Cheese (Mozzarella), rabbit, pork (shoulder), lamb, chicken breast, turkey, fish (tuna and halibut), shellfish (crab and lobster), and eggs.
AMINO ACID No. 5: METHIONINE
Methionine is best known for making new protein inside of your cells as old protein breaks down. Its best benefits are helping liver function and may help in healing wounds, as well as aiding in healthy nails and hair.
Animal-based food solutions: Beef, lamb, cheese (parmesan), chicken breast, turkey, pork (shoulder and sirloin), fish (tuna), eggs, and yogurt.
AMINO ACID No. 6: LEUCINE
Leucine is another branched chain essential amino acid. This amino acid can stimulate muscle growth, aid in providing energy during exercise, may provide and increase to human growth hormone production, and may help to stabilize blood sugar.
Animal-based food solutions: Chicken (leg), beef (skirt steak), pork (shoulder and chops), fish (tuna and salmon), milk, cheese (ricotta), and eggs.
AMINO ACID No. 7: ISOLEUCINE
Isoleucine is the last branched chain essential amino acid. Isoleucine is best known for regulating blood sugar and energy levels.
Animal-based food solutions: Eggs, turkey, chicken breast, lamb, shellfish, and fish (tuna, orange roughy, cod)
AMINO ACID No. 8: LYSINE
Lysine is an essential acid for supporting your immune system. It also may aid in improving athletic ability, improving the symptoms of diabetes, may improve sleep and blood pressure, and may improve skin by creating collagen.
It is said that too much Lysine can lead to stomach cramps and diarrhea.
Animal-based food solutions: Beef, cheese (parmesan), turkey (wing), pork (chop), bacon, fish (tuna), shrimp, and eggs.
AMINO ACID No. 9: HISTIDINE
Histidine is essential to upper respiratory health, limiting inflammatory effects, which can also lead to reduced pain from joint swelling.
Animal-based food solutions: Pork (shoulder, chops, and ham), beef (skirt steak), lamb, chicken (breast and leg), fish (tuna, snapper, salmon, cod), milk, and eggs.
Animal-based amino acids rule the day
There are a few common denominators on this list.
If you are a fish fan, go for tuna and salmon. Oily fish, in general, have added nutritional benefits, as we can see here.
Eggs are huge, as they give you eight of the nine essentials.
Pork shoulder has 100% or more of the recommended daily allowance of five of the nine essential amino acids.
Chicken breast, strip steak, lamb, turkey, bacon, milk, and cheese are all well-represented animal-based amino acids.
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