What Are They and Why Are They Important?
No doubt you have heard about amino acids, but beyond the familiarity of the term, do you understand what they are? What do amino acids do for us? Without getting too technical or dull, we hope to shed some light on these organic compounds and how they affect you on a daily basis.
What Are Amino Acids?
There are hundreds of amino acids found in nature. They are categorized as nonessential, essential, and conditional. Humans have nine essential amino acids that are vital for functions such as protein synthesis, tissue repair, and nutrient absorption. Some may also help prevent muscle loss, support recovery after surgery, and improve mood, sleep, and athletic performance.
Amino acids are known as the building blocks of protein. Molecules combine to form new proteins, and conversely, when proteins are digested or broken down, we are left with amino acids. In the body, amino acids are used to make proteins that help the body break down food, repair damaged tissue, and grow new tissue and muscle functions. Amino acids can also be used as an energy source.
Essential amino acids cannot be made in the body and must be acquired through our diet. The nine essential amino acids include histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine. Leucine, isoleucine, and valine are Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs), and athletes use them to boost muscle growth and enhance exercise performance. BCAAs may also help with weight loss and reduce fatigue after exercise. Essential amino acids can be found in beef, chicken, pork, tofu, fish, beans, milk, eggs, cheese, nuts, and soybeans.
Nonessential amino acids, despite what their name may imply, are essential in supporting tissue repair and growth, hormone synthesis, red blood cell formation, and immune function. These amino acids can be made by the body, even if not consumed through our food. Nonessential amino acids include alanine, arginine, asparagine, aspartic acid, cysteine, glutamic acid, glutamine, glycine, proline, serine, and tyrosine. Nonessential amino acids are found in whole-foods like nuts, grains, meats, fruits, and vegetables.
Why Are Amino Acids Important?
Beyond the roles we’ve touched on, several amino acids are helpful in other ways. For example, phenylalanine and tryptophan are precursors to neurotransmitters like dopamine, serotonin, and tyrosine. As a result, sufferers of depression, anxiety, and ADHD will find that these amino acids are beneficial in regulating mood and sleep as well as focus and attention.
Because amino acids are present at the foundation of cellular growth, repair, and development, it is safe to say that amino acids are vitally important in every way possible. From cell growth, repair, red blood cell production, hormone regulation, collagen production, detoxification, metabolism, equilibrium, and so much more, we could not function as the intelligently designed beings we are without amino acids. Yet many of us don’t give amino acids a second thought. Most people can get the amino acids they need through a balanced diet with complete proteins. As if we needed another reason why we should all be consuming a diet rich in living foods and high-quality proteins, we see that eating in such a way provides us with all the amino acids we require with little extra effort. Consuming the amino acids we need through a balanced whole-food diet means we are supported on a cellular level.
How To Get the Complete Proteins You Need
Complete proteins provide all essential amino acids in sufficient amounts to support all the body uses them for. Most complete proteins are animal-based. However, plant-based complete proteins are possible with a little bit of forethought and planning. Combining grains and legumes (think beans and rice or pasta and peas), nuts and seeds with legumes (think hummus — chickpeas and tahini) can give you a flavorful complete protein. Amaranth, quinoa, hempseed, and chia are also complete proteins. So add any of these foods and combine your other protein sources, helping you get all your essential amino acids met every day.
This is part of the solution used in our ozone injections, specifically because they positively affect the healing process. Giving the body the support it may be lacking in order to heal properly.
If you are concerned about your amino acid status Gem State offers the Immune System Jumpstart which contains 15 different amino acids, glutathione, magnesium, B-Vitamins, and an energy based Silver product that helps boost the immune system. The Jumpstart is a simple IV push that takes about 10-15 minutes to administer. Call the front desk today to schedule yours!
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