Amino Acids – The Building Blocks of Life
This week we are exploring the nutrients that are critical for a happy and healthy body. Today we look at amino acids – the building blocks of life!
Amino acids come from larger molecules called proteins. There are 8-10 essential amino acids that we need to take in from the environment because we do not have the ability to make them in our body.
Foods high in proteins include: Poultry, bison, beef, lamb, pork, eggs, seafood, nuts and seeds, organic tofu, beans, lentils and whole grains.
When we eat animal and vegetable proteins, our body first needs to digest these proteins into single amino acids, so they can get readily absorbed through the gut lining. Once digested and in the blood stream, amino acids are transported and shuffled into tissues to produce different protein structures such as enzymes for digestion and metabolism, for neurotransmitter production such as serotonin and dopamine, for important substances like glutathione.
Amino acids are necessary for growth and repairing body tissues and structure, and perform many other body functions.
If you are a vegetarian or vegan, and do not eat much animal protein, amino acid supplements may be necessary. And since protein digestion is key to maintain mitochondria and muscle mass as you age, I recommend taking a digestive enzyme with a protein meal!
For more detailed information about the Essential Nutrients, click here to get my free Essential Nutrients 101: Quick Reference Guide.
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This is Dr. Susanne, dedicated to helping you feel your best, the all natural way!