- amino acids are the fundamental building blocks of protein and play a crucial role in the maintenance and health of our body. Among these, essential amino acids are particularly important, since our body is not able to produce them independently and everything depends, therefore, on their intake through nutrition.
In this article, we will explore the functions of essential amino acids, their requirements, associated deficiencies, and food sources rich in these essential nutrients.
Functions of Essential Amino Acids
Essential amino acids perform multiple crucial functions for our body; first of all, they are the building blocks of proteins, which in turn are involved in the formation and repair of tissues.
Furthermore, they actively participate in the synthesis of hormones, enzymes and neurotransmitters, contributing to the regular functioning of the nervous system and organs.
Among the essential amino acids, 9 are considered fundamental, since the human body cannot synthesize them in sufficient quantities.
What is the daily requirement?
The requirement for essential amino acids varies based on age, weight, gender and level of physical activity of a person.
In general, an average adult needs about 20 grams of protein per day, which must include all essential amino acids.
The exact amount of each amino acid depends on individual needs and the type of diet followed. The athletes and people involved in strenuous physical activities may require larger quantities of essential amino acids to support muscle repair and growth.
Conversely, deficiencies in these nutrients can lead to health problems, such as loss of muscle mass, chronic fatigue and slow metabolism.
Consequences of the shortage
Deficiency of essential amino acids can have serious health consequences. Since these compounds are essential for many biological functions, the lack of one or more of them can compromise the correct functioning of the body.
For example, a tryptophan deficiency can negatively affect the synthesis of Serotonin, a key neurotransmitter in regulating mood and sleep.
Additionally, amino acid deficiencies can cause problems in the immune system, since proteins are essential for the production of antibodies and other molecules involved in the body's defense against infections.
It is therefore essential to ensure you get an adequate amount of essential amino acids through a balanced diet.
Food Sources Rich in Essential Amino Acids
To ensure a sufficient intake of essential amino acids, it is importantand include foods rich in complete proteins in your diet.
Complete proteins contain all nine essential amino acids in balanced proportions. Some sources of complete protein include:
- Meat and fish: Red meat, chicken, turkey, fish and other seafood are rich in complete proteins and provide a full range of essential amino acids.
- Eggs: the eggs they are an excellent source of complete protein and provide all the essential amino acids in significant quantities.
- Dairy Products: milk, cheese and yogurt are rich in complete proteins and also provide important nutrients such as calcium and vitamin D.
- Legumes: Although they are considered incomplete proteins, combine legumes such as beans, lentils and chickpeas with Whole grains can provide a full range of essential amino acids.
- Quinoa: This ancient grain is an exception among grains as it contains all nine essential amino acids.
Making sure to include a variety of these food sources in your daily diet can help ensure a balanced intake of essential amino acids, thus supporting the body's overall health and well-being.
The requirement for essential amino acids varies based on individual needs, and a deficiency can have serious health consequences.
Choosing a diet rich in complete proteins from different food sources is essential to ensure a balanced intake of essential amino acids and keep the body healthy.
And you, did you know the properties of essential amino acids? Let us know in the comments and remember to follow us on our telegram channel
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