Some kinds of amino acids are made within the body. However, the consumption of protein is required to obtain the remaining amino acids. Because there are specific types of the 20 total amino acids that our bodies require but cannot make, these types are considered to be essential. Other amino acids can be synthesized (made) by the body and are considered to be nonessential.
Each of the amino acid types are required for body function and all are distinct from each other. To make sure that you aren’t lacking when it comes to certain types of amino acids, it is vital to each a variety of foods packed with protein. Less work is required by the body, even when the amino acid is not essential, making it important to consume all 20 types.
In most developed nations including the United States, severe protein deficiency (Kwashiorkor) is rare. However, most people don’t vary their diet on a daily basis making it difficult to regularly obtain all of the essential amino acids. So, while it is important to eat a sufficient amount of protein, it is equally important to obtain it in a variety of protein types.
Most plant foods are not complete proteins. Complete proteins contain all of the essential amino acids. So, when people follow a vegetarian, vegan, or low calorie diet, they increase their risk of not getting all of the required amino acids. Meat eaters are not at such high risk, since food from animals are complete proteins. However, you can eat all of the essential amino acids by combining a variety of plant foods. For example, mix whole grains with vegetables or eat beans with rice. There are some experts in nutrition who believe that eating foods that are complete protein sources is better than the plant food diet described above.
What are the best food choices for complete proteins?
Some of my favorite complete protein sources are wild caught fish, cage free eggs, raw organic dairy, and grass fed beef. A more extensive list is included below. Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA that fights cancer) boosts the immune system and is contained in grass fed beef. It also has a nutritional content that is superior to beef that is raised conventionally when it comes to healthy saturated fats. Other good choices include lamb, venison, and bison.
Fish caught in the wild contains omega-3s that are healthy for the heart plus a complete set of amino acids. In addition to protein, the tasty and versatile eggs and raw dairy products are rich with nutrients. Kefir, yogurt, and other raw dairy products help to boost immunity and improve digestion because they contain gut friendly probiotics.
When buying protein, it is important to be sure that they are high quality, particularly when they come from animals. What does this mean? Shopping for wild caught fish, raw unpasteurized dairy, organic cage free poultry or eggs, and grass fed meat will reduce dietary toxins and increase the amount of protein in your diet.
Conventionally raised animal products have fewer nutrients when compared to high quality ones because the animals are fed a diet that is dense with nutrients and more natural, which increases the health of the animals. When we eat farmed livestock and fish in large amounts, there are some real dangers to us. On the other hand, there are fewer antibiotics, synthetic hormones, heavy metals, and other pollutants in high quality proteins that provide more healthy fatty acids, vitamins, and trace minerals.