Essential amino acids

10. March 2019

Amino acids – The body’s buildingblocks 

Amino acids have a great importance regarding a healthy and balanced lifestyle. They do not only constitute the building blocks for protein production, they also serve as the origin of numerous compounds that assume an important role with regard to growth, regeneration and metabolic functions of the body.

Essential amino acids – Basic building blocks for proteins

The human genotype contains 20 protein-forming amino acids, so-called proteinogenic amino acids. These standard amino acids can be divided into three groups: essential, semi-essential and non-essential amino acids.

In this blog post we will take a closer look at the essential amino acids. These amino acids are vital but cannot be produced by the body independently. In case of persistent malnutrition, diabetes, stress or after serious illness it may occur that the supply of amino acids is insufficient – fatigue, a weak immune system and slowed regeneration as well as wound healing processes are the result.

For the human body the following 8 amino acids are essential:

  • Isoleucine
  • Leucine
  • Lysine
  • Methionine
  • Phenylalanine
  • Threonine
  • Tryptophan
  • Valine

Most important source – The food

As already mentioned, the human body cannot produce these 8 essential amino acids itself. Therefore, ingestion by food is indispensable. One the one hand, these amino acids can be supplied by animal proteins, as found for example in poultry, salmon, chicken eggs, pork or beef. On the other hand, most plants are also an excellent source of all amino acids that are essential for humans. By a clever combination of these respective plant-based protein sources it is thus possible to cover the need optimally and effortlessly.

Legumes, nuts and seeds – The optimal source of plant-based proteins

An optimal source of these plant-based proteins are legumes, nuts and seeds. Pumpkin seeds with a protein content of just under 36 g per 100 g, for example ground to pumpkin seed protein, are particularly suitable for the supply of essential amino acids. Peas, beans and lentils, especially the high-protein pea protein, have a superb protein quality that is comparable to animal protein as well. Further power packs with a protein content just under 32 to 21 per 100 g are hemp seeds, almonds, linseeds and sesame seeds. Their refined by-products that are produced out of the press cakes, that evolve during oil production, are hemp protein, sunflower seed protein, almond protein, linseed flour (brown & gold) and sesame protein. These proteins have a high fiber and protein content and therefore ensure a long-lasting satiety and optimal intake of essential amino acids.

Composition and quantity are key

In order to supply the body sufficiently with essential amino acids, apart from the composition of the individual protein sources, the daily intake is of special importance as well. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), humans should consume 184 mg per kg of body weight daily. For a person weighing 70 kg this would be about 13 g daily requirement of essential amino acids.

For all questions relating to amino acids and which foods optimally meet the needs, our sales team is always at your disposal. Contact us

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