In the process of its life, the human body, even when at rest, works continuously: cell metabolism occurs, the heart contracts, the lungs work, etc. For such constant work, our body needs energy, which can be acquired as a result of a healthy and balanced diet. All food products are made up of a variety of combinations of fats, carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, water and minerals. Enough has been written about minerals and vitamins. Let's talk about something else.
As you know, proteins, fats and carbohydrates are assigned the role of energy suppliers, in addition, proteins and fats are a necessary building material for the ongoing processes of cell renewal. Cells of the nervous system and skeletal muscles as a source of their activity use mainly glucose - a component of carbohydrates. Fatty acids, an integral part of fats, are used to ensure the normal functioning of the heart muscle. But to build our own tissues, our body uses hormones, enzymes, immune proteins synthesized from amino acids, which are obtained as a result of the breakdown of proteins in the stomach and intestines under the influence of various enzymes. Simply put, amino acids are the bricks from which protein molecules are built.
Distinguish amino acids interchangeable and irreplaceable. Valine, leucine, threonine, isoleucine, phenylalanine, methionine, lysine, tryptophan are indispensable, aspartic acid, asparagine, alanine, glycine, serine, glutamine, glutamic acid, proline, tyrosine, cysteine are replaceable. There are also partially replaceable amino acids - histidine and arginine.
Essential amino acids are necessary for a person to have a normal life, but, unlike the essential ones, they are not synthesized in the body and must be supplied with food. If the human body lacks essential amino acids, the growth and development of the body is delayed. The age, gender and profession of a person determine the optimal content of essential amino acids in food protein. Any amino acids, both interchangeable and irreplaceable, have a nitrogen component, which is the same for everyone, and a unique carbon skeleton. The human body requires a complete set of twenty basic amino acids for normal functioning. The body can synthesize essential amino acids in its own cells, and essential amino acids must come from ready-to-eat foods.
Essential Amino Acids in Food
The content of the most important amino acids, such as tryptophan, methionine and lysine, is closest to the ideal in meat, fish, chicken eggs, fresh milk, wheat and soy. In addition, essential amino acids are found in the following products:
Valine is found in meat, mushrooms, peanuts, dairy products, in cereals and soy;
Isoleucine - in almonds and cashew nuts, chicken and fish, eggs, liver, rye, soy, lentils and in most seeds;
Leucine - in nuts, brown rice, meat and fish, lentils and in most seeds;
Lysine - in milk, fish, nuts, meat and wheat;
Methionine - in legumes, eggs, milk, fish, meat;
Threonine - in dairy products and eggs;
Tryptophan - in meat, peanuts, bananas, sesame, dates, oats;
Phenylalanine - in fish, beef, chicken, soy, eggs, cottage cheese and milk.
What role do certain essential amino acids play in the life of our body? Isoleucine increases the overall endurance of the body, it helps to break down cholesterol and regulate blood sugar, in addition, isoleucine is involved in the synthesis of hemoglobin and metabolism in myocytes. Valine is necessary to maintain nitrogen metabolism in the body at the proper level; it stimulates mental abilities. Leucine promotes the regeneration of bone and muscle tissue, is an indispensable source of energy, and lowers sugar levels in diabetes. Lysine is necessary for our body to develop bone tissue and maintain normal sexual function in women, it has an antiviral effect, supports nitrogen metabolism and stimulates mental activity. Improving digestion, methionine promotes the digestion of fat, breaks down cholesterol, is an antioxidant and prevents hair loss. Threonine promotes tissue growth and the absorption of dietary protein, activates the immune system, and detoxifies the body. Tryptophan promotes good sleep, regulates the functions of the central nervous and immune systems, improves digestion, and accelerates hair growth. Phenylalanine is an antidepressant, stimulates the central nervous system, improves memory and attention, increases efficiency and reduces appetite.
Each of these amino acids must be ingested in sufficient quantities; otherwise, complete protein synthesis is not possible. Therefore, nutrition should be adequate to the needs of the body.