What are amino acids?
You can get enough essential amino acids through eating a diet rich in protein. These proteins are available in both plant foods and animal foods.
Amino acids are an important nutrient required for life and good health maintenance. They are sometimes called macronutrients and combine to form proteins. Proteins and amino acids are the building blocks of life.
Amino acids are long-chain molecules that make up protein. You have protein in your body in muscles, bones, skin, hair, and almost every tissue or body part. They also make enzymes that drive important chemical reactions in the body.
Your body doesn’t store amino acids, so it makes them from scratch or from others instead. There are more than 20 amino acids, which fall into three groups:
- Essential amino acids
- Nonessential amino acids
- Conditional amino acids
Your body cannot make essential amino acids from scratch or from other amino acids, so you must get them from food. These include:
If you’re an adult, your body can make nonessential and conditional amino acids. Children’s bodies can’t produce enough conditional amino acids to meet their needs.
Content credit: MedicineNet