Once we consume protein, they react as building blocks for our cells, along with being utilized in various metabolic processes. They’re derived from almost every type of food that we eat on a daily basis, and not just from meat. What meats have are the highest most useable amounts of protein which converts into essential amino acids.
For vegetarians and vegans, they can also get their daily fix of protein without consuming meat, this provided that they properly maintain and balance out their consumption of proteins daily.
There are 20 amino acids which are essential and non-essential to the body, 10 which are naturally produced, while the other 10 needs be ingested into our body somehow.
The body doesn’t have the proper storage facility for these proteins, so if they’re not supplied daily, the muscles will then begin to deteriorate. Amino acids are absolutely essential for our body, so much so that we can’t live without them. The failure to supply the most essential ones will result in disease.
Knowing If You Have Enough Amino Acids
One of the biggest clues is if you continually have an insistent craving for starchy or sweet foods. Your appetite, your hunger pangs will get out of control since your brain is low on certain chemicals.
These are the specific chemicals which are required by the brain to function properly, and they’re provided from the amino acids. They’re responsible for making you feel emotionally stronger.
Each neurotransmitter which supports for better brain health is made from the protein building blocks which are supplied by the amino acids. These are basic elements that are produced naturally in our bodies, or they’re ingested through the protein based food that we eat.
If you happen to lack the most important of these substances, then the signals which you experience are you’ll feel irritated, become tense, feel depressed, and may feel hungry when you’re not.
So the question remains, if our bodies are able to produce some of the amino acids, while the food that we eat produces the others, then why are there some who still lacks the necessary required amino acids, which at the very least can help them regulate their appetite.
Reasons For The Lack Of Amino Acids
We Just Need More Protein
The biggest cause of a lack of amino acids is simple, that we consume insufficient protein. Protein is the core necessity for the body to produce amino acids.
Since amino acids aren’t stored or don’t remain in the body for long, what we constantly need to do is consume enough protein on a daily basis, just to keep up with the demand.
From the plant and animal based foods that we eat which contains these amino acids, it’s the protein that’s derived from animals, is what contains all of the required essential amino acids that we need.
Some of the animal based foods which are known to be rich in amino acids include: red meat, chicken, turkey, along with cheese, milk, and yogurt. These foods all contain high levels of protein which are capable of producing amino acids.
Also, know that it’s the body’s ability to breakdown the proteins which are in the digestive system, is when the body is able to access the amino acids that it needs.
The dietary guidelines which are recommended by most health experts, along with the nutritional advice by dietitians, is that they all insist that we constantly increase our consumption of protein.
A Proper Diet
For those who gets the majority of their calories from starchy foods and sweets, are the most likely to have a deficiency in protein. Also, vegetarians, and specifically vegans are also often constantly deficient in protein.
What vegetarians need to do is eat a variety of protein rich fruits, nuts and seeds, grains, legumes, seafood, and vegetables on a daily basis, this in order to obtain all of the required proteins for amino acids.
For adolescents, those especially who tends to subsist on a diet which consists mainly of pasta, face the biggest risk of amino acid deficiency. Also, for those who are young, and happens to struggle with certain eating disorders are of concern as well.
They should be tested to see if their levels of amino acids, vitamins, and minerals are at sufficient levels.
The Body Digests The Protein Poorly
At times, it’s not just about consuming all the required proteins. This protein also needs to be broken down properly before it’s of any use to the body. So one of the causes of poor protein deficiency in our body is because of its poor digestion of it.
At times, certain individuals may have some type of inherited biochemical anomalies, which then limits their body from properly breaking down the protein in the stomach, as it lacks certain acids. A breakdown of protein then occurs, which secretes a gastric acid that’s known as hydrochloric acid.
What hydrochloric acid does is it converts the substance pepsinogen into pepsin, which is an enzyme that reduces protein into smaller more digestible pieces, which are known as polypeptides.
Without pepsin, the human body isn’t able to digest protein properly, so there’s a decrease in the production of hydrochloric acid, which makes the digestion of the protein less efficient.
What too little hydrochloric acid translates into is decreased nutrient absorption along with giving impaired signals to the brain.
The Aging Process
Just the normal aging process can result in insufficient levels of amino acids. As we begin to age, the levels of the stomach acids naturally decreases.
It’s thought that these levels can drop as much as 40% percent from when we’re teens, then through our 30’s, and close to half when we’re in our 70’s.
What we can’t obviously avoid is aging, but there are ways on how we can help our body sustain protein synthesis. These include: getting adequate sleep, exercising regularly, avoiding stress, and a diet that’s rich in protein.