What Foods Have Amino Acids?

Medically Reviewed on 12/11/2020

Amino acid foods

Amino acids are building blocks of protein.
Amino acids are building blocks of protein.

Amino acids are building blocks of protein. The amino acids come together to form proteins. There are 20 types of amino acids overall belonging into three different categories:

  • Essential
  • Nonessential
  • Conditional

Out of these 20 amino acids, the body does not produce nine essential amino acids, which we need to get from the foods we eat. The nine essential amino acids include:

  1. Histidine
  2. Isoleucine
  3. Leucine
  4. Lysine
  5. Methionine
  6. Phenylalanine
  7. Threonine
  8. Tryptophan
  9. Valine

Foods that have a high content of amino acid include:

  • Mindful portion sizes of nuts and seeds that include:
    • Almonds
    • Hazelnuts
    • Mixed nuts
    • Peanuts
    • Peanut butter
    • Sunflower seeds
    • Walnuts
  • Legumes and beans are a source of high-quality protein (20-45%). Legumes and beans include:
    • Peas
    • Chickpeas
    • Lentils
    • Soybeans
    • Peanuts
    • Cooked kidney beans
    • Black beans
    • Garbanzo beans
    • Edamame
  • Most fishes are high in amino acids and other essential micronutrients. Salmon is high in amino acids and omega 3 fatty acids.
  • Soy protein products:
    • Tofu
    • Tempeh
  • Low-fat dairy products
  • Mushrooms contain a total of 17 amino acids including the essential ones. A study has claimed that supplementing a cereal diet with mushrooms would help to overcome lysine deficiency.
  • A 100-gram serving of cottage cheese provides about 25% of your daily value of protein. It consists of a substantial amount of amino acids including threonine and tryptophan.
  • Turkey has a high amount of amino acid called tryptophan. Tryptophan is necessary for:
  • Eggs are packed with essential amino acids. The amino acids provided by eggs are better absorbed and utilized by the body than other sources like casein or soy.
  • Quinoa is an excellent source of all the nine essential amino acids that your body requires from the food. It has a higher amount of lysine as compared to wheat and rice making it a better source of amino acids.

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Medically Reviewed on 12/11/2020
References
Science Direct. Essential Amino Acid. https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/food-science/essential-amino-acid

WebMD. Foods High in Amino Acids. https://www.webmd.com/diet/foods-high-in-amino-acids#1

Medline Plus. Amino Acids. https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002222.htm