Why You Should Take Amino Acids for Good Health

aminoacids1You’ve probably heard about the importance of amino acids. But what are they? And why are they good for your health?

Amino acids are a group of organic compounds that are essential for all life forms. There are hundreds of different types of amino acids, although only about 20 are used to create the thousands of different proteins that form muscles, organs and other vital body parts. Among those amino acids, some can be generated naturally by the body, but most must be provided through diet or supplementation. Amino acids that cannot be synthesized by the body and must be received through supplements or food are called essential amino acids. In some cases, nonessential amino acids such as taurine and arginine are actually semi-essential because the body does not have the ability to create them.

Certain nonessential amino acids have some of the most profound effects on general health. Arginine supplementation, for instance, is known to increase the body’s production of nitric oxide. NO dilates blood vessels, lowers blood pressure and prevents cholesterol buildup, thereby protecting the body against cardiovascular disease. And since all 20 fundamental amino acids are necessary for creating proteins in the body—known as the “building blocks of life”—it’s important to make sure you’re getting enough amino acids in your diet.

Amino acids are found in animal products like meat, poultry, fish, milk and eggs; they’re also found in plant sources like soy, legumes, beans, nut butters and certain grains. The key to getting enough amino acids daily is to eat a varied diet rich in healthy, fresh foods. But if you’re not getting enough, supplementation can be a great option.

To read more about the essential nutrients your body needs, read Health Is Wealth.