What does it do?
Amino acids are organic compounds that combine to form proteins. Amino acids and proteins are the building blocks of life. Amino acids can also be used as a source of energy by the body.
Why are amino acids important?
- When proteins are digested or broken down, amino acids are left. The human body uses amino acids to make proteins to help the body:
- Break down food
- Repair body tissue
- Perform many other body functions
How often do I need them?
You do not need to eat essential and nonessential amino acids at every meal, but getting a balance of them over the whole day is important. A diet based on a single plant item will not be adequate, but we no longer worry about pairing proteins (such as beans with rice) at a single meal. Instead we look at the adequacy of the diet overall throughout the day.