Just a brief bit here on the Proteins / Amino-acids we all need. (Some in-depth info on Fats coming soon...)
Proteins are nutrients that are essential to the building, maintenance and repair of our body tissues such as our skin, internal organs and muscles. They are also the major components of our immune system and hormones.
Proteins are made up of substances called amino acids, 22 of which are considered vital for our health. Our body can make 14 of these amino acids, but the other eight (or nine, some controversy there), known as essential amino acids, must be obtained from what we eat. Proteins are found in all types of food, but only meat, eggs, cheese and other foods from animal sources contain complete proteins, meaning they provide the eight/nine essential amino acids.
Amino acids are organic compounds that combine to form proteins. Amino acids and proteins are the building blocks of life.
When proteins are digested or broken down, amino acids are left. The human body needs a number of amino acids to:
- Break down food
- Repair body tissue
- Perform many other body functions
- Essential amino acids
- Nonessential amino acids
- Conditional amino acids
- Essential amino acids cannot be made by the body. As a result, they must come from food.
- The nine essential amino acids are: histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptohan, and valine.
- "Nonessential" means that our bodies produce an amino acid, even if we don't get it from the food we eat.
- They include: alanine, asparagine, aspartic acid, and glutamic acid.
- Conditional amino acids are usually not essential, except in times of illness and stress.
- They include: arginine, cysteine, glutamine, tyrosine, glycine, ornithine, proline, and serine.
I would be remiss if I didn't mention here that grocery-store eggs that say "high in Omega-3" should be avoided... not because Omega-3 isn't good for us (It really is