The essential amino acids

The amino acids they are organic compounds that contain a group Not me and a group carboxyl, that our body can synthesize to build new proteins.

In this sense, those amino acids that our body is able to synthesize by itself are called non-essential amino acids. But those that our organism is not able to synthesize them receive the name of essential amino acids.

These amino acids can only be contributed to our body through food, so that a varied and balanced diet must provide and contain foods rich in essential amino acids.

What are the essential amino acids?

Here we comment on the essential amino acids, which, as indicated above, we must contribute to our body from the diet we follow every day:


Used primarily by the brain to produce noradrenaline, a chemical that transmits signals between the nerve cells of our brain, and in turn promotes alertness.


We find it mainly in hemoglobin, being fundamental for the production of red and white blood cells, for the maintenance of the myelin sheaths and for the growth and repair of tissues.


Necessary for the formation of hemoglobin, helps in the repair and healing of bones, muscle tissue and skin. In addition, it helps stabilize and regulate both energy levels and blood sugar.


It interacts with other amino acids, such as valine and isoleucine, in order to promote the healing of bones, muscle tissue and skin. In addition, it helps increase the production of growth hormone and reduces blood sugar levels.


It helps in the formation of collagen (which is part of connective tissue and cartilage), in the production of antibodies, ensures the correct absorption of calcium and reduces high levels of triglycerides.


It is an antioxidant amino acid rich in sulfur, which prevents disorders of the skin, nails and hair, and also helps prevent the accumulation of fat in both the liver and the arteries. Beneficial for women who take oral contraceptives.


Combined with methionine and aspartic acid helps prevent the accumulation of fat in the liver, acting positively to the lipotropic function of the liver. In addition, it helps in the formation of elastin, tooth enamel and collagen.


It acts as a natural relaxant, helping in the treatment of migraine, reducing depression and anxiety and also helps to improve insomnia by inducing sleep. In addition, it increases the release of growth hormones and reduce appetite.


It is essential for tissue repair, maintaining the nitrogen balance in the body and in muscle metabolism. Muscle tissue uses it as energy.

Where to find essential amino acids?

Fundamentally we can find essential amino acids in those foods rich in essential amino acids, which are mainly those with high protein content. Highlights:

  • Food of animal origin: milk and dairy products (yogurt, cheese, butter ...), eggs, fish and meat.
  • Plant-based foods: cereals, legumes, vegetables, seeds and nuts.

How to provide our body with essential amino acids?

As we mentioned in the previous sections, in order to provide our body with the amount of essential amino acids we need every day, it is essential to follow the most varied and balanced diet possible.

This means that we must follow a healthy but balanced diet, rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, but also consuming several servings of fish, meats, eggs every week ... And every day also opting for dairy products, nuts and cereals.

Image | Brian Giesen This article is published for informational purposes only. You can not and should not replace the consultation with a Nutritionist. We advise you to consult your trusted Nutritionist. ThemesAmino acids

Essential Amino Acid basics (August 2022)