You may not know you need to eat this

You may not know you need to eat this

Whether you’re observing Lent, veganism, or just don’t include meat in your diet on a regular basis, you could be lacking in your essential amino acids.

What are essential amino acids, you ask? More important than you likely realize.

“They’re the building blocks of proteins,” says Dr. Patricia Morales-Brost, a family medicine specialist of Aurora Health Center in Oshkosh, Wis. “Your body needs 20 amino acids to function optimally, but the body only makes 11, meaning you need to get the rest from your diet.”

And you need these building blocks for purposes such as building muscle, regulating immune function, fat metabolism, regulating blood sugar levels, production of collagen, and much more.

“If you’re not getting what you need, it could be impacting your body’s main systems, including reproductive, digestive and nervous systems,” says Dr. Morales-Brost.

Before you stress too much, know that you don’t necessarily need meat to get all nine of these amino acids in your diet. Check out the image below to find some meatless alternatives you could add to your diet.


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About the Author

Brianna Wunsch
Brianna Wunsch

Brianna Wunsch, health enews contributor, is a public affairs coordinator for Advocate Aurora Health with a BA in public affairs from University of Wisconsin - Green Bay. In her free time, Brianna enjoys living an active lifestyle through biking, hiking and working out at the gym, but even more than that, she especially loves spending quality time with her two cats (Arthur and Loki), son and husband.