The Human Body Is A Machine That Needs To Be Taught How To Work Properly
“If you want to make a machine do something it takes two things: fuel and instructions.” – Ray Kurzweil
Your body is a complex machine with many moving parts. Most of these parts are made up of proteins which are long chains of amino acids. These chains of amino acids are called peptides. Peptides have a number of functions in the human body including building strong bones, making hormones, regulating blood sugar levels and much more.
Amino Acids Are The Building Blocks Of All Life On Earth And They Must Be Preserved At All Costs!
Amino acids are essential to life. Without them, there would be no way for us humans to survive. For example, without protein our bodies cannot produce energy from food or perform other vital functions such as breathing. Amino acids are also needed in the production of DNA and RNA which is used to build new cells and repair damaged ones.
Even the brain is energy requires the right mix of amino acids to produce neurotransmitters that allow for you to move, think and feel.
The human body cannot produce nine of the twenty amino acids that we need to survive. These nine essential amino acids are called the “essential” amino acids while the eleven others can be produced by your body with the right conditions and building blocks (namely the essential amino acids).
Food For Thought: Without foods rich in amino acids, you would likely die within a few weeks.
In fact, researchers have shown that if given only one of the essential amino acids your body can actually halt all others and begin to break down muscle tissue to survive. This is why a diet lacking in even one of these essential amino acids causes macro-nutrient deficiency and has such detrimental health effects.
It’s clear that without these nine amino acids you wouldn’t survive for very long. However, there are some people who suffer from a genetic disorder that causes them to be unable to process certain amino acids. In these cases, a strict vegan diet is highly dangerous and can result in permanent brain damage or even death. Thankfully there is an easy way to bypass this problem: supplementation.
What Is The Best Way To Supplement Your Amino Acids?
If you can’t produce a certain amino acid yourself then you need to consume it directly through food or supplements. There are many foods that contain all of the essential amino acids, making it easy to follow a varied vegan diet. However, many of these foods also contain large amounts of carbohydrates which puts those with metabolic syndromes at risk of developing blood sugar issues.
Additionally, many of these foods also contain high levels of omega-6 fatty acids, which can cause inflammation when not balanced with the right amount of omega-3 acids. For people without metabolic disorders or inflammation issues, this isn’t a concern. But for those that do have these issues it’s best to avoid foods that are high in omega-6 and focus more on foods that are higher in protein such as hemp, pumpkin seeds, and chia seeds.
Getting the right amount of amino acids can help to ensure that you are getting all of the necessary building blocks your body needs while reducing inflammation and protecting important systems like your brain, nerves, eyes and more.
What Are The Best Amino Acid Supplements?
Even with a varied diet, it’s still possible that you aren’t getting all of the amino acids your body needs to thrive. This is especially true if you suffer from an illness or have an eating disorder that causes you to miss meals often.
If this sounds like you, then it might be time to consider taking a quality supplement. There are hundreds of different types of amino acid supplements on the market, and it can be hard to know which ones are right for you. But by knowing which amino acids are essential and which are conditionally essential you can easily narrow down what you’re looking for.
Essential Amino Acids: Your body cannot produce these amino acids on its own, so you must get them from food or supplements.
Amino acids like lysine and threonine are “essential” for infants, meaning that they must get them from their diet.
Conditionally Essential Amino Acids: Your body can usually produce these amino acids on its own, but under special circumstances your body may not be able to, in which case you’ll need to get them from food or supplements.
Amino acids like Histidine and methionine are “conditionally essential,” meaning that under certain conditions your body may not be able to produce them, such as in people with various illnesses or those that are experiencing extreme stress.
While all essential and conditionally essential amino acids are important for the health of your muscles, skin, organs, and more, there are a few that stand out above the rest. I’ve listed the most important ones below:
Isoleucine: This amino acid is important for the maintenance of muscle tissue and can help to reduce your chance of getting muscle cramps. It also helps to speed up your metabolism, improves brain function, and stimulates the release of hormones needed to maintain a healthy testosterone level.
Leucine: Like isoleucine, leucine is also an important amino acid for the maintenance of healthy muscle tissue. What sets it apart is that it plays a big role in the growth and repair of muscle fibers. If you’re looking to bulk up or rapidly gain muscle mass, then this is the amino for you.
Lysine: Lysine has many benefits for the body. It helps to reduce cholesterol levels, improves bone strength, and protects against the herpes virus. But its most important benefit is its ability to fight off cold sores, acne, and canker sores.
Methionine: This amino acid has anti-aging properties for the skin and can help to reduce fine lines and wrinkles by improving the tone, texture, and elasticity of your skin. It also protects against liver damage and can help to prevent fatty liver disease.
Phenylalanine: This essential amino acid has been proven to improve cognitive function in people with ADHD or Alzheimer’s disease. It has also been shown to reduce appetite and help you to feel full faster.
Taurine: This is an amino acid that helps to soothe and protect the heart. It also reduces high blood pressure and protects against cardiac arrest. It has been shown to lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood, as well as preventing fat from accumulating in the liver.
Tryptophan: This essential amino acid can be used to help relieve insomnia and increase the quality of your sleep. It also helps to reduce anxiety and can even help to reduce the pain caused by complications of herpes.
Valine: Like leucine, valine is another BCAA that’s known for its ability to encourage muscle growth and repair. It also plays a role in the effective functioning of the central nervous system.
A Note on Soy
Soy is one of the more popular plant-based sources of protein, but it’s far from being a good source. To start with, nearly all soy products (tofu included) are genetically modified, which aren’t proven to be safe to eat.
The process of making soybeans into the food products that we know as edamame, tofu, soymilk, and others, involves a long and complicated process.
The beans have to be soaked, and then they are mixed with an alkaline solution of water and sodium hydroxide (lye) before being boiled.
Next they go into a press, which separates the soy milk from the solid material. The milk is then heated to around 162 degrees Fahrenheit before more lithium, calcium, or magnesium salts are added in.
Then it’s heat treated or cooked before putting it into a flat surface, which presses out any remaining liquids.
Some more chemicals need to be added before the mixture sets into a solid material, and then it can be cut into the strips that we know as tofu.
All of this is done to turn soybeans into tofu, so you can only imagine what they do to milk, orange juice, and other products to make them suitable for human consumption.
Soy is known to cause digestive issues, affect thyroid function, and contribute to weight gain. It’s also not a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, despite what the marketing says.
While it may be a good idea to limit your intake of foods containing soy, it’s not worth replacing them with processed foods.
This brings us to the next issue with plant-based protein sources: they’re often just as highly processed as meat and dairy. The only difference is that they’re processed in a different way.
While all of these foods are great in their natural, organic forms, they don’t retain all of their beneficial properties after they’ve been mass produced or altered.
So what can you do?
The answer is to take matters into your own hands and buy organic produce that you know was grown in healthy conditions, and then prepare it in a way that retains as many beneficial nutrients as possible.
Doing this not only makes you healthier, but it’s also cost-effective and helps support local farmers.
A good resource to find where to buy the freshest and highest quality produce is your local farmers market.
There you’ll find the people who grew your food and are more than happy to tell you everything you need to know about their products. You can even find organic vegetables that you’re familiar with as well as ones that you’ve never heard of before. All of which will give your dishes a unique flavor that nobody else will have!
Furthermore, most of these places will also allow you to buy a small amount of produce without setting up a big order. This way you can test out new vegetables and fruits and decide if you want to buy more later.
Cooking and eating healthy does not mean you have to eat boring, bland food. It just means that you have to learn how nourish your body in a way that takes full advantage of the natural nutrients that our Earth has to offer.
A beginner’s guide to eating organic
So you’re ready to start eating organic.
But where do you even begin?
In this post, I’m going to provide you with a quick guide to eating organic food. While it’s not an extensive list, these tips will help get you started on the right foot.
The first thing you should look for is the label “Non-GMO,” which means that the food in question does not contain any GMOs – or genetically modified organisms. These foods have had their DNA altered to support a specific outcome, such as increased shelf-life or bigger produce size. While there is nothing inherently bad about this process, there have not been any studies that prove that these foods are better for us than their natural alternatives. As such, you might want to avoid them until more information is available.
If you want to get the most bang for your buck, you should look for the “USDA Organic” label. This means that the product in question has been certified as organic by the USDA. While this may not guarantee a totally natural product, it does mean that the company in question went through a lengthy process of being inspected and approved. This also ensures that you’re getting the best quality of food with the highest amount nutrients.
The Dirty Dozen and the Clean 15
Last but not least, there’s the Environmental Working Group’s “Dirty Dozen” and “Clean 15”. These two lists rank a wide variety of foods based on their health benefits and content of pesticides. The former consists of the foods that you should always buy organic, while the latter consists of the foods that can be non-organic most of the time. Remember though, these are just guides.
If you really like an item on the “Clean 15” list, then go for it and buy the non-organic version!
Are you getting good, quality food?
Got any other questions?
Don’t be afraid to ask! I’m here to help.
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Sources & references used in this article:
Eat your genes: how genetically modified food is entering our diet by S Nottingham – 2003 – books.google.com
Genie in Your Genes by D Church – 2018 – books.google.com
Maternal high-fat diet alters methylation and gene expression of dopamine and opioid-related genes by Z Vucetic, J Kimmel, K Totoki, E Hollenbeck… – …, 2010 – academic.oup.com
Putting your genes on a diet: the molecular effects of carbohydrate by SL Salsberg, DS Ludwig – 2007 – academic.oup.com
Why your DNA isn’t your destiny by J Cloud – Time Magazine, 2010 – innovativefamilywellness.com
Globalization of diabetes: the role of diet, lifestyle, and genes by FB Hu – Diabetes care, 2011 – Am Diabetes Assoc
Importance of the ratio of omega-6/omega-3 essential fatty acids: evolutionary aspects by AP Simopoulos – Omega-6/omega-3 essential fatty acid ratio: The …, 2003 – books.google.com
Evolution of protein expression: new genes for a new diet by JA Coyne, HE Hoekstra – Current Biology, 2007 – Elsevier