Amino acids are organic compounds that act as the building blocks of proteins in your body and aid in muscle growth and repair. There are 20 different amino acids that all serve different functions for a healthy person, but only 9 of these are considered essential. “Essential” means your body isn’t capable of producing the acids and they must be consumed.
Foods that contain all 9 essential amino acids are called “complete proteins”. Here are some sources of complete proteins:
• lean red meat
• dairy products
Note that beans and nuts are considered incomplete, but eating a variety of each can help ensure you’re getting a combo of all essentials if you’re on a plant-based diet.
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