For those who live the vegan lifestyle, finding ways to get some nutrients that non-vegans take for granted – protein, especially – can prove to be a challenge. While plants are high in a great many important vitamins and other nutrients, they tend to lack certain dietary components, though there are some exceptions to this. By including certain plant-based foods in their diet, a vegan can get just as many amino acids in their diet as even the most carnivorous person. To find out more about what plant-based foods have amino acids and what benefits these nutrients have to offer, keep reading as the amino acid supplement specialists at aminoVITAL® discuss this topic further.
Popular Plant-Based Foods That Contain Amino Acids
Among the many health trends that have come up in recent years is a widespread interest in a number of plant-based foods that have gained popularity for their broad nutritional profiles. While some of these foods have gained the status of “superfood,” even those that have not still offer nutritional benefits, such as substantial doses of amino acids, that can help vegans meet their bodies’ dietary requirements. Below are some of the best plant-based foods that have amino acids:
Though it was popularized in part under the name “soba” – the Japanese term for buckwheat and a type of noodle made from this plant – buckwheat can be integrated into a number of dishes, whether as a flour or in the form of oat-like kernels. Because it contains protein, buckwheat has a lot to offer vegans looking for amino acids, and this plant may even lower cholesterol levels and blood pressure.
At this point, pretty much everyone has heard of quinoa, and there’s a good reason why this plant-based food has become so popular. Quinoa contains a ton of important nutrients, including 8 grams of protein per cup. When you also consider all the fiber and minerals this food also provides, it’s easy to see why quinoa is perhaps the most popular superfood consumed by both vegans and non-vegans.
As a product made almost entirely of gluten, the protein found in wheat, seitan is quite high in most amino acids – lysine being the lone exception. However, by cooking your seitan in a broth made with soy sauce, you can add this final amino acid to create a complete source of protein (meaning one that contains all nine essential amino acids) that is tasty and nutritious for anyone, vegan or otherwise.
Over the years, soy has become a popular substitute for meat in a number of vegan dishes and products, in part because it is one of the few naturally complete sources of plant-based protein. Best of all, it can be cooked and served in a wide variety of ways, including as a fitness supplement, and its high protein content makes it perfect for vegans looking to put on some muscle mass.
Originally a Middle Eastern dish, hummus can now be found in homes, restaurants, and grocery stores around the world. This tasty plant-based food is made from chickpeas, so it contains eight of the nine essential amino acids (methionine is the only one missing), making it a great option for vegans who need more of these compounds in their diet.
Why Vegans Need Plant-Based Foods with Amino Acids
Like any other human being, vegans need to consume certain amino acids to keep their bodies’ systems functioning normally. We may not consider this when choosing our foods, but amino acids are among the most important compounds in the body; they’re used to create a variety of cells and proteins that we need to survive, including the hormones that let our systems communicate, the enzymes that facilitate chemical reactions, and the neurotransmitters that support our cognitive functions. Most important are the essential amino acids – leucine, lysine, threonine, isoleucine, valine, phenylalanine, tryptophan, methionine, and histidine – which cannot be made within the body and must come from our diets.
While all vegans require these amino acids, the need is especially acute in those who regularly exercise. Working out can greatly increase the demand for amino acids in the body, as they are required to build and repair muscle tissue after a hard workout. Vegans who don’t get an adequate amount of these compounds may experience a sluggish recovery after each workout, and their gains will be less extensive than those of a person who consumes plenty of amino acids. Plus, amino acids can provide increased energy, fight fatigue, and reduce soreness.
To better meet this need, it might be a good idea for vegans who work out to consider supplementing their dietary amino acids with products like those from aminoVITAL®. Take our Rapid Recovery post-workout mix, for instance; this amino acid supplement can supply the three amino acids known as BCAAs, which are noted for their ability to boost athletic performance, along with two other amino acids (glutamine and arginine), vitamins, electrolytes, and a dozen grams of carbs to replenish the body’s glycogen stores. Best of all, the amino acids in all aminoVITAL® products are produced through a unique vegetable fermentation process, so these supplements are plant-based and vegan-friendly.
Try a Vegan Fitness Supplement Made with Plant-Based Amino Acids from aminoVITAL®
Sometimes, those who frequently exercise need some nutritional support to finally see the returns they want from their routine. To this end, aminoVITAL® offers a variety of fitness supplements made with plant-based amino acids, so vegans – and everyone else – can maintain peak performance and improve the results of their workouts. To learn more about our BCAA supplements, visit us online or call (888) 264-6673 today.