Healthy Protein Foods
and Digesting Protein

Healthy protein foods are the foods that will contain the essential amino acids.  And some believe that it is important for foods to come with some of the non-essential amino acids.

Digesting protein can be a huge task for your body to undertake. 

In order for protein absorption to occur, your body must have enough stomach acid and protein enzymes to break down the proteins into amino acids.

So healthy protein foods should come with a good amount of amino acids and also come with protein enzymes to aid with protein absorption.

Protein Enzymes

The protease enzymes are a family of protein enzymes that will break down proteins into amino acids.

Some of the names for protease enzymes are pepsin, trypsin, papain, and bromelain.

Digesting Protein and Protein Absorption

Digesting protein begins in your stomach.  The hydrochloric acid in your stomach breaks down protein bonds along with the help of protein enzymes called proteases.

Digestion of proteins are completed in your small intestine by these protein enzymes which then are turned into amino acids.

These amino acids are then absorbed into your blood through the capillaries of your small intestine.

Allergies happen when healthy protein foods are not properly digested, but get absorbed into your blood stream any way.

The Essential Amino Acids

Essential amino acids are amino acids that your body can not make and therefore, you must get them from your diet every day.

The 9 Essential Amino Acids:

  • Leucine
  • Valine
  • Threonine
  • Lysine
  • Isoleucine
  • Methionine
  • Tryptophan
  • Phenylalanine
  • Histidine

Essential for Young Children:

  • Arginine

Protein sources that contain all 9 of the essential amino acids are called complete proteins.

However, your individual requirements for amino acids will depend on your age group, pregnancy, and your health issues.

Some people will be able to get by with only 9 of the essential amino acids and some people will need all 10 of the listed amino acids in order to stay alive.

You can make Non-Essential Amino Acids

Your body is able to make the non-essential amino acids from other amino acids in your body or from the healthy protein foods that you consume.

The Non-Essential Amino Acids:

  • Alanine
  • Tyrosine
  • Asparagine
  • Aspartic acid
  • Cysteine
  • Glycine
  • Glutamic acid
  • Glutamine
  • Serine
  • Proline

Arginine is considered a essential or non-essential amino acid depending on your circumstances.

Raw protein foods especially animal and seafood can be so much easier to digest because they come with enzymes.  And they are higher in protein than plant foods.

Animal and seafood also come with all of the essential amino acids and a lot of the non-essential amino acids.

Although, some plant foods can come with all of the essential amino acids and some of the non-essential amino acids as well.

In the end, you will have to be the judge of what healthy foods your body requires in order for you to perform at your very best.


Return to Benefits of Protein

Return to Protein Rich Foods

Return to Healthy Foods