Obtaining Essential Amino Acids for Protein Production as a Vegetarian

Essay by puffyhairHigh School, 10th gradeA, November 2014

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Obtaining Essential Amino Acids for Protein Production as a Vegetarian:

A common concern individuals have before adopting a vegetarian diet is whether they will be able to acquire the proteins that their body needs. Addressing this concern involves understanding the role that amino acids play in ensuring protein production and how to access essential amino acids through a vegetarian diet. The ultimate solution to a nutritious and fulfilling plant-based diet is eating an assorted variety of plant-based and dairy products, ensuring that you obtain all the essential amino acids, therefore proteins, necessary for a nutritious and beneficial vegetarian way of life.

Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins and there are twenty-one independent amino acids necessary for protein production. Of those twenty-one, nine are considered "essential" amino acids, amino acids that cannot be created by the human body but need to be obtained from food, both animal and plant based.

In the human anatomy, the role of amino acids and proteins is crucial, and in order to attain the essential amino acids needed for protein production, humans must look for wholesome sources of protein in food in both vegetarian and meat-eating diets. The human body naturally breaks down the proteins found in animal and plant based foods and reconstructs it to form human protein since both animal and plant based proteins are made up of polypeptides of thousands of linked amino acids. These polypeptides need to be broken down by human enzymes to form single, absorbable amino acids which make up the essential proteins needed for a functional human body. Proteins are the base of enzymes, hormones, muscle, skin, and other tissues as well as important for the immune system, cartilage, bone, and blood. Every cell in the human body is made up of proteins and an absence of...