Lysine is an amino acid that humans need, but are unable to produce, so the easiest way to get lysine is from lysine rich foods. The highest levels are found in meat, but it can be found in legumes, nuts and dairy products. It is an important building block for growth, cholesterol metabolism and production of connective tissue. It can also assist the body in absorbing calcium. Most people who eat meat already get enough of this amino acid in their diets, vegetarians need to choose non-meat sources and include servings in their diet every day.
Benefits of Lysine Rich Foods
There are many benefits of a diet rich in lysine. It has effects on those who suffer from herpes, can help control osteoporosis by increasing calcium absorption and facilitates new tissue regeneration in burn and other wound patients. This supplement may also have an effect on anxiety and levels of serotonin in the body.
It is also a crucial protein that vegans may be lacking. Since vegans do not eat dairy products or meat, they are missing out on some of the highest levels. They can easily become deficient. The symptoms of a deficiency include; anemia, loss of appetite, mood swings, fatigue, anxiety and hair loss.
Side Effects of Lysine Rich Foods
There are a few side effects of this supplement and these include; abdominal pain, diarrhea and possibly the formation of gallstones. Studies have shown that it is very safe when taken in food form.
Lysine Rich Foods
Lysine rich foods are a safe way to enjoy the benefits of this supplement. Virtually any food that is high in protein will contain a good amount of this crucial amino acid and it is found in the following foods; Pork (7500mg), Beef (7300mg), Tuna (4400mg), Turkey (2600mg), Peanuts (1450mg), Yogurt (706mg), Milk (663mg), Peas (463mg), Almonds (946mg), Walnuts (466mg), and many other foods in smaller amounts.
There are also excellent sources for vegetarians and vegans in legumes such as; chickpeas (332mg), navy beans (1280mg), kidney beans (1738mg), lentils (1740mg), and soybeans (2600mg).
When choosing lysine rich foods it is important to remember that serving sizes can increase the amount of lysine absorbed. Serving sizes for the above amounts are based on a 1 cup serving, but for meats the serving size is only 1 ounce to get the amounts listed. If you need extra lysine in your diet, simply eat a few extra servings daily.
Food sources are always the best way to get supplementation of this amino acid. The body tends to absorb it better and you receive the other health benefits of the foods, as well. For vegans, choose the vegetable sources, nuts or legumes. For those who eat meat, make sure to choose lean healthy meat sources such as; chicken, turkey or fish. The healthiest sources for those on a low fat/low cholesterol diet would be the legumes and nuts, as they are lower in fat and cholesterol. For those who need extra calcium, the best sources are the dairy products, with yogurt being the top food for lysine.
Be careful when using arginine in conjunction with lysine. Arginine can actually interact and lower its levels. Arginine is helpful, however in patients with burns and wounds.
Lysine rich foods are a great way to get good amounts of this helpful amino acid. There are supplements on the market, but absorption is better when the intake comes from food sources. There are many health benefits and the sources are easy to find. Even though the amounts are higher in animal products, there are good sources for vegans and vegetarians. As with any supplement, be sure to check with your doctor before you begin dieting with lysine rich foods.