Lysine is an Important Micronutrient

By Heide Kennedy, Arizona Farm Bureau Communications Intern

We all know that a healthy diet is comprised of a good balance between 3 macronutrients: fat, protein, and carbohydrates. But, within these 3 macronutrients is a subcategory called micronutrients that are just as important for our health.

According to holistic nutritionist Adam Meyer, amino acids are micronutrients, as they are the building blocks of protein. Our bodies need a total of 20 amino acids. 11 of them are produced naturally by our bodies and are called non-essential amino acids, while the other 9, are called essential amino acids, and these must be obtained through the foods that we consume. Lysine in particular is an important essential amino acid, as it’s critical for preventing bone loss, promoting muscle growth, and supporting immune function.

Since lysine is an essential amino acid and we get it through our foods, what kinds of foods are a good source of it? Animal proteins are considered complete proteins and are the best way to get all 20 amino acids. The following are other sources of lysine.

  • Dairy products
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Beans
  • Oats
  • Spirulina
  • Quinoa

Arizona agriculture produces many of those lysine rich foods! Check out the Fill Your Plate blog for more information about when and how to find locally grown and raised foods!

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