Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins.  This means that within a protein is a link of multiple smaller units called amino acids, of which there are 20 different kinds in our bodies and diet.

Nine of the 20 are considered essential amino acids, meaning they cannot be made by our bodies and, therefore must be obtained through food.


Proteins play a crucial role in muscle building and maintenance.  Hair and nails are mostly made of protein. Your body uses protein to build and repair tissues, and to make enzymes, hormones, and other body chemicals. Protein is an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood.

Eggs, beef, fish, and poultry, (among a few others) are considered COMPLETE PROTEINS, because they contain all your essential amino acids.


If you want to add some more plants to your diet here is a good visual of non-meat sources of essential amino acids:



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