9 Essential Amino Acids List Of Foods For Vegans

These 9 essential amino acids list will help vegans provide an adequate supply of these nutrients to their body without disrupting their diet restrictions.

Essential Amino Acids For Vegans

The human body requires twenty amino acids to maintain its normal functioning and health. The 9 essential amino acids are part of this and they can only be gotten through food. If you are on a plant-based diet, it may be a challenge to get all the 9 essential amino acids. in this article, we listed the list of foods rich in amino acids for vegans. Read on.

Amino acids help out in muscle building, they cause some chemical body reactions, prevent illness, transport nutrients and perform several other functions. A deficiency of amino acids can reduce immunity, cause depression, digestive problems, fertility issues, slow down children’s growth, low mental alertness, and other health conditions. Each one of the nine essential amino acids has specific roles to play in your body therefore they have their device symptoms.

The Nine Essential Amino Acids

Here is a brief description of each essential amino acid:

1. Lysine

This essential amino acid has a critical role to play in muscle building, strengthening bones, regulating hormones, enzymes, and antibodies, aiding surgery or injury recovery. It is also thought to have some antiviral effects.

There is no sufficient research on the deficiency of lysine as of now but a rat study indicates that deficiency of lysine may cause stress-induced anxiety.

2. Histidine

Histidine is an essential amino acid that facilitates growth, tissue repair, and blood cell creation. It also assists in maintaining myelin sheath covering over cells of nerves. The body produces histamine from histidine. Histamine is needed for reproductive health, immunity, and digestion.

A study that focused on women with metabolic syndrome and obesity suggested that using supplements of histidine may lower insulin resistance and BMI. Histidine deficiency may lower blood levels and cause anemia, it seems to be common among those with kidney disease and arthritis.

3. Threonine

This is needed for healthy teeth and skin as it can be found in collagen, elastin and tooth,h enamel. Threonine aids the metabolism of fat and may benefit anxiety, mild depression, and indigestion. A study in 2018 discovered that deficiency in threonine lowered animals’ resistance to disease.

4. Methionine

Methionine along with cysteine nonessential amino acids support the flexibility and hair of hair and skin. Methionine also aids in keeping your nails strong. It helps zinc and selenium to be properly absorbed and also removes heavy metals like mercury and lead.

5. Valine

Valine is needed for muscle coordination, emotional calm, and mental focus. People supplement this amino acid for tissue repair, energy, and muscle growth. Valine deficiency may result in decreased mental function and insomnia.

6. Isoleucine

These amino acids help with immunity, wound healing, hormone production, and regulation of blood sugar. It controls energy levels and is mostly found in tissues of the muscle. Seniors are more susceptible to being isoleucine definition than the younger ones. Isoleucine deficiency may result in muscle shaking and wasting.

7. Leucine

Leucine regulates the level of blood sugar and helps the repair and growth of bones and muscles. it also assists in growth hormone production and wound healing. Leucine deficiency may result in fatigue, skin rashes, and hair loss.

8. Phenylalanine

This essential amino acid helps the body make use of other enzymes, proteins, and amino acids. Phenylalanine is converted to tyrosine in the body and this tyrosine is vital for certain brain functions. Phenylalanine deficiency is rare but may result in poor infant weight gain. It can also cause adult memory problems, fatigue, and eczema.

Aspartame an artificial sweetener often contains phenylalanine. Manufacturers do use it to produce diet sodas. Large aspartame doses can improve brain levels of phenylalanine and can affect sleep, cause jitteriness and anxiety.

Individuals with phenylketonuria, a rare disorder cannot metabolize phenylalanine. Due to this, they are not to eat food that has high phenylalanine levels.

9. Tryptophan

An essential amino acid that is vital for proper infant growth and is also a melatonin and serotonin precursor. The neurotransmitter serotonin regulates pain, mood, sleep, and appetite while melatonin regulates sleep.

Tryptophan can be used as a sedative. Some sleeping pills and aids make use of it. A study suggests that supplementation of tryptophan can enhance emotional processing and mental energy for healthy woThe deficiency of tryptophan causes pellagra, a condition that may cause skin rashes, digestive issues, and dementia.

Essential Amino Acids For Vegans: Food List

Food has all the nine essential amino acids for vegans is referred to as complete protein. And most of these foods are derived from animals like poultry, eggs, fish, dairy yogurt, dairy cheese, and red meat. Some plant-derived complete proteins are chia seeds and quinoa. A vegan will have to depend only on the plant-based completes proteins to get essential amino acids for vegans.

More examples of plant-derived complete proteins are;


Tofu Lentils
Chickpeas Peanuts
Almonds Spirulina
Quinoa  Mycoprotein
Chia seeds Hemp seeds
Rice and beans Potatoes
Vegetables rich in protein Ezekiel bread
Seitan  Edamame and Tempeh


If you are a vegan that is worried about not getting sufficient essential amino acids we want to let you know that each food you eat doesn’t have to have all nine. As long as you maintain a healthy balance of them then you will be fine.

Here are some tips that will help you make sure your plant-derived diet has all the amino acids;

  • Consume enough calories recommended for your body weight
  • Eat varieties of vegetables, fruits, pulses, nuts, and seeds
  • Your diet should be based majorly on unprocessed whole foods
  • Eat different produce
  • Don’t stay on fruits only, diversify your diet.
  • Let a minimum of five percent of your calories come from protein.

If your diet is going to be plant-based then make sure that you have a good 9 essential amino acid food list that you are abiding by.

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