What is Methionine and Why You Should Include it in Your Diet ?

What is Methionine and Why Methionine should be included in your daily diet? In this post, we will tell you about methionine and the foods which contain this essential nutrient.

Amino acids, like methionine, are not only important as part of body proteins but also have specific functions. The importance of methionine in the diet is key since food is the only way to obtain that amino acid. It plays a fundamental role in normal growth and development.

Although suffering from methionine deficiency is rare, it could cause growth retardation, loss of muscles, liver damage, lethargy, and skin lesions. In the following article we will know its functions and the best food sources of this valuable amino acid. 

Apart from methionine, cysyteine is also vital.

healthy-diet

healthy-diet

What is methionine?

Methionine is an amino acid that contains sulfur in its composition. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein structures, the most important structural component in the body. 

Also, methionine is one of the 9 essential amino acids for adults . This does not mean that they are more important than the rest, because the body needs them all to be able to form its structures and perform certain functions.

However, the essential amino acids differ from the rest because we must obtain them through the diet. The organism is not capable of synthesizing them by itself. If we do not eat the necessary amounts, we could have a deficit.

The best sources of methionine in the diet

Methionine in the diet is found, above all, in  foods of animal origin , since animal proteins are complete. This means that they provide us with all the essential amino acids in the necessary amounts . Therefore, the highest and safest contributions of methionine will be in: 

  • Meat: chicken and turkey, beef and pork. 
  • Fish: standing out in varieties such as tuna, anchovies, mackerel, sardines or haddock. 
  • Eggs.
  • Dairy: Parmesan, Roman, Gruyère, Tilsit or edam cheese, among others. Also in whole milk powder.

But animal foods are not the only sources. There are some plant foods that can provide us with complete protein. This is the case of soybeans , chickpeas,  quinoa, pistachios or amaranth.

Methionine is found in higher amounts in rice, quinoa, oats , Brazil nuts, and sesame. And in smaller amounts in legumes such as beans.

So it will be enough to eat the adequate amount of whole grains, legumes, seeds and nuts to obtain it also in a vegan diet . 

Methionine can also be obtained in vegan diets. You just have to know how to combine food

How to introduce methionine in our daily Diet

Methionine in the diet must be present every day, just like the rest of the amino acids that are so necessary for the body. The best way to ensure an adequate intake is to eat good sources of protein at each main meal of the day.

Although it is very beneficial for health and has many effects on the body, no nutrient is magical on its own. The most important thing is that it is presented in a balanced way and through a healthy diet.

As we have seen, there are many foods that are perfect sources of protein and that we can eat daily in a balanced way. So reaching the recommended methionine amounts should not be a problem for healthy people with diets adapted to their needs.

On the other hand, an excess of methionine is harmful and has negative side effects. That is why it is only recommended to take it in the form of supplements under professional supervision.

The possible negative health effects are linked to the appearance of homocysteine , which is another amino acid that appears as a result of the metabolism of methionine .

High levels of homocysteine ​​in the body can cause inflammatory damage associated with vascular and neurological diseases. However, it is necessary to indicate that some people are more susceptible than others.

Main functions of methionine in the body

As a component part of proteins, methionine is necessary to build many of the main body structures: bones , tissues, muscles. In addition, it is also part of enzymes, hormones and membranes, and is necessary as a precursor of vitamins.

Amino acids are the minimal structures of proteins, in food and in the body

At a specific level, methionine has other functions that we detail below:

  • Antioxidant: we are able to transform methionine into cysteine. This, in turn, is a precursor to glutathione, a great antioxidant. Glutathione can counteract free radicals and increases the life of some antioxidant vitamins, such as vitamin C and vitamin E. 
  • Protective of the cardiovascular system: sulfuric amino acids, such as methionine and cysteine, play an important role in lipid degradation. For this it can be of help to lower blood cholesterol and prevent the formation of arterial plaque.
  • Immunostimulant: It  supports the normal action of the immune system. A normal and normal intake of cysteine ​​and methionine in the diet is necessary to synthesize the proteins of the immune system. 
  • Specific tissue construction: methionine has a high sulfur content. This trace element is necessary to keep some body tissues, such as skin , hair and nails, in good condition . 
  • Detoxifying: thanks to sulfur, it also has a detoxifying activity . It is capable of removing harmful substances such as heavy metals. 

Methionine in the diet: from good sources and in adequate amounts

As a constituent part of proteins, methionine has very important functions in our body. It must be present in our daily diet, because it is also a molecule that our body cannot synthesize by itself.

A diet rich in quality protein foods guarantees the recommended daily amounts. And although an excess of methionine could be related to a health problem, it is very difficult to exceed the safe amounts through food.

I hope now you have an idea What is Methionine and Why it Should be Included in Your Daily Diet. You can comment if you have any questions. You can use a comment . Have a nice time.