Heart Healthy Protein: How Amino Acids Help

Eating clean foods rich in amino acids – like lean red meats 
and plant-based protein – could be even more beneficial 
for your heart than researchers first recognized.

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A new study from the University of East Anglia (UEA) found that consuming adequate amounts of these foods can improve cardiovascular health at rates similar to exercising, cutting back on salt and quitting smoking. “The associations we observed were found with intakes equivalent to those found in a 75-gram portion of steak, a 100-gram salmon fillet or a 500-milliliter glass of skim milk,” says Amy Jennings, PhD, lead researcher from the UEA’s Norwich Medical School. (A 75-gram portion of meat is approximately equivalent to the palm of your hand.)

Jennings and her team also discovered that eating clean, animal-sourced protein was associated with reducing arterial stiffness, while consumption of plant-based protein helped lower blood pressure, which could lead to a reduced risk of stroke or coronary heart disease. Further work is required to determine additional factors, such as how many years of consuming increased amounts of protein it might take to reap its protective benefits. For now, start eating clean by incorporating more protein-rich foods such as grass-fed or organic meats, sustainable fish, beans, lentils and grass-fed or organic dairy into your daily diet to help improve health.

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