According to Willow Lawson, “Brain cells communicate with one another via chemical messengers called neurotransmitters, which are usually made of amino acids, the building blocks of protein.” Branch chain amino acids (BCAA’S) are the building blocks of protein, and the brain needs both of these compounds for the manufacture of numerous neurological chemical messengers, such as tyrosine. With that said, quality sources of protein is necessary for your brain and body to function. A healthy brain produces hundreds of neurotransmitters needed for regular maintenance of the brain and it needs proteins to do so. Additionally, protein is required for the production of enzymes and hormones and is critical for cell formation and repair. Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) are obtained by the body from protein. There are eight essential BCAAs, which our bodies are unable to store. As a result, if we do not get all eight of these BCAAs together in the same meal our bodies will break them down for energy instead of using them as building blocks for cell repair and growth.
What foods can we get them from?
BCAA’s can be found in:
Whey, milk, and soy proteins
Beef, chicken, fish, and eggs
Baked beans and lima beans
Almonds, Brazil nuts, and cashews
Protein can be found in:
Keep in mind that proteins found in plants are incomplete and they need to be combined with another source of proteins, another plant protein for example to make it complete.
NCBI states, “To function adequately, the central nervous system (CNS) requires a number of amino acids found in protein foods.” Specific amino acids relationship with central neurotransmission, cognitive performance, and mood state have not yet been identified so I take a wide spectrum of BCAA and protein sourceS.