Getting older can be tough on our bodies, but it doesn’t have to be a constant struggle. As long as we have the right nutrients in our diets, we can combat a lot of age-related health conditions and beauty woes. One important factor is getting the right kind of protein; more specifically, the right kinds of amino acids (the “building blocks” of those proteins); even more specifically, the amino acid lysine.
Lysine is a key amino acid required for healthy bones and glowing skin. Plus, it could even lessen anxiety! Since amino acids are the building blocks of protein, they are extremely important to the body and are necessary for a slew of bodily functions like a healthy metabolism. There are a total of 20 amino acids that the body needs — some we make in the body, and others we get through our diet.
Lysine is an amino acid we usually get through food, but we need more and more as we age. Specifically, lysine helps with skin and bone aging. This is because, as research suggests, lysine is a building block for collagen protein. Collagen gives our skin and bones structure, preventing age-related conditions like wrinkles and bone fractures. Research suggests that lysine boosts our body’s ability to absorb calcium through the gut, making bones stronger. Some studies even suggest that lysine acts as a binding agent for the skin, helping to heal wounds faster and encourage skin cell renewal. Wow!
What’s even more surprising is lysine can reduce the symptoms of anxiety by lowering the effects of stress on the body. One study showed that consuming lysine was associated with improved anxiety scores and reduced levels of cortisol — the stress hormone — in women. Other research found that consuming 2.4 grams of lysine per day significantly lowered cortisol and stress-induced anxiety — within just one week!
If you’re ready to start getting more lysine into your diet, we can’t say we blame you. Before you go out and purchase a supplement, there are a few ways to get lysine through food. Foods that are higher in lysine include beef, lamb, chicken, avocados, salmon, cod, kidney beans, cashews, and macadamia nuts. However, if you want to up your intake even further, supplements are a good way to do so. As always, check with your doctor before starting with any new supplement. For a product we love, check out this one from Amazing Nutrition ($11.99, Amazon).
This article originally appeared on our sister site, Woman’s World.