These short amino acids are called peptides. Gradually they are absorbed into the blood. Spreading throughout all organs of the body, peptides support the processes of regeneration and cell division in them. They also work as information carriers and specialize in a single organ: brain ones are suitable only for the brain, liver ones are for the liver, and muscle ones are for muscles. Peptides serve as “watchers”, they are sent to a certain organ with the blood stream, when they reach the cell, they help it work well, check and regulate its division, and when damaged and diseased cells are detected, they are forced to be eliminated. Peptides are a protein component consisting of two or more amino acids linked in a chain and encoded in a protein molecule. For the most part, dietary peptides remain inactive while bound to their parent proteins, and are activated only when digested by enzymes in the digestive tract and through food processing and fermentation. Peptides encoded in protein molecules have a beneficial effect on the cardiovascular, endocrine, immune and nervous systems. All known dietary proteins contain peptides, but milk, grains, and beans are the main sources. Proteins are the most important components of animal and plant organisms. Enzymes, most hormones, most of our immune system, all muscles and many other bodily tissues are made of protein. Peptides regulate metabolism and maintain the structure of the body. Lack of quality protein in the diet can cause problems with blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, frequent infections, indigestion and osteoporosis. Excessive consumption of animal protein – if, for example, you eat 12 chicken eggs at a time – is fraught with protein poisoning. Modern pharmacists have already learned how to synthesize peptides that are added to creams, dietary supplements, serums, they are taken in the form of tablets and injections. Peptidotherapy is a novelty offered by beauty salons for the purpose of rejuvenation with the help of peptides. The trouble is that the peptide-containing drugs offered in pharmacies are made from the insides of calves and cows. Peptides abundantly contained in plants are completely identical to their animal counterparts contained in fish, eggs, poultry, in addition, they have no contraindications and side effects. They actively contribute to the improvement of mental, physical and mental performance, prevent the development of colds and other diseases. Nutritionists are familiar with a range of peptide-rich vegetarian and vegan foods, primarily dairy products, but also many grains and legumes, soy products, and radishes.
Dairy products are abundant sources of peptides, since a whole set of peptides is contained in the milk protein casein. So, peptides obtained from milk have numerous therapeutic properties: antibacterial, antithrombotic, anti-inflammatory. Bioactive peptides that are effective in lowering blood pressure are found in whey, mature cheese, and fermented dairy products such as yogurt. Corn, rice, and wheat contain health-promoting peptides. For example, a peptide found in rice could be a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. Over eighty different peptides known as plant defensins have antifungal activity, including peptides found in corn and rice. Soy and other beans and seeds also contain peptides. Numerous studies have shown the presence of various peptides in soybeans. All of them are very beneficial for health. For example, isoflavone-free soy peptide counteracts the development of cancer and other tumor processes. The word “peptide” in Greek means “nutritious”. It has been scientifically proven that the peptides contained in plants:
- activate the production of hormones
- eliminate inflammatory processes,
- promote healing of ulcers
- normalize digestion,
- stimulate the synthesis of elastin and collagen,
- improve anabolic processes and muscle growth,
- reduce cholesterol levels,
- burn excess fat
- strengthen ligaments and teeth,
- normalize sleep,
- improve metabolism,
- stimulate tissue regeneration processes,
- maintain acid-base balance.
Foods rich in peptides:
- sunflower seeds.