- Should You Add Liquid Aminos to Your Diet?
- Q: I’ve heard wellness enthusiasts touting the benefits of liquid aminos. What are they, and is it worth adding them to my diet?
- Liquid Aminos’ Health Benefits
- The Bottom Line
- Clever Ways to Use Liquid Aminos (and Why You Should)
- What are liquid aminos? The nutritionists’ take on Victoria Beckham’s new health obsession
- Chicken and Vegetable Stir Fry
- What Are Liquid Aminos—and How Are They Different From Soy Sauce?
- What Are Liquid Aminos?
- Liquid Aminos vs. Soy Sauce
- Health Benefits of Liquid Aminos
Should You Add Liquid Aminos to Your Diet?
Q: I’ve heard wellness enthusiasts touting the benefits of liquid aminos. What are they, and is it worth adding them to my diet?
A: Liquid aminos have definitely become more popular in the last couple of years.
Like apple cider vinegar, Bragg makes the most popular product. Like tamari, bottled liquid aminos are a great gluten-free alternative to soy sauce, since they have a similar salty, umami flavor that can punch up a stir-fry or salad.
What are they, though? Basically, just amino acids derived from soybeans, plus water. (No additives or sneaky sugars, yay!)
Liquid Aminos’ Health Benefits
Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. Your amazing body can produce 11 of the 20 that exist, but it has to get the other 9, called “essential,” from food. It’s got to do that on a regular basis, too, since it can’t store amino acids.
RELATED: Why Eating Lean Protein Helps You Lose Weight
So, adding liquid aminos to your food is one way to accomplish this—but so is eating protein, in general.
Many people recommend liquid aminos to vegans and vegetarians, since it can be harder to get all of the essential amino acids from a diet that doesn’t include meat. Still, it is possible by eating a variety of plant-based sources of protein.
RELATED: The Essential Guide to Plant-Based Protein
Finally, athletes often supplement with amino acids, since some studies have shown potential training benefits. The research is far from conclusive, though, and athletes often choose powdered supplements over liquid aminos.
The Bottom Line
I’d recommend stocking liquid aminos in your pantry to use once in awhile as a healthy flavor enhancer, especially if you don’t eat meat. Don’t start drinking from the bottle, though, especially since the salt content is very high.
Clever Ways to Use Liquid Aminos (and Why You Should)
In a nutshell, liquid aminos is a ~fancy~ version of soy sauce that basically tastes like heaven. It has a very rich umami flavor, says Sharon Palmer, RDN, The Plant-Powered Dietitian and author of Plant-Powered for Life. Umami is the fifth flavor (you already know bitter, salty, sweet, and sour) that represents a meaty, savory taste. Besides creating an explosion of “mmm” for your taste buds, umami has been linked to some health benefits too: People who eat more umami-filled foods have a healthier appetite, body weight, and overall health, according to a recent study in the journal Flavour. (P.S. Here are are a bunch of other umami-rich foods to nosh on.)
Liquid aminos also contains plant proteins and a variety of amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins, says Palmer. It’s especially important for people eating a plant-based diet to consider liquid aminos, as it’s more difficult to find the nine essential amino acids (which your body cannot manufacture on its own) without consuming animal products. That said, it’s not necessary to get them all in one food. But if you can get a bunch while adding epic flavor to your food, well, why wouldn’t you? One popular brand, Bragg Liquid Aminos, contains 16 types of essential and non-essential amino acids—that’s almost all of the 20 amino acids found in your body’s proteins.
It’s worth noting that the total amount of protein is pretty low (one teaspoon has about .5 grams of protein), so you can’t really count it as a protein source. And, of course, you have to think about sodium. Just 1 teaspoon has 320 mg of sodium, which is still a considerable amount compared to the 335 mg for tamari (another soy sauce alternative), says Palmer.
So why choose liquid amino acids? Unlike soy sauce, liquid aminos doesn’t contain wheat and isn’t fermented—meaning if you’re gluten intolerant or have to steer clear of alcohol, this is a great swap. Plus, it makes nearly everything taste amazing. Here, we have clever ways to incorporate liquid aminos into your everyday healthy eating.
What are liquid aminos? The nutritionists’ take on Victoria Beckham’s new health obsession
How to use Bragg Liquid Amino
Whether you’re drawn in by its health profile or not, the taste is undoubtedly delicious. Editor Anna Magee swears by the liquid to spruce up her healthy cooking.
It’s popular as a dressing on salads, stirred into rice or beans, to marinate tofu, squirted onto meat, fish and veggies or some even suggest to drizzle on pop corn. With a naturally salty taste, it can be added to things such as gravies, sauces, casseroles and stir fries.
1 teaspoon has 320 mg of sodium, so if you are watching your intake, Bragg recommend using the 6oz. Bragg Liquid Aminos spray bottle and dilute it (2/3 Bragg Liquid Aminos to 1/3 distilled water) before using or spraying on food.
Bragg Liquid Aminos are so popular they’ve sold out on Healthista shop so if you can’t wait to get your hands on them, in the meantime we recommend Marigold Liquid Aminos, £3.59. Give them a go and let us know what you think!
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Stir fry’s are a great, easy way to get dinner on the table during the week-FAST. And another beauty of them is that you can really use whatever you have in your fridge. I often make stir fry’s when I have a bunch of produce that I need to use up before it goes to waste. Or to use up what I got in my weekly produce box that I don’t have the time to figure out how to something more creative with:) I made this one last night for just me and my Girl-hubby was at a business dinner. There was still more than enough had there been the three of us. You can scale it up if you are feeding a bigger crowd.
I always use Bragg Liquid Aminos. Bragg Liquid Aminos is a Certified NON-GMO liquid protein concentrate, derived from healthy soybeans, that contain 16 Essential and Non-essential Amino Acids in naturally occurring amounts. Also has a LOT less Sodium. A serving of 1 tablespoon of one label of traditional soy sauce I looked at has 1000 mg of sodium!!
2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil, separated
1 pound Organic Skinless, Boneless Chicken Breast
2 peppers (color of choice-I had red and orange), sliced
6 scallions, sliced thin (reserve 1 tablespoon for topping at the end )
4 green garlic stalks, chopped (This is one of those CSA goodies I got. If you do not have green garlic, use 3 cloves regular garlic)
2 cups snow peas
2 Tablespoons chopped raw cashews
1/4 Cup Bragg Amino Acids
1 Tablespoon Raw Honey
1 Tablespoon Corn Starch
Season chicken with some sea salt and pepper. Cut into strips. Heat 1 Tbsp. coconut oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add chicken and saute until browned. Remove chicken to a plate. Add the other tbsp of oil. Add peppers and snow peas and stir fry for 1 minute. Add scallions and garlic, toss all together and stir fry until veggies are softened, approximately 4 minutes. Add sauce, toss to coat and cook for another 2 minutes. Top with reserved scallions and cashews. I served it over brown rice.
A complete, delicious meal ready in 20 minutes. That’s my kind of dinner!
Looking for more quick and easy chicken recipes? Here are some of my go to’s:
Lightened up Chicken Piccata
Cilantro Lime Chicken w/ Avocado,Cucumber, & Tomato Salsa
Slow Cooker Chicken Favorites:
Slow Cooker Chicken Enchiladas
Slow Cooker Chick Pea and Chicken Curry
Chicken and Vegetable Stir Fry
Chicken and Vegetable Stir Fry 2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil, separated 1 pound Organic Skinless, Boneless Chicken Breast 2 peppers (color of choice-I had red and orange), sliced 6 scallions, sliced thin (reserve 1 tablespoon for topping at the end ) 4 green garlic stalks, chopped (This is one of those CSA goodies I got. If you do not have green garlic, use 3 cloves regular garlic) 2 cups snow peas 2 Tablespoons chopped raw cashews For Sauce: ¼ Cup Bragg Amino Acids 1 Tablespoon Raw Honey 1 Tablespoon Corn Starch Author: Vanessa Cuisine: Asian Ingredients
- 2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil, separated
- 1 pound Organic Skinless, Boneless Chicken Breast
- 2 peppers (color of choice-I had red and orange), sliced
- 6 scallions, sliced thin (reserve 1 tablespoon for topping at the end )
- 4 green garlic stalks, chopped (This is one of those CSA goodies I got. If you do not have green garlic, use 3 cloves regular garlic)
- 2 cups snow peas
- 2 Tablespoons chopped raw cashews
- For Sauce:
- ¼ Cup Bragg Amino Acids
- 1 Tablespoon Raw Honey
- 1 Tablespoon Corn Starch
- Season chicken with some sea salt and pepper. Cut into strips. Heat 1 Tbsp. coconut oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add chicken and saute until browned. Remove chicken to a plate. Add the other tbsp of oil. Add peppers and snow peas and stir fry for 1 minute. Add scallions and garlic, toss all together and stir fry until veggies are softened, approximately 4 minutes. Add sauce, toss to coat and cook for another 2 minutes. Top with reserved scallions and cashews. I served it over brown rice.
What Are Liquid Aminos—and How Are They Different From Soy Sauce?
You may have spotted a bottle on shelves at a health food store or seen them listed in a vegan or gluten-free recipe—but what exactly are liquid aminos? And are they good for you?
What Are Liquid Aminos?
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Liquid aminos are exactly what they sound like: concentrated amino acids derived from soybeans.
Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. Consuming them is integral to your overall health, especially if you follow a vegan or vegetarian diet plan.
Your body needs 20 different amino acids to grow and function properly. Eleven of these acids are non-essential, meaning your body makes them on its own. The other nine, however, are essential and you need to regularly consume them.
Bragg liquid aminos, likely the brand you’re most familiar with, has 16 essential and non-essential amino acids.
So how do liquid aminos taste? Pretty much like soy sauce, with very slight distinctions. Liquid aminos are rich in umami, that meaty and savory fifth taste.
You can use liquid aminos anywhere you’d use soy sauce—on veggies, in stir-fries, or just as a condiment.
Though traditional liquid aminos are made with soybeans, some are derived from coconuts.
Liquid Aminos vs. Soy Sauce
Liquid aminos and soy sauce are made from soybeans, but soy sauce also contains wheat, so—unlike liquid aminos—it’s not gluten-free. Soy sauce is fermented (which means it contains some alcohol), while liquid aminos are not.
While both liquid aminos and soy sauce contain sodium, added salt makes soy sauce’s sodium content higher.
As far as taste goes, they’re pretty similar. Liquid aminos are less salty, milder, and slightly sweeter.
Some people say liquid aminos taste closer to tamari (a sauce made from fermented soybeans) than soy sauce.
It’s worth noting that liquid aminos, which are usually only available at health food stores, are significantly more expensive than the more widely available soy sauce. A 16-oz. bottle of Bragg costs about $5 at Whole Foods, while a 15-oz. bottle of Kikkoman sells for about $2.50 at Target.
Health Benefits of Liquid Aminos
Again, liquid aminos are a great source of amino acids. The sauce is made from only two ingredients—soybeans and purified water—so it’s vegan and contains no chemicals, artificial coloring, or preservatives.
While liquid aminos have less sodium than soy sauce, people on low-sodium diets shouldn’t go crazy: There are 320 (naturally occurring) milligrams of sodium per teaspoon.