Foods high in amino acids include meat, fish and dairy products and some vegetarian foods, such as quinoa, buckwheat, hemp seed, chia seeds and soy. These foods contain high amounts of protein, which breaks down to amino acids during digestion.
Foods such as lean meat, cooked beans, eggs, peanut butter or cheese are complete proteins, which means they contain all nine essential amino acids that the human body cannot manufacture on its own. Two to three servings of 2 to 3 ounces of cooked lean poultry, meat or fish, one egg or 1 ounce of cheese a day is enough protein to provide all of the amino acids a healthy adult requires. Those who choose not to eat animal products can still get enough amino acids if they eat a variety of high-protein foods, such as cooked dried beans, peanut butter, soy products and nuts, especially peanuts, almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts and sunflower seeds.
Quinoa, a grain, is also a complete protein, although a person must eat considerably more quinoa to get the same amount of protein he would get from one serving of meat or fish. One cup of cooked quinoa provides 8 grams of protein, while a 2-ounce serving of meat contains about 14 grams. Similarly, buckwheat has 6 grams of protein per cup of cooked grain, while soy products contain about 10 to15 grams of protein per 1/2 cup serving.