This Amino Acid has Powerful Gut-Healing Properties

Bone broth is renowned for reducing gut inflammation and improving digestive health. In fact, it’s a traditional superfood. But bone broth isn’t for everyone, which is why if you’re looking to reap the powerful digestive-healing benefits of bone broth as a vegan, then you need to know about glutamine.

What is Glutamine?

Glutamine is an amino acid, one of 20 that our bodies require. In fact it is the most abundant amino acid in circulation throughout the body, since our bodies produce glutamine naturally—it’s not one of the nine essential amino acids that we can only get from food.

However, it is considered “conditionally essential“. If you’re too stressed, sick or overworking your body, your body won’t be able to create enough glutamine to support its own needs, meaning you need to get it from food sources, too. And who among us hasn’t been too stressed before?

Health Benefits of Glutamine


Making sure you are getting plenty of glutamine in your diet comes with some major health benefits.

Woman in restaurant eating vegetarian vegan cream soup.Gluten free and diet food.Female eating bone broth based soup.Nutrition and diet.Healthy and light dinner in a hotel.

Immune Benefits

This amino acid is critical fuel for white blood cells. If your body isn’t producing enough glutamine, the immune system can become compromised, and healing can significantly slow down. Some studies have shown that supplementation with glutamine actually leads to decreased infections and shorter hospital stays after surgery, thanks to its immune empowering effects.

Essentially, since glutamine is legitimate immune system fuel, it helps your body heal at its peak capacity. Getting enough glutamine through diet during times of healing can also discourage the body from breaking down precious muscle mass to unlock stored amino acids, which is always a good thing.

Gut Health Benefits

Did you know the intestines are considered the largest part of the immune system, thanks to our trillions of beneficial gut bacteria? That’s why the digestive benefits and immune benefits of glutamine kind of go hand in hand.

Like white blood cells, intestinal cells feed off of glutamine. Proper levels of this amino acid ensure the health of a protective lining within your gut to keep bacteria and waste inside your intestines. When this lining fails and bacteria drift outside of your intestines, that’s called leaky gut. Since glutamine supports the strength and health of this lining—AND feeds intestinal cells—it is a crucial amino acid for those struggling with healing their gut inflammation.

Fresh vegetables salad purple cabbage, lettuce, carrot. Top view

Vegan Sources of Glutamine

Naturally, glutamine exists as either L-glutamine and D-glutamine. For our purposes, we’re only discussing L-glutamine here.

Bone broth, meats and cheeses are major dietary sources of glutamine, so omnivores shouldn’t have problems getting enough in their diets, but vegans need to be a little more conscious of their, intake if they want to supplement the body’s needs.

Many veggies are good sources of this amino acid. However, in veggies, heat destroys glutamine, so munch on lots of raw spinach, beets, carrots, parsley and cabbage. Drinking raw, juiced cabbage is infamously beneficial to digestion, likely because of its rich glutamine content.

Legumes are a good source of glutamine, too. Soy protein is actually 9.1 percent glutamine.

Don’t start taking a glutamine supplement before consulting your health professional. Focusing on getting the full spectrum of amino acids through your diet is a good way to keep yourself healthy and balanced.

Again, your body produces glutamine on its own, but if you tax your body hard, have chronic digestive issues or have recently fallen ill, it’s smart to become conscious of your consumption.

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Jeanne Rogers
Jeanne Rogers4 months ago

Thank you for sharing.

Jeanne Rogers
Jeanne Rogers4 months ago

Thank you for sharing.

Jeanne Rogers
Jeanne Rogers4 months ago

Thank you for sharing.

nahia L
nahia L4 months ago

What can you do when you can't digest raw vegetables and legumes? I sure can't, so I guess I'm stuck with the supplement.

Ruth S
Ruth S4 months ago


Caitlin L
Caitlin L4 months ago

thanks for sharing

Jeramie D
Jeramie D4 months ago

Thank you

Emma L
Emma L4 months ago

thank you

Janet B
Janet B4 months ago


hELEN hEARFIELD4 months ago