Eat your proteins
What are proteins?
Made up of amino acids, protein is an essential component of every cell in the body. It is an all-important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin and blood.
Your body uses proteins for cell formation, repairing tissues; it also uses protein to make antibodies (to fight against bacteria and viruses), enzymes, hormones and other body chemicals; in addition to carrying oxygen thought the body, aiding muscle activity
When we consume foods that contain protein, our body breaks it down into amino acids. There are 22 amino acids, divided into i) essential amino acids ii) non-essential amino acids. While the body can make some of the essential amino acids on its own, the others need to be obtained from foods that contain proteins.
Important health benefits of protein:
Eating adequate protein is necessary to maintain a healthy body.
- Tissue repair: If the body sustains injury, protein helps with tissue repair.
- Energy: Along with carbohydrates, proteins provide your body with energy to keep it going.
- Immunity: Proteins help your body fight off illness and disease and keeping the immune system functioning properly.
- Protein is an important component of our muscles, skin, hair, nails and cartilage. Proteins help in maintaining healthy muscles.
You need protein daily!
Unlike carbohydrates and fats, proteins are not stored in the body. And since proteins regulate many body functions, it becomes essential to consume protein on a daily basis.
Insufficient protein consumption:
Lack of protein can cause growth failure, loss of muscle mass, decreased immunity, weakening of the heart and respiratory system and death.
Excess protein consumption:
A high-protein diet can put a lot of strain on the kidneys, as the end product of proteins is excreted in the urine. Excessive consumption of protein can also lead to high cholesterol, heart disease and other diseases. Hence, be careful with protein diets.
Meet your body’s protein needs:
Protein should account for 10% to 20% of the calories consumed each day.
A well-balanced diet provides the body with adequate protein. For most adults, two to three servings of protein-rich foods is advised daily.
Sources of protein:
Non-vegetarian sources of protein:
Vegetarian sources of protein:
- Soy foods (tofu, tempeh, miso, and soy milk)
- Sprouted seeds
- Beans and legumes
- Spirulina and chorella or blue-green algae
Milk and milk products
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