Proteins Are the Main Body Nutrient
Is there enough protein in your diet? While you should limit your consumption of calories, sugar, and salt, you should also ensure that you obtain enough protein from food. A protein-rich meal is essential for forming and maintaining all cells in our body. It powers our body and feeds our cells.
Protein, carbs, and fats are three of the macronutrients our bodies require to operate effectively. But unlike carbs and fats, our bodies can’t store protein, so eating protein is essential.
Protein is the primary building block of our bodies. It is found in every cell, tissue, and organ and is essential for these structures’ growth, repair, and maintenance. Proteins are made up of a variety of amino acids that are linked together. Various forms of amino acid building blocks can be found in plants and animals. A typical protein has 300 or more amino acids, with the amount and sequence of amino acids unique to each protein. The amount of essential amino acids in a protein determines its nutritional value.
Protein is mainly obtained from two dietary groups:
- Lean meat, poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts and seeds, and legumes/beans.
- Milk, yogurt, cheese, or substitutes (mainly low-fat)’ category.
Eating a little protein at each meal is the most effective way to achieve your daily protein needs. The quality of a protein can be described in different ways, but all of them are based on how and how many of the essential and non-essential amino acids it has. For example, animal-based proteins are generally better quality than plant-based proteins because they include higher amounts of essential amino acids.
Protein-rich food is vital for muscle tissue growth and repair. When we exercise, we cause microscopic ruptures in our muscle fibers, which require protein to heal and rebuild, making them stronger and more durable. Because of this, protein is often linked to muscle growth, and athletes and bodybuilders like to eat it.
Protein also plays a crucial role in the production of enzymes and hormones. Enzymes are proteins that help our bodies do chemical things like break down food or make new molecules. Hormones, conversely, are chemical signals that help control growth and metabolism, among other things.
Protein also helps to maintain fluid balance in our bodies. For example, proteins in our blood help control how much fluid is in our tissues by attracting and holding onto water molecules. That helps to prevent swelling and maintain proper hydration levels.
The recommended intake for an average adult is to consume at least 0.83 g of protein per kilogram of body weight daily. 1 In other words, a 70-kilogram adult should aim for at least 58 g of protein daily. That is the same amount of protein as 200 g of chicken breast or 240 g of mixed nuts.
Protein needs are exceptionally high during growth phases such as childhood, pregnancy, and nursing. Furthermore, as we age, our protein-to-calorie ratio increases.