Hi, and welcome to the final blog of The nutrients series.
In this blog, we will discuss proteins, learn some of their functions, what their deficiency can cause, what excess of protein can cause, and finally some of the popular sources.
First, we need to know about Amino acids (just a little bit).
Amino acids are the organic compounds essential for various body functions. They are responsible for the digestive process, sexual functions, skin-tissue growth, immune system, muscle growth, and a lot more.
Amino acids are further classified as essential and non-essential amino acids. There are 9 Essential amino acids and 11 Non-essential amino acids. Our body cannot make essential amino acids, hence we need them through our diet.
There are 500 types of amino acids, but Human bodies identifies and needs only 20 of those.
I know, you are confused about why I am talking about Amino-acids, while the blog is about Proteins.
So, let me tell you amino acids are the building blocks for proteins. This means Proteins are made of amino acids (and not the other way around).
Protein is a Greek word, it means “of utmost importance”.
Different combinations of amino acids together make different kinds of proteins and their utility/function is different as well. I’m sure you have heard about Hemoglobin, Collagen, etc. These are some popular proteins. Their functions are different, and their structure is different as well.
Coming back to Proteins, we need them for various functions, like:
- The body uses proteins to repair & build tissues
- RBC needs proteins to carry oxygen throughout the body, hence transferring all the essential nutrients throughout the body ( That’s the job of secret agent Hemoglobin)
- Helps in maintaining a healthy weight
- Building in lean muscles
- Helps in transferring the message from the brain to the entire body
- Keeps cells healthy and helps in making new ones
20% of human weight is actually protein. Proteins are present in every single cell, hair, nails, tissues of the bones.
Proteins deficiency can muscle loss, tissue breakdown, weakening of bones and can even lead to various diseases.
The biggest question is how much protein we need.
Well, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Adult women need 46 gm of protein/per day. And, Men need 56 gm of protein/ per day or around 10-35% of total calories.
For example, if you take 2200 calories/day, 220–660 calories should come from Protein. That’s roughly around 28 gm- 85 gm. These are macronutrients just like Carbs, fats, water & fibers.
Your protein requirement depends on your age, gender, size and the level of physical activity.
Everyone needs proteins, some may need more, and some may need less. Children don’t need more than 30 gm of protein/per day. It’s better to talk to an expert about how much protein you need.
I’ve personally experienced that trainers at gyms try to place the same hat on everyone. They will give everyone the same kind of protein and will recommend similar quantities. I hope you are smart enough to make a wise choice. (I am not saying all the trainers do this)
The harm too much protein can cause:-
When you take protein, it’s used for various functions (as mentioned above), but the extra protein is stored as fat. Too much protein also makes deposits in the kidney.
Too much protein can also elevate blood pressure, and can even lead to heart disease.
Please note-Protein is not the enemy, it’s safe and essential to consume the required protein daily.FGW
Protein is very easily available through a healthy diet. Popular belief is that protein is only available in chicken, meat, eggs, and fish. But, you can obtain your daily protein from other sources as well.
For example, 100 gm of chicken contains 27 gm of protein, but 100 gm of soya chunks contains 52 gm of protein.
Similarly, 100 gm of eggs contains 13 gm of protein, while 100 gm of kidney beans contains 24 gm of protein.
Popular sources of protein are Soy, oats, tofu, milk, and milk products like cheese, paneer, and curd. There’s sufficient protein in broccoli, spinach, sweet potatoes, lentils, legumes, sweet corn, fruits like banana, and avocado, nuts like walnuts, cashews, almonds, peanuts, and seeds like chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, etc.
Protein can also be obtained from Protein powder. Those are usually animal-based and plant-based. Protein powders are also available for those who are lactose intolerant.
In the comments tell me your favorite source of protein.
Feeling hungry all the time? Try Protein with fibers. These 2 buddies will keep you satiated for long.FGW
And that brings us to the end of this blog. I will now enjoy the protein as I’m super hungry. I will wait to interact with you in the comments.
Check out my other blogs in the series
Useful link ⇾