What are proteins?

protein rich food

Why do we need them in our daily diet? Are we getting sufficient protein to maintain our body health? These are the basic but important questions that commonly enter one’s mind. We will discuss all your questions in an easy and simple way.

Protein is an essential part of the macronutrients. They are essential because they take part in almost every function of their body. From the tip of the body to the toe of the body proteins act as the glue that holds the whole body together. It participates in immune response and metabolic reactions. It helps in the working process of cells and is also substantial for the ordinance of enzyme action in the body.

Protein helps the body to control hunger far better than carbohydrates and fats. Athletes and bodybuilders take extra proteins in order to have more bulky physic. They are not only essential for athletes but for everyone. Proteins are also termed as building blocks of the body as they enhance the skin, muscle, blood, bones, and cartilage.

Excess intake of protein can cause an insufficient intake of carbohydrates and healthy fats. Therefore, only one-third of the total daily calories should be taken from proteins. The excess amount is stored as fat in the body which further leads to weight gain. This excess amount can be a burden on the liver, kidneys, and bones. Symptoms of excess protein in the body can be dehydration, headache, nausea, exhaustion, irritability, diarrhea, and indigestion.

Insufficient protein intake can cause soreness, weakness, and muscle cramps. When the body could not get enough protein from the diet. Then these proteins are taken from muscles and tissues and are used for important body functions as a source of energy. It also decreases the speed of healing of any wound. It can also reduce enzyme production and electrolyte imbalance.

The intake of protein totally depends on the requirements of any particular body. The energy requisite, age, sex, weight, exercise levels are some of the factors that determine the intake of proteins.

Functions of Proteins

● It is required for the growth of tissues and maintenance of the body.
● Proteins such as enzymes are required for several chemical reactions to occur in the body.
● Proteins make various hormones and help to transmit information in the body.
● Proteins provide structure, elasticity, and strength to the body.
● Proteins maintain the proper pH of the body.
● It balances body fluids.
● It strengthens the immune system to protect the body from diseases.
● They transport as well as store the nutrients in the body.
● In an exhaustive workout, they serve as an important energy source.

Benefits of Proteins

● Intake of a high-protein diet improves the weight-regulating hormones, reduces hunger, and thus allows the body to take fewer calories.
● Getting an accurate amount of protein may reduce late-night carvings.
● It reduces the risk of severe heart diseases.
● Proper intake of protein helps in maintaining the proper weight of the body.
● Protein helps the body in gaining strength and muscle mass.
● It boosts the metabolism and helps the body to burn more calories.
● Proper intake of proteins increases the muscle strength of the body.
● It does not affect the healthy kidneys.
● Proteins help in the fast healing process of any wound.

High Protein Food Source

● Nuts and Seeds: – almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, cashews, sunflower seeds.
● Poultry: – emu, goose, chicken, duck.
● Legumes and Beans: – lentils, all beans, tofu.
● Dairy Products: – yogurt, cheese, milk.
● Eggs.
● Lean meats: – beef, veal, pork, lamb.

Proteins are a very essential part of one’s life. Everyone should see that they are getting sufficient proteins for a healthy life. However, the excess amount of proteins can be lethal to the body. Protein taken from the wrong source can also severely affect the body. Their intake is necessary as they make antibodies to protect the body from diseases caused by viruses and bacteria. Women who are pregnant require a high intake of protein for their fetus.

The nine essential amino acids had to be taken from a diet. Only plant products singularly cannot provide sufficient proteins. So a small amount of animal protein is also required by the body. Most animal products contain high fat and high calories. Therefore it is important to take only a small amount of such products. The accurate amounts of proteins are only benefited by the body. The excess amounts can be harmful to the body.

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