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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Why Your Body Needs Protein?

Why Your Body Needs Protein?

Why Your Body Needs Protein

Proteins are essential to our health because of the many vital functions that they perform in our bodies. Proteins are large molecules composed of amino acids.Our body requires about 22 amino acids to perform all of its functions. Although we are able to manufacture some of these amino acids from other amino acids, we cannot make nine amino acids and must obtain them from food. When a protein food contains all nine of these “essential” amino acids, it is classified as a complete protein. When a food does not contain adequate quantities of each of these nine amino acids, it is classified as an incomplete protein.
All proteins that come from animal sources, including dairy foods and eggs, are complete proteins.
All proteins that come from plant sources, except for soy, are incomplete proteins. Combining plant proteins is a way to provide adequate quantities of the essential amino acids Here are some of the reasons why we need proteins in our diets:

Proteins Create our Structure  
Muscles, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and bone (including our teeth) are composed of collagen, a strong, fibrous protein tissue. Without adequate protein, we would be unable to repair the damage to these tissues that we incur on a daily basis. Children require adequate protein to grow normally.

Supporting Life Functions  
Proteins are the primary component of enzymes, molecules that make possible all of the chemical reactions that our bodies perform 24 hours each day. Enzymes are required to digest our food; to create hormones; to produce energy from the food we eat; to clot our blood; and to perform many other essential life functions.

Protection from Illness 
Proteins form an essential component of our immune system. Antibodies that protect us from disease are made from proteins.

Proteins also transport important substances throughout our bodies. An example is hemoglobin, a transport protein that carries oxygen to all of our cells.

Brain Function 
Protein is necessary for the production of brain chemicals that support a positive mood, alertness, good memory, concentration, and restful sleep.


1. Mix it up.
Most reasonable diets provide enough protein for healthy people. Eating a variety of foods will ensure that you get all of the amino acids you need.

2. Go low on saturated fat.
Beans, fish and poultry provide plenty of protein, without much saturated fat. Steer clear of fatty meats and use whole-milk dairy products sparingly. For more information on saturated fat, read “Fats and Cholesterol: Out with the Bad, In with the Good.”

3. Limit red meat—and avoid processed meat.
Research suggests that people who eat more than 18 ounces a week of red meat have a higher risk of colon cancer. So make red meat—beef, pork, lamb—only an occasional part of your diet, if you eat it at all. And skip the processed stuff—bacon, hot dogs, and deli meats—since that’s also been linked to higher cancer risk.

4. Eat soy in moderation.
Tofu and other soy foods are an excellent red meat alternative. But don’t go overboard; 2 to 4 servings a week is a good target. And stay away from supplements that contain concentrated soy protein or extracts, such as isoflavones, as we just don’t know the long term effects.

5. Balance carbs and protein.
Cutting back on highly processed carbohydrates and increasing protein improves levels of blood triglycerides and HDL, and so may reduce your chances of having a heart attack, stroke, or other form of cardiovascular disease. It may also make you feel full longer, and stave off hunger pangs.


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