What Are Proteins And Why Do We Need Protein In Our Diet


Proteins are the building blocks in your body and they are needed for all of the metabolic activities that take place in your body. The human body is approximately eighteen to twenty percent protein of which there are about one hundred thousand different types of proteins in that percentage. Every tissue and cell in your body contains some type of protein. Your body can manufacture several of the amino acids that are required by your body for protein production but you will still need to get other protein sources from vegetable and/or plants.

The reason that you need to make sure that your body is getting the right amount of proteins from your diet is that proteins are responsible for:

• Maintaining the fluid balance in your body along with controlling the movement of fluids in your cells.
• Helping to transport nutrients to various organs and regulate the flow of nutrients in your cells.
• Helps to build defense
• Regulating and initiating metabolic activities.
• They support all of your body’s tissues which in turn will allow you to stand up and move around.
• Giving your body a small amount of energy


Proteins are made of twenty different types of amino acids, which determine the function of the proteins in your body. They also help to synthesize the different types of proteins that you body needs. When you have proteins that have a long chain of amino acids these proteins are referred to as enzymes. These particular enzymes help to carry out different chemical functions like supporting the function of your brain, helping with the digestion of food, detoxification of your blood, breaking down toxins, and more.

food pyramid pie chart
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When figuring a good diet to follow you need to make sure that it is healthy, well balanced and at least ten to thirty-five percent of your daily calories come from protein. Between the ages of seventeen and seventy a man needs fifty-six grams and a woman needs forty-six grams of protein each day. If you do not get enough protein you could develop a protein deficiency which can cause impaired functioning of your body in general and muscle atrophy but you could also have too much protein in your diet. Too much protein can eat away at the calcium in your bones, can make your allergies worse, increase your risk of developing diabetes, can increase your risk of colon cancer, and more. This is why it is important to make sure that you are getting the right amount of protein each day.


There are two different types of proteins you need to include, which are incomplete and complete proteins. Incomplete proteins only consist of small quantities of one or more essential amino acids while complete proteins consist of all the essential amino acids. Some examples of incomplete proteins are most foods that are plant based such as legumes, grains, nuts, vegetables, and seeds. Most of your complete proteins come from animal food sources such as poultry, milk, cheese, eggs, and fish.


Best sources to get protein in your diet

• Dairy foods—these include milk, cheese, and yogurt, which are all rich sources of proteins along with giving your body the essential vitamins and calcium it needs. Dairy foods help to prevent osteoporosis and keep your bones and teeth strong.
• Seafood and fish—any type of seafood or fish are some of the best sources of protein plus most seafood and fish consists of a low amount of fat. If you eat fish such as salmon they offer your body beneficial lipids like essential omega-3 fatty acids. These are good for your cardiovascular health.
• Poultry and meat—eggs are the best source to get the necessary complete proteins so you should eat an egg each day if you are an adult who is healthy. There is also a significant amount of protein in meat but it preferable that you eat poultry or white meat like pork. These meats and poultry contain a great source of proteins but only have a fraction of the fats found in red meat. You should eat your poultry skinless to eliminate the excess calories and fat.
• Grains and legumes—the best source of protein in this group comes from beans and whole grains. For vegans and vegetarians this is the group that will give you the best source of proteins. Having a half cup of beans has almost the same amount of protein as three ounces of a broiled steak. Eating beans will give you beneficial dietary fibers you need too.

If you have any medical problems you should talk to your physician about how many grams of protein you should be getting each day.


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