Have you ever wondered what this hype is all about protein shakes, protein diet, etc.? Well then this article is for you. If you have never been a biology freak, you would not have come across what proteins are and why they are essential. After reading this article, you will understand what lies behind the protein craze.
Protein forms just about every part of the body. Proteins are macro nutrients, which mean that your body needs a huge supply of it daily; as compared to vitamins, which are micronutrients that are required in limited supply. They are the building blocks of your body like bricks are for your home. Protein forms a constituent of every cell in your body. Your DNA is made up of amino acids, which in turn, make up a protein. Your integument like skin, hair, nails, etc. is made up of different types of proteins. A human body contains some chemical substances, namely enzymes, that take part in chemical reactions; and some hormones that eventually decide how you operate every instant. Enzymes and hormones are made up of proteins. On top of all that, proteins form the basic unit of bones, cartilages, muscles, blood, etc.
Now you understand why protein is mandatory for our existence, and any deficiency will have serious effects. One of the major reasons why protein deficiency can be so damaging is important is because it is not stored in the body, unlike fat or carbohydrates. Therefore, the body depends completely on a fresh supply of protein every day.
You may be aware that consuming protein leads to you building stronger muscles. This is partially true. You have to work out to wear out your muscles, and then proteins repair them, making them stronger than before. High protein intake leads to early satiety and keeps you full for longer hours. This means that you can consume a lesser amount of food, and be able to better resist sugar cravings.
How to decide how much protein you need?
Your protein requirement depends on your age. If you are in your teens, you will need around six ounces of protein servings daily, while kids will require half of the same amount. If you are a male, then your requirement will be slightly higher. The protein need will be much more if you regularly engage in exercises and sports, doing a lot of physical work.
How to choose the source of protein?
If you do not know where to start from, here is a list of foods rich in proteins:
- Nuts: If you love nuts, you yet another reason to love them. Nuts are rich in proteins, especially almonds.
- Beans: These are rich in proteins, as well as fibers that give early satiety.
- Whole grains: Bread from whole wheat contains a substantial amount of protein. Mix it up with peanut butter to make a delicious peanut butter sandwich, and you have a powerhouse of protein.
- Pulses and sprouts: If you are a vegetarian and shun meat, then you can take proteins through pulses and sprouts.
- Poultry: Chicken without skin is a rich source of protein. Chicken breast is something that you must eat if you are building your body.
- Beef: Beef supplies a huge amount of protein that can be good for bodybuilders who struggle to get that extra protein in their diet.
- Fish: The best animal source of protein is fish. It is rich in protein, and also essential fatty acids, that have irrefutable benefits.
Proteins in large amounts are not all that good
When you take in too much protein, while ignoring carbs, you are resetting the metabolism of your body. Your body enters ketosis and helps you lose weight. The breakdown of protein leads to the accumulation of ammonia in the body, which is not so healthy in the long term. Protein consumption also increases the acidity of your body, leading to excess secretion of calcium in the urine. Furthermore, some carbs also contain other micro nutrients and fiber, which makes it crucial for you to not neglect carb consumption.
Therefore, when you are planning your diet, make sure that you consume adequate carbs. Cutting down on excess carbs and empty calories are encouraged, but not cutting down completely. Then add a regular dosage of protein. You can add a few sources of animal protein and vegetable protein. Try to maintain a balance and avoid tiring your taste buds by eating the same type of protein every day. Never miss out on eggs. Avoid processed meat as they contain chemicals that cause colorectal carcinoma.