Proteins are structural and functional components of every living cell. Half the protein in our body is in the form of muscles and rest in bone, cartilage and skin. Proteins are made of amino acids. Essential aminoacids are obtained from proteins in diet like animal foods such as milk ,meat and eggs. Non essential amino acids are synthesised in the body to build proteins.
The health benefits of Protein
Protein gives you the energy to keep going. Eat appropriate amounts to:
- Build muscles
- helps reduce your risk for diabetes and cardiovascular disease
- helps to maintain a healthy weight by suppressing hunger, makes you feel full longer, and fuels you with extra energy for exercising.
- Is vital to the growth and development of children and for maintaining health in your old age.
- Keeps your immune system functioning properly, maintains healthy heart and respiratory system, and speeds recovery after exercise
- helps to think clearly and may improve memory
- improves your mood and boosts your resistance to stress, anxiety, and depression
- Maintain healthy skin, nails, and hair
Too much protein can be harmful to people with kidney disease, diabetes.
A higher intake of protein helps to lower your risk for obesity, osteoporosis, diabetes-type-2, and stroke.
How much high quality protein do you need?
Older adults should aim for 1 to 1.5 grams of protein for each kilogram of weight .
Lactating women need about 20 grams more of high-quality protein a day than before to enhance milk production.
Divide your protein intake equally among meals.
High-quality protein sources
- Tofu and soy products-Tofu and soy are high protein and low fat.
- Beans-Sprouts, beans and peas are rich in protein and fiber. To increase your protein intake, add them to salads, soups and stews .
- Fish. Fish such as salmon, trout, sardines, and herring are also high in omega-3 fatty acids. Its recommended eating seafood at least twice a week. Most seafood is high in protein and low in saturated fat.
- Poultry– It’s advisable to remove the skin from chicken to reduce the saturated fat.
- Dairy products– Skim milk, cheese, and yoghurt have lots of healthy protein. Avoid added sugar in low-fat yoghurts and flavored milk, and skip processed cheese.
- Nuts and seeds– Nuts and seeds are rich in protein, fiber and good fats.Snack on them or add to salads.
- Snack on Cottage Cheese.
- Replace Cereal with Eggs.
- Top Your Food with Chopped Almonds or flax seeds.
- Choose Greek Yogurt.
- Have a Protein Shake for Breakfast.
- Include a High-Protein Food with Every Meal.