When discussing nutrition; protein is one of the top keywords, but why is it so important?
Function In The Body
Our bodies are largely made up of protein, by amino acids from hair to skin. They function in the body to build, repair and create new tissues. It is broken down and resynthesized. Proteins have multiple functions in the body, from enzymatic to immune functions, meaning they play a big part in our everyday lives. Insulin, a hormone, helps to control blood sugar levels in the blood. Haemoglobin transports oxygen around the body. In addition to this, protein accompanied with complex carbs helps in keeping you fuller for longer, helps with losing weight, toning up and burning fat. It helps you repair muscles broken down during exercise, aiding growth!
As much as a high protein diet is advised, protein surplus has no benefit to your body! Once your body has consumed the necessary amount of protein it needs; it can no longer be stored and is excreted. 1.5g of protein per kg in bodyweight is a reasonable ratio if you are quite active! For example if you weigh 64kg, you should ideally have 96g of protein daily! Athletes often require a higher percentage due to the intensity of their training regimes.
Protein Is Only Meat
Lean meats like chicken, turkey and tuna are often advised in maintaining a healthy diet, however protein can be found in many foods, not only meat! It is almost impossible literally and financially to consume large amounts of meat in a day; so it is advisable to get your daily intake from other sources. People that follow meatless diets like vegans and vegetarians find their sources from numerous foods. Take a read of our post on what it was like to be vegan for a month! http://www.enislab.com/2016/12/05/vegan-challenge-review/
The non-meat sources include;
- Eggs, rich in Omega 3
- Grains like Quinoa
- Nuts (almonds, walnuts)
- Seeds (sunflower, chia and pumpkin)
- Nut butters (peanut, cashew, almond)
- Milk & milk products like cheese
- Beans (kidney, chickpea, black bean, butter bean)