The internet is full of articles on the best way to maintain a healthy diet. We’ve all heard about eating, at least, five portions a day of fruit and vegetables a day as well as making sure we include protein, carbohydrates and Omega 3 in our diets. Scientists tell us a healthy diet, along with regular exercise, is one of the keys to leading a healthy and long life.
It’s all very well reading all these articles but how many of us actually know anything about the vitamins and minerals we include in our diet? Do we really know the benefits and disadvantages of everything we eat? Here we look at what exactly protein is and why our bodies need it.What is it? The human body is full of proteins.
It is an essential nutrient for us. The word is derived from the Greek “protons” which means “first”. The body uses protein from our diets to maintain tissue, build new cells and blends protein to allow us to carry out some of the most basic bodily functions. Protein is found in every cell of the human body. Hair and nails are mostly made from protein.
It is also very important for creating and building bones, muscles, skin, cartilage and blood in the human body. It is known as a macronutrient which means the human body requires quite a lot of it on a regular basis for the body to perform healthily where can we find it? Adults, as I found on this site, are encouraged to get anywhere from between 10%-35% of their daily calories from protein heavy food. Protein is found in beans, nuts and animal products. Eggs, cheese and chicken are the most popular sources of protein.
Fish and soy are popular too. Drinking orange juice with your meal of high protein meat such as chicken will also help your body absorb more of the meat’s goodness. It’s the breast meat which is often full of protein and chicken and turkey are perfect examples of high protein meat. Fish such as salmon, tuna and halibut are also rich in protein.
Low fat mozzarella cheese and cottage cheese are also great sources of protein. Beans such as kidney, black, mung and mature soybeans are protein rich too. Eggs are a good source and particularly the egg white. For snack foods that are good protein sources, why not try seeds such as pumpkin, peanuts, almonds and squash.
Yoghurt, milk and soy milk have a good amount of protein too. Benefits of proteinase well as being a necessity for the general functioning of the human body, the benefits of protein can include a faster recovery time after exercise.
Protein also helps to build leaner muscle, it can help regulate your appetite and curb hunger as well as helping you to maintain a healthy weight. Indeed many popular diets are based on consuming high protein foods.