Proteins are biomolecules that contain amino acids and are useful for various bodily functions. They are crucial in the maintenance as well as the production of new cells, they help in maintaining and losing weight, they stabilize the blood sugar levels, increase focus, boost your energy levels and support your muscles and bones.
Not all proteins are the same. Two large categories of proteins are distinguished: complete and incomplete proteins.
There are nine essential amino acids and complete proteins have them all. Examples of foods that contain such proteins are meats, fish, eggs and dairy, chia, buckwheat and quinoa.
Incomplete proteins don’t have all nine amino acids and they must be combined with other proteins to supply the body with everything it needs. These proteins can be found in nuts, seeds, and vegetables. This doesn’t mean that these foods are good enough, just that they have to be mixed together to benefit the human body as much as possible.
Many people associate protein with fitness and while it is true that anyone who exercises regularly or has any type of increased physical activity should eat more protein, the amino acids are essential to any person to allow their body to work properly.
Even though lately people have become more and more focused on protein and it’s true it is crucial to the human body, the truth is that the average person already eats enough foods that contain protein on a regular basis without needing additional protein bars.
The benefits of protein
Some of the benefits proteins have in the human body are as follow:
- Protein creates an anabolic hormonal environment. In lamest terms, it helps muscle building and fat loss. This is the main reason why proteins are so popular today, especially among bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts.
During exercise, the muscles often stretch and tear. Protein is needed to repair and strengthen the damaged muscles and that also increases the total muscle mass.
- Protein reduces appetite – and it does that by boosting the satiety hormone peptide YY. This makes protein a great help in weight loss.
- Protein increases bone strength. Studies have shown that people who eat more protein will maintain their bone mass better.
- Protein can boost metabolism. An increase in protein intake can make you burn 80 to 100 more calories each day.
- Protein can lower the blood pressure, LDL and triglycerides. In the studies, increased protein intake lowered the systolic blood pressure on average by 1.76 mmHg and the diastolic blood pressure by 1.15 mmHg.
- Protein can help treat type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is a chronic disease that’s caused by high blood sugar and the body’s inability to produce insulin. Studies have shown that protein can be an effective tool in moderating blood sugar.
- Protein improves the nervous system. The nervous system becomes active when it’s triggered and responds accordingly. The receptors in the nervous system comprise of protein complexes that assist in the transmission of signals within the cells.
Many other benefits of the proteins should be mentioned: stronger immune system, balanced hormones, hair care, and even skin care.
These and more responsible for many fitness and health conscious to supplement with proteins based drinks like the vega one protein source that has been taking the market with storm. Does it really works as advertised?
How much is enough?
It is recommended for adults to take between 12% and 30% of their total caloric intake from protein sources. Each person should take 0.8 grams of the protein per kilogram per day for general health, according to the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics. People who are very active will require more.
But how much is 0.8 grams of protein and how can you know how much protein is in each food?
Here’s a list that will get you started:
- A cup of milk has 8 grams
- An egg has 6 grams
- A scoop of whey protein has 24 grams
- A 3-ounce piece of meat has 21 grams
- An 8-ounce container of Greek yogurt has 23 grams
- A cup of quinoa has 8 grams
- A 3 ounce serving of tuna has 25 grams
To sum up when you’re choosing foods based on their protein content you must always remember that while some contain complete proteins others have to be combined in order to have the same benefit effects on the human body.
The countless benefits protein has on the human body should convince any person to eat healthier foods that, combined together, give the body all it needs to regenerate and function properly.