What is in the Power of Protein?
Proteins are large complex molecules that play critical roles in the body. Proteins are required for the structure, function and regulation of the body’s tissues and organs, including the brain. Protein is an essential nutrient that can be found in animal products, nuts, and beans. An interesting fact, is the word protein comes from the Greek work that means “first.” It’s true, our bodies need protein first for life. Our body uses the proteins in our diet to build new cells, maintain all of the tissues, and to make it possible for you to perform all basic bodily functions.
Proteins are present in the outer and inner membranes of each and every living cell. For example in your hair, your nails, muscle tissue, inside our bones and red blood cells. In fact, our ability to be able to think, see, move or hear or to be able to do just about everything that you consider part of a normal healthy life — requires protein. While performing basic bodily functions, all of your cells have to send messages back and forth to each other and this requires chemicals called neurotransmitters. Making these essential neurotransmitters requires — guess what — proteins.
Proteins also play an important role in the creation of each new cell and of each and every new person. Even your chromosomes consist of proteins, called nucleoproteins, which are made up of amino acids and nucleic acids.
Proteins belongs to a class of nutrients called macronutrients because your body requires that you eat large amounts of them. The proteins in your body perform a many different functions that are essential for sustaining life such as the following:
What are some important reasons why we need protein?
1) Tissue Support – provide support to all of your tissues.
2) Energy – it serves as an energy source when we need it.
3) Immune Response – antibodies are proteins that protect us from disease or infection.
4) Fluid and Acid-Base Balance – blood proteins help prevent edema and maintain a proper pH.
5) Transportation – transport proteins move nutrients, waste and electrolytes through the body. Other proteins form openings in the cell membranes to allow sodium and potassium to travel in and out.
Make sure you get the amount of healthy protein your body needs each day. Here is a chart suggesting daily amounts of protein. It just gives you an idea of whether you might or might not being eating enough?
Here’s another great (more conservative) chart to help you calculate what amount of daily protein you need:
There’s a LOT of info out there on protein intake and some of it is really suggesting eating TOO much protein (in my opinion). A key point is that your body can really only digest so much at one sitting, so eating a lot all at once is not actually doing anymore for you than eating moderate servings of protein (the size of the palm of your hand) every few hours throughout the day. Some proteins are also slower to digest as well, so downing too much of that kind of protein will also not help you anymore than eating a lesser amount.
The thought of the day….