Protein: The Building Blocks Essential For Life And Health

Protein is essential for life and health.  Protein is derived from amino acids and forms many substances necessary for human existence.  Our bodies are made up first of water second of protein.  Protein makes up the connective tissue found in our skin hair and nails.  Proteins make up our collagen and elastin and are responsible for muscle contraction.

Enzymes are proteins that allow the body to carry out such functions as digestion and blood coagulation.  Proteins make peptide hormones, which control many body functions such as the metabolism of insulin, glucagon, parathyroid hormones and thyroid hormones.  Proteins form antibodies that help us fight foreign substances, such as viruses and bacteria that enter the body. I hope that gives you some idea of the extreme importance of protein.  Protein must be part of our daily diet.

Although protein can be found in other food groups, such as dried beans, nuts and cheese meat is the most complete source of protein.  This includes poultry, fish, red meat, eggs and shellfish.  Soybeans are not complete proteins.  They lack certain amino acids that are necessary for the body to make some of those substances listed above. They are a fairly new food item and are processed with chemicals that could be harmful and most are genetically modified.  Soybeans can actually interfere with thyroid hormones resulting in decreased thyroid function.

We often in this country consume much more protein than our bodies need.  Portion size has increased dramatically over the years.  There are many factors that could increase or decrease the amount of protein necessary, however, for the average adult 50g. of protein per day should be sufficient.  Generally 1 oz. of meat, cheese, poultry or fish is equivalent to 7g. of protein.

When possible choose lean or very lean meats.  Instead of frying meats try baking, roasting, broiling, or grilling.  It’s a great idea to trim the visible fat before and after cooking.  You may want to place your meat on a rack to drain the fat during cooking.  There is a lot of popular cookware available today that can help you accomplish this.  If you are not sure if your body is getting enough protein or is handling protein well, there are tests available such as hair analysis that can help determine if you are getting adequate levels.

A vegetarian diet does not always adequately supply the amount of protein necessary for optimal body function.  If following such a diet, be sure that you are getting the appropriate amount of protein needed for optimal health.  The vegetarian diet requires very careful food combining to ensure that you are getting adequate levels.  If your body is not getting enough protein it will take it from other areas of the body.

Get enough protein. It is essential for life and health! What about Carbs? Read more here.