by Feel Good Superfoods August 13, 2019

Protein, made up of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen, is an essential  component to each living cell in the human body. Protein serves as the compound necessary for cell structure repair and growth in many of the body’s tissues, such as muscle, and plays a key role in metabolism. Protein is also responsible for the formation of enzymes, antibodies, hormones, blood-clotting factors, and blood-transporting proteins. When protein is ingested, it is broken down in the stomach and small intestine by hydrochloric acid and pepsin into smaller compounds called amino acids.

Building blocks of protein: Amino acids

Amino acids are the building blocks needed to make up a protein. There are 20 amino acids in all, and in different combinations, they form different types of protein structures. Eleven of these amino acids can be made by the body, and are therefore considered nonessential. The other nine amino acids cannot be produced by the body, and therefore, we must get them from our diets. These are called essential amino acids.

Sources of Protein: complete and incomplete

Protein sources are divided into two groups: complete proteins and incomplete proteins. Complete proteins contain all of the essential amino acids that the body requires. Complete proteins are found in meats, poultry, fish, eggs and dairy foods. Incomplete proteins exist in some plant foods, such as legumes, nuts and seeds, grains, peas, nut butters, soy products and some vegetables. These foods contain some of the amino acids essential to the human body, but not all of them. By strategically combining two of these protein sources together, a complete protein can be created.

How much protein is recommended?

The recommended daily allowance of protein for men and women over age 19 is 56 g and 46g, respectively. The average American adult gets 15% of their calories from protein, which equates to 75 grams of protein for every 2,000 calories. Over the past few years, high protein diets have become popular for weight loss. Healthy individuals can consume diets consisting of up to 25% of calories from protein. However, those who suffer from diabetes or any type of kidney disorder may be at heightened risk when consuming a high protein diet.

Vegans: Combining amino acids to form a complete protein

Those who do not consume animal products must be educated on which incomplete proteins to combine in order to form a complete protein. For example, when combined, beans and rice form a complete protein. Complementary proteins do not necessarily have to be consumed in the same meal, as long as they are consumed in the same day.

What happens when your body is not getting enough?

In the United States, most people consume an adequate amount of protein. However, it is possible for people who suffer from malnourishment to also endure the consequences of not eating enough protein. In a state of protein deficiency, the body isn’t replacing the tissues that are breaking down quickly enough. This can put stress on the immune system and may lead to anemia or infectious diseases.




Feel Good Superfoods
Feel Good Superfoods

Author


Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Also in The FeelGood Blog

What are antioxidants?
What are antioxidants?

by NM SEO February 26, 2021

Your diet should include a balance of various kinds of antioxidants and other nutrients. FeelGood™ sources organic superfoods from across the globe that are packed with antioxidants. 

Continue Reading

Anti-Inflammatory Natural Superfood Support
Anti-Inflammatory Natural Superfood Support

by NM SEO February 10, 2021

One of the best ways to combat inflammation is by taking anti-inflammatory supplements like powders and capsules that can provide you with essential nutrients. 

Continue Reading

Ginger: Powerful Medicinal Root
Ginger: Powerful Medicinal Root

by NM SEO February 08, 2021

Learn about some of the medicinal benefits of ginger, which have been established by traditional and scientific research.

Continue Reading