Protein is unquestionably one of the more important nutrients. It is influenced by the fact that it is one of the more essential building blocks of muscle tissue as well as – a fact about which many people are oblivious – a metabolism booster. Therefore, it is worth familiarising oneself with more information concerning protein and using it in one’s diet.
What is protein?
Protein, as it has already been mentioned before, is one of the basic nutrients. The fundamental building blocks of proteins are amino acids:
- Endogenous (nonessential) – which can be produced by the organism from the proteins that are found in consumed products
- exogenous (essential) – which are not produced by the organism and have to be externally supplied in the diet
As it is visible, our organism is able to produce a certain number (precisely – 11) of amino acids, which are used to build protein. However, it is vital to remember that our organism needs as many as 20 different combinations of amino acids, therefore there are 9 left which have to be provided through appropriate food products.
The protein content in the diet of an adult should equal from 10 to 35 %. The level of this nutrient ought to be higher in case of children, pregnant women, or people actively involved in sport.
The role of protein in the organism:
Protein constitutes even up to ¾ of dry matter of the soft tissue in our bodies. The role of protein is invaluable. The most important tasks of protein are:
- reconstruction of bodily fluids and tissue
- gene regulation
- transportation and storage of substances, such as haemoglobin
- immunological protection of the body
- being a storage substance
- being a source of energy
- increase of metabolism speed
- helping to maintain young and healthy skin
Protein deficiency in our organism manifests itself through the decrease of body mass, fatigue, impossibility to focus, lack of strength to complete workouts, and in extreme cases – to do basic activities. Therefore, it is critical to ensure an appropriate level of this nutrient in our diet.
Products rich in protein:
There are numerous products rich in protein available on the market. The healthiest ones and those providing the greatest amount of proteins include:
- soya bean
- Parmesan cheese
- Cheddar cheese
- Gouda cheese
- white bean
- buckwheat groats
- natural yoghurt
- algae – spirulina and chlorella
- bee pollen
All of these products are essential elements of a healthy and appropriately balanced diet. It is worth memorising this list and permanently combining these products with our daily meals. Meat products ought to be permanently combined with products of plant origin – only in that way will we be able to provide the organism with all proteinogenic amino acids. Individuals who lead a healthy lifestyle and do workouts as well as those who want to lose some weight should absolutely pay special attention to the amount of proteins they consume, as research has shown that an increased level of proteins in our diet may increase the metabolism even by several percent!