The body’s main building block for bone, muscle, hair, skin, and several other tissues is protein. Over 12000 different proteins are found and needed in the body for maintaining life. In fact, after the water has been excluded 75 percent of the body weight consists of protein. Protein is considered a macronutrient that means that the body needs it in large amounts every day to function properly. When one eats protein, the body breaks it down into amino acids that are utilized for many purposes. Proteins also function as transport proteins like hemoglobin; an iron-containing protein that transports oxygen to exercising muscles via the bloodstream.
Best Food Sources of Protein
There are several food sources of protein. Here we have noted down a few common food sources.
- Eggs: King of food protein is the humble egg. A medium egg has 7g of protein of the highest biological value, meaning it comes complete with all twenty amino acids in the most digestible form.
- Whey protein: Whey protein is a complete protein and retains all nine essential amino acids and is extremely low in the lactose content.
- Milk: Dairy foods are mainly packed with protein and retain bone-building calcium.
- Yogurt: A combination of whey protein and casein, yogurt is an outstanding protein-rich food.
- Fish and seafood: Seafood and fish are excellent sources of protein and are usually low in fat.
Reasons to Include Protein in your Daily Diet
There are several reasons to include protein in your healthy diet. Here we have listed below a few common reasons.
Greater muscle mass and lean tissue
Eating protein greatly stimulates an enhancement in muscle protein synthesis and represses protein breakdown for many hours so that one end up with more lean tissue. Based on the availability of amino acids, the human body is constantly in the fluctuating state of the muscle loss and gain.
Any time one replenishes the pool of the building blocks by consuming protein, it’s a great thing, regulating muscle development. It has been proved that persons who consume more protein have more lean muscle mass, and a higher quality protein intake is immensely important.
Less hunger and lower calorie intake
High protein diets are commonly known for their fat-reducing benefits. One reason they act is that eating a lot of protein decreases hunger. Protein is filling when men and women consume more of it they are more quickly satisfied and eat fewer calories.
It has been found that with every one percent increase in protein intake, men and women naturally reduce calorie intake by between 30 and 50 calories regularly. Now you may have heard of men and women being hungry on a high protein, low carb diet. It is most likely their fat intake was too low or that their carb intake was not ideal for their needs.
Easier fat loss on a calorie- restricted diet
A high protein intake not only keeps the hunger at bay when trying to lose fat, it has the cool effect of enhancing the amount of calories the body burns to digest it. This is called the thermic effect of the food, and the protein requires nearly two times the calories to breakdown as carbs.
The powerful effect of protein for fat loss is in the preservation of lean muscle mass and your resting energy expenditure that is the amount of calories the body burns at first. Increasing calories one get from protein is the most well-known way to prevent the loss of lean muscle mass as the amino acids in protein stimulate protein synthesis to keep the muscle intact.
Better bone density and less risk of osteoporosis
A higher protein intake enhances bone density and reduces the risk of osteoporosis. It has been proved that a higher protein intake strengthens bones as the amino acids in protein are used to build bones.
A higher protein intake improves action of the hormone IGF-1, which is a major regulator of the bone metabolism, and you are already aware that more protein enhances muscle mass, that increases bone strength.
Better brain function
Protein is one of the most important memory brain foods. Eating high-quality protein that includes a variety of foods from animal sources provide the building blocks to produce chemical messengers involved in energy production, weakness, hunger, motivation and optimal cognition.
For instance, Carnosine, the omega 3 fats DHA, creatine, Vitamin B12, Vitamin D are all nutrients that are available from animal protein and are indispensable brain nutrients that can not be attained by the plants.
High protein diets have been found to allow men and women to sleep better and wake up less frequently during the night compared to high carb diets.
Protein can optimize the chemical transmitter balance, making us wakeful and energized during the day, but sleepy and restful at night.
Stronger tendons and faster recovery from injury
Tendons benefit in the same way that the muscle does from a high protein intake. Greater protein synthesis accelerates the repair of tissue and strengthens connective tissue for less risk of injury.
Higher essential amino acid levels will prevent muscle atrophy due to immobilization if you are restricted from training and this has also been found to reduce the time it takes to recover the original strength levels after an injury.
Greater life span and better quality of life as you age
If you are familiar with the qualities that enhance longevity, you know that muscle mass, physical strength, leanness, bone health, lower blood pressure, and brain function are all principal players in keeping you alive. Favouring protein and de-emphasizing carbohydrates will improve blood sugar tolerance, insulin tolerance, insulin health and reduce diabetes and heart disease risk as well.
On the other hand, low protein intake is a strong predictor of death in aging men and women because it leads to functional decline, loss of muscle mass and frailty. Certain proteins such as whey have been found to improve longevity by elevating the levels of the most potent antioxidant that is produced by the bodies, glutathione. Men and women with higher glutathione have less risk of disease and better quality of life as they age.
Include protein rich foods in your healthy diet as adequate protein can increase your lifespan by nearly ten years.