I have learned many important things about the benefits of eating protein everyday. Protein is a very significant macronutrient that our bodies need to function properly. It helps our body perform many vital functions and offers multiple health benefits. Protein is the building block of every cell, muscle, tissue and organ in the body including skin, teeth, nails, hair, eyes and the synthesis of hormones. In this article I will be discussing some of these fantastic health benefits in greater detail.
Protein comes from a variety of sources, including meat, fish, soy, eggs, milk, as well as beans, legumes, and nut butters. When proteins are digested, they leave behind amino acids, which the human body needs to break down food.
There are three types of amino acid proteins: essential, nonessential, and conditional.
Essential amino acids
The body cannot make essential amino acids. As a result, they must come from food. The nine essential amino acids are: histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine,
phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine.
Nonessential amino acids
“Nonessential” means that our bodies produce an amino acid, even if we don`t get it from the food we eat. They include: alanine, asparagine, aspartic acid, and glutamic acid.
Conditional amino acids
Conditional amino acids are usually not essential, except in times of illness and stress.
They include: arginine, cysteine, tyrosine, glycine, ornithine, proline, glutamine and serine.
**You do not need to eat essential and nonessential amino acids at every meal, but getting a balance of them over the whole day is important.**
Here are a few reasons for getting your daily dose of protein:
1) IT ACTS AS YOUR BODY`S BUILDING BLOCKS
Protein is imperative for creating new cells such as blood cells, bones, muscles and organs. It also helps maintain these cells and keep them healthy. Finally, it is essential for repairing these cells when they become damaged. Therefore, protein is essential at all stages of your life. When you are young and your body is still growing this macronutrient supports full and proper growth. When you are fully-grown it helps maintain a healthy body and repair any injuries you may suffer.
2) IT HELPS PRODUCE ANTIBODIES, ENZYMES AND HORMONES
Protein helps your body produce a number of important chemicals, which are essential for it to function properly. Antibodies support a strong immune system and help your body fight infection. Enzymes are essential for proper digestion and other chemical reactions in your body. Hormones send messages to the cells in your body. Without protein these chemicals cannot be produced so you need to make sure you are getting adequate levels of this important macronutrient.
3) IT HELPS YOUR CUTS HEAL
When you bleed your body starts to produce a stringy protein called fibrin. Fibrin covers the cut and helps it clot. Once the cut has clotted your body produces a protein called collagen. Collagen is your body`s connective tissue and helps produce new skin and scar tissue to heal the cut. If you do not consume enough protein your body will struggle to produce fibrin and collagen, which makes it difficult for your cuts to heal.
4) IT CAN HELP YOU LOSE WEIGHT
Protein is a great weight loss food for a number of reasons. First, your body uses more calories when breaking down protein than carbohydrates. So if you eat a 500 calorie meal of pure protein your body will burn more calories digesting this meal than it would digesting a 500 calorie meal of pure carbohydrates. Secondly, research indicates that protein can lower your appetite. It is not known why it has this effect on your appetite but a number of studies have suggested the amino acid leucine is the main influence.
As you can see protein is not just a building block for your body. It can help you control your appetite, heal your wounds and help your body function. If you are not currently eating protein on a regular basis I highly recommend you make this macronutrient a key feature of your daily diet. I have been taught to consume a minimum of 1/2 a gram of protein per pound of lean body mass on a daily basis; but more is better!