We need proteins to build muscle mass, burn off extra fat, and fuel our daily activities. Here’s everything you need to know about protein.
Proteins are made out of small molecules known as amino acids. They are the muscle-building blocks of our bodies.
We get some of these amino acids from our natural food source, and they are called the essential amino acids while the body takes care of the production of others.
Two Types Of Protein
We have the animal protein and the plant protein.
The animal protein is gotten from animal products such as meat, dairy, eggs, and fish. We can get all the essential amino acids from these products, and in the exact ratio, the body needs it.
Plant protein is gotten from a plant source. It can be a bit hard for vegans and vegetarians who don’t eat animal foods because it’s hard to get the essential proteins from plant protein. And even when you do, it’s difficult for the body to absorb it.
How Many Proteins Should You Take In A Day?
There is a reason it’s being referred to as the building blocks of life. Protein repairs the body tissues contributes to cell growth, and partake in so many other responsibilities in the body.
It is therefore paramount that we get enough of this nutrient on our diet. So what is the daily recommended value for your protein?
According to the Dietary Reference Intake, we should strive to get 0.8 grams of protein according to the kilogram of our body weight. It is also calculated 0.36 per pounds which means 56 grams per day for men and 46 grams for women
The daily recommendation by the DRI has been condemned as being too small to have any impact on the health of an average human being.
It was then discovered that the right amount of protein to take was dependent on each involved, taking into account things like how active the individual is, the age, current state of health, muscle mass, physique goals, and so on.
The Duties Of Protein In The Body
Proteins are known as the building blocks of the body. They are necessary nutrients needed for the making of the body organs, tissues, tendons, muscles, and the covering layer-the skin. But that’s not all they do.
Those strange things we hear about such as hormones, enzymes, neurotransmitters, and other molecules in the body that is as important are also made using protein. This is the reason why it is referred to as building blocks of life.
Everything we need to survive as humans is being created when the body has enough supply of proteins.
Protein And Body Weight
Protein helps in weight loss. It is an important nutrient for anyone trying to lose weight should focus on. This is because protein helps to suppress appetite.
What does this mean for you? Remember that to lose weight you will need to cut down on your calories.
It can only be possible if you find a means to cut down the calories by not eating too much and being careful of the number of calories that comes with each food.
Protein helps you to do this by making you less hungry after you’ve consumed a meal packed with protein. It fills you up and keeps you from being hungry in a short time, unlike carbs and fat.
Another thing protein does increase your metabolism rate. The higher your metabolism, the easier it is for you to burn fat.
Eating a food source with 30 percent protein nutrients is enough to trigger the body’s metabolism rate to burn up to 80-100 calories per day even when you sit around doing nothing!
When you eat more proteins in a balanced diet meal, you find it easy to stop thinking about what to eat every other minute. It also makes you indulge less in midnight snacking.
Just by incorporating protein into your diet, you can lose 11 pounds in 12 weeks as a study has shown.
Prevention Is Still Better Than Cure
Have you ever thought to yourself, why did I ever add weight in the first place? I shouldn’t have allowed myself to slip like that!
Well, if you had more protein in your diet as compared to carbohydrates, fat, processed foods, and junks, you definitely would not have become overweight.
But as they say, a weight loss program is learning about how to maintain your new weight when you finally lose it.
This statement is true as many people who had gone through intensive dieting, and weight loss programs have gained times two of the weight they lost because they didn’t know how to maintain their new weight.
After getting your desired weight, it is advised that you eat more of protein in your diet along with fruits and vegetables with a little addition of fat and carbs.
This will not only help you in losing weight, but it would also strengthen your muscles that have been weakened by the weight loss program.
It helps to build up your muscle mass once again which also contributes to your burning of calories without you doing anything.
Muscle Builders Can Get Strength And Muscles From Protein
Bodybuilders cannot only get their toned muscles from lifting weight alone. They need to increase their protein supply.
Muscles come more from protein than any other source. With proteins added to your diet, you will be able to have the strength to help you lift those weights and get muscles.
For muscle builders, your muscle build-up is not dependent on the calories you eat but the daily gram of your protein intake.
To be able to build muscles, it is recommended that you aim to eat at most 1 gram of protein per your body lean mass (1.5-2.2 grams per kg) every day.
Although this recommendation is not fully established as there are many arguments about it.
Why Protein Goes Beyond Weight Loss And Bodybuilding?
Proteins have more people to offer their benefits rather than just weight losers and bodybuilders.
This is especially for athletes who engage in endurance sports such as marathons and races.
Someone who is recovering from an injury would also need protein to help in forming body cells that will quicken the healing process.
Elderly people will also need to increase their protein intake to prevent conditions such as osteoporosis and a decline in muscle mass.
Does Protein Pose Any Health Risk?
There have been some clouded and unfounded reports that adding too much protein in your diet leads to osteoporosis and kidney damage.
This could be because people who have these conditions are being told to limit their protein intake. But the conditions had nothing to do with the fact that they took a lot of protein.
Protein is necessary for preventing osteoporosis and not cause it. And it helps in lowering high blood pressure as well as fighting type 2 diabetes which is directly related to kidney diseases.
No evidence comes out strong to say a high protein diet has side effects or causes problems to the body.
How To Get More Protein Into Your Diet?
When you eat your meal which should contain more protein as recommended, you should make sure your protein source goes into your mouth first before any other food source.
This is because the protein goes in and increases the production of a gut hormone known as PPY which makes you feel satisfied without having to consume many calories.
Protein would also have you burning calories while you sleep by increasing your metabolic rate.
Also, the protein will help stabilize the effect of other high sugar sources in your food. These sources, when eaten alone, are likely to cause a spike in your blood sugar which could result in insulin resistance.
The daily recommended intake of protein sits at 50 grams each day which could be a bit low for some people depending on the factors that were listed above.
So you may decide to get some more protein into your body system through these easy steps:
1. Eat More Eggs
Animal protein will give you the essential amino acid the body needs for protein.
Eggs contain more protein than any breakfast cereal does. This is why it is more important to include eggs in your diet in place of bagels, toast, oat, or cereals.
Three large eggs are said to contain about 19 grams of essential amino acids.
Eggs keep you full, especially when you have them for breakfast, which means you get to eat lesser calories throughout the rest of the day.
They are even more beneficial because they also help in regulating cholesterol levels.
2. Enrich Your Salad With Protein
Salads are a mixture of different types of veggies which is good for health. But when they don’t contain protein, it is easy to become hungry after eating them.
This is why you should consider adding protein to your salads to get all the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
You can add eggs, chopped chicken or turkey breast, cheese, salmon, tuna, chickpeas, to your salad.
3. Eat Your Yogurt
Eat your yogurt with your choice of berries or any chopped fruits.
Eating Greek yogurt reduces your hunger cravings and makes it easy for you to wait until the next meal time without feeling the gaps with junks.
4. Sprinkle Almonds On Your Meals
Almonds do not just contain protein. They are also high in fiber, magnesium, monounsaturated fat.
Almond has a total calorie of 167 which is a bit high. But because the body does not absorb some of the fat, only 129 calories get into the body.
Sprinkle almond on your oatmeal, salad, cottage cheese, etc. to increase your protein intake.
5. Eat More Fish
Fishes like salmon, mackerel, sardines, are great sources of protein as well as omega-three fatty acids, two powerful nutrients for cell growth and development.
You can buy fresh or canned fishes. Canned fishes are handier as you can go anywhere with them. You can take them along with you to work as lunch or whenever you travel.
Either way, you are sure of supplying your body with the nutrients it needs to function properly.
6. Snack On Cheese
It could be cottage cheese, cheddar cheese, mozzarella, blue cheese, etc. A 28-gram of cheddar cheese contains 7 grams of protein while you can get 25 grams in a 225-gram serving of cottage cheese.
They are a better option than using junks and foods laced with hydrogenated oil as snacks. They are also more filling and removes thoughts of hunger from your mind.
Other protein foods you can add to your diet are peanut butter, lean meat (top sirloin steak). Ensure that each meal you eat contains at least 20-30 grams of protein.
The protein content must be in large amounts in each meal to get its maximum effect and feel satisfied throughout the day.