A Major Difference Between Animal And Plant Hormones Is That: Protein – Why Do We Need This Essential Nutrient?

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Protein – Why Do We Need This Essential Nutrient?

What is Protein?

Protein is one of three macronutrients that are required to be eaten in relatively large amounts each day (the other two are carbohydrates and fats). Protein is basically many amino acids joined together. The digestive system breaks down proteins into amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks of the body – most parts of the body require protein from amino acids in order to function properly, not just muscles.

Protein serves as a source of energy for the body and to make up various structural components of the body (such as muscles, bones, nails, hair and skin).

Protein also has important functional roles in the body – the body uses protein from food to make the amount of protein needed in the body. Some of the actions of proteins in the body are: the activation of enzymes, the movement of skeletal muscles, the transport of various important substances through cell membranes, the activation of the communication of various hormones, the provision of blood clotting, as well as the regulation of fluid balance. and pH.

Protein makes up at least 50% of the human body (not made up of water).

Essential and non-essential amino acids

Protein contains various amino acids, which are needed to maintain life. There are 20 amino acids found in protein. Amino acids come in three forms:

Essential amino acids – these amino acids cannot be produced by the body (either at all or not enough to be effective) and must be consumed through the diet. There are 9 essential amino acids:

  • Histidine
  • Isoleucine
  • leucine
  • lysine
  • Methionine
  • Phenylalanine
  • Threonine
  • Tritophan
  • Valina

Non-essential amino acids – these amino acids are able to be synthesized from essential amino acids (and also from glucose) so they do not need to be consumed through the diet. There are 11 non-essential amino acids Conditionally essential amino acids – these amino acids are normally non-essential, but they become conditionally essential in special circumstances (infants/infants cannot make their own taurine, phenylketonuria makes the amino acid phenylalanine essential for the individual with this disease as it cannot synthesize it, plus there are other cases where some non-essential amino acids can become essential).

Protein sources

Animal sources of protein usually have higher levels of some essential amino acids than plant sources of amino acids – with the exception of soy (a type of legume), which contains all the essential amino acids. Other legumes (such as dry beans, lentils, peas) and peanuts also have balanced levels of essential amino acids and are considered a good source of protein, especially for vegetarians.

Fruits, vegetables and whole grains do not contain much protein compared to meat protein sources.

Protein quality

Protein quality is considered to be either:

  • high-quality protein, or
  • low quality protein

Protein quality is determined as high or low quality due to:

  • Solubility (or bioavailability) – How easily a protein source is digested and absorbed in the gastrointestinal system is a factor
  • Essential amino acids – A food source that contains all the essential amino acids in abundance and at a similar level is another factor (complete proteins have all the essential amino acids in the right combination and levels, while incomplete proteins)

Complete and incomplete protein

Carnivores generally eat plenty of high-quality protein foods, while vegetarians (and especially vegans) need to combine specific foods together in order to get a meal that has high-quality protein—though not impossible, it takes extra work. and some vegetarians may not be. aware that protein quality is a factor in the amount of protein they absorb. A protein-rich food is considered a complete protein if it contains all the essential amino acids in high amounts. Foods rich in protein, but lacking sufficient amounts of essential amino acids, are considered incomplete proteins.

Most meat/fish/eggs and other meat by-products are complete proteins, so most people will get the adequate protein and essential amino acids they need just by eating regular meals. Vegetarians, on the other hand, have a little more work to do in order to get all the protein and essential amino acids they need, since most legumes, beans, nuts, and peas are incomplete proteins.

In order to get the recommended amount of protein each day, we need to eat protein at every meal, or at least a combination of incomplete protein foods to get a complete protein.

Protein for vegetarians

Vegetarians should ensure that they get enough high-quality protein in their diet from the food they eat. Since soy is the only plant food that is a high-quality protein, it can sometimes be difficult (but not impossible) for some strict vegetarians (vegans) to get enough protein from their dietary intake. Lacto-ovo and lacto vegetarians (who consume either eggs and dairy or just dairy) have less difficulty getting high-quality protein because milk and eggs in particular are very good high-quality protein foods.

Vegetarians (or those who want to adopt a vegetarian diet) would do well to seek the help of a nutritionist to ensure they are consuming adequate amounts of all nutrients and especially high-quality protein (to ensure who are consuming enough essential amino acids).

For more information about health and nutrition, visit http://www.vitalhealthzone.com

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