We all know that protein is an essential part of our diets, but what exactly is it and why do we need it so much? For starters, if you’ve ever heard the term amino acids, this is actually protein. Technically speaking, chains of amino acids that can only be seen at the molecular level are what proteins are.
Proteins or these molecular chains of amino acids are essential to a number of bodily functions. Each type of amino acid has a different role in the body. When you eat and digest various types of foods, each of these protein chains are broken down into the amino acids that they contain, and these amino acids go to work in their respective fields of use.
For example, many proteins are essential to tissue and muscle growth while others are integral to digestion, and still others help signal hormones in the body.
Another essential thing to know about protein is that it helps keep you full. It’s not exactly an appetite suppressant, but it does help you feel fuller for longer than carbs do. This makes proteins great for athletes as well because it can help fill you up without bogging you down with carbs.
One thing to keep in mind if you are an active person, however, is that the more active you are, the more protein you need to eat on a regular basis. This is not only so that you can build stronger and leaner muscles, but it’s also so that you can get through long cardio workouts without needing extra energy from your food. Protein is also essential for bone health.
It is crucial that you get enough protein in your diet each day. To do this, try to eat an adequate amount of lean meats or fish, healthy cheeses like cottage cheese and feta cheese, nuts and seeds that contain protein and beans and legumes, which also contain lots of essential proteins in them. Doing this will ensure that your levels of protein are adequate on a daily basis and your body stays healthy and fulfilled with protein.