Protein is an essential part of any diet, and its importance for optimal health cannot be overstated. In this blog, we'll take a look at what protein is, how it helps the body, and why it's so important for everyone who wants to live a healthy lifestyle. We'll also discuss some of the best sources of protein and how to incorporate them into your daily routine.
What Is Protein?
Protein is made up of twenty amino acids. Twelve of these are synthesized by the liver, while the remaining eight, which are called "essential," must be obtained from food sources. These essential amino acids are critical for optimal health because they help build muscle mass and support various bodily functions such as digestion, metabolism, hormone production, and cell regeneration.
The Impact of Inadequate Protein Consumption
Many diseases have been linked to inadequate protein consumption in the diet — especially among those who follow restrictive diets that don't always include enough protein from various sources. These diseases include metabolic disorders like diabetes as well as neurological issues like depression. Eating enough protein is key not only for sustaining optimal health but also for preventing disease down the road.
Here are Some of the Health Related Conditions to a Lack of Protein in Your Diet: osteoporosis; a weak immune system; fragile, soft nails; thinning hair; wrinkled skin; lack of muscle tone; sagging chin; breast cancer; hormonal dysfunction; heart problems; poor healing of wounds; increased aging; hypoglycemia; poor digestion; depression due to a lack of serotonin; incontinence.
The Best Sources of Protein
The richest sources of amino acids include legumes such as beans and lentils; fresh fish; free-range poultry; free-range eggs; nuts; seeds; fermented soy products like tempeh and miso; whey protein; hemp protein powder; pea or rice protein powder and fermented dairy products like yogurt and kefir.
Protein powder is an excellent source of protein that's quick and easy to use in a variety of recipes. It's also important to note that many diseases are related to inadequate amounts of protein in the diet – especially if you're trying to lose weight or maintain your current weight. Studies have shown that eating a high-protein breakfast can increase your body's ability to burn fat by up to 25 percent!
FAT BURNING BREAKFAST
Did you know that by eating a protein-rich breakfast you can increase your body's ability to burn fat by 25 percent and that the fat-burning action will last all day?
Carbohydrate-rich breakfast cereals, skim milk, and toast slows your fat-burning rate, keep you feeling hungry, and increase your food cravings. Worse yet, when you skip meals, your metabolic rate slows to conserve energy because you are starving your body.
Then when you do eat, the calories are stored as fat. The answer is to eat breakfast every day, along with several small meals throughout the day. Drink a protein-rich shake or mix protein powder into organic yogurt every morning for breakfast and an in the afternoon to ensure that your body feels satisfied and that fill fat-burning furnace is working at peak levels.
WHEY PROTEIN AND FAT-BURNING PROTEIN
Whey protein contains alpha-lactalbumin, glycomacropeptides, lactoferrin, and amino acids, including tryptophan and glutathione precursors. Each component in whey protein has a unique action. When all the components are combined, they have powerful healing capabilities:
• Alpha-lactalbumin in whey protein is the key to the manufacture of protein in your body. Its consumption enhances tryptophan and immune function and reduces the stress hormone cortisol, which causes your fat cells to become resistant to fat loss.
• Tryptophan, used by the brain to manufacture serotonin, is a key neurotransmitter. A tryptophan deficiency can lead to depression, anxiety, moodiness, and insomnia. People who lack serotonin generally eat more.
• Glutathione, the most powerful detoxifier in your body, is integral to a healthy immune system. It is an antiviral, that fights cancer, protects you against free radicals, and extends life. It is also important for a healthy liver.
Lactoferrin, an antioxidant, is a powerful antiviral and antibacterial agent shown to inhibit the growth of E Coli, salmonella, and Candida in the gut. It also helps ensure the optimal use of iron in the body by binding to it and preventing its oxidation.
The Health Benefits to Your Heart of Consuming Protein Powders:
PROTEIN PROTECTS YOUR HEART
We have all heard that often the first sign of a heart attack is death. Heart disease is the number one killer of North Americans and protein may be a powerful treatment in the battle against heart disease. Protein is essential in a healthy heart as it keeps our insulin levels stable.
The American Diabetes Association has always recommended that we eat more protein (30% of the diet should be protein) and fewer carbohydrates to keep our insulin normalized.
What does insulin have to do with heart disease?
High insulin causes certain enzymes to convert lipids in our bloodstream into the heart and artery-damaging substances. This is why diabetics are prone to cardiovascular disease. Small protein meals throughout the day have been recommended for diabetics and those with hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) as an effective measure in the treatment and prevention of heart disease and to maintain healthy insulin levels.
How Does Protein Consumption Affects Cholesterol and Triglycerides Levels?
The high content of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, and the relatively high phytosterol content of hemp protein, make it beneficial to cardiovascular health. Numerous human and animal studies have shown that the substitution of polyunsaturated for saturated fats can reduce the risk of sudden cardiac arrest and fatal cardiac arrhythmia, as well as reduce blood cholesterol levels and decrease the cellular proliferation associated with atherosclerosis.
A high polyunsaturated-to-saturated fat ratio, especially when it includes linoleic acid, has also been positively associated with reduced arterial thrombosis. Additionally, phytosterols, of which hemp seed contains 438 mg/100g, have been shown to reduce total serum cholesterol by an average of 10% and low-density lipoprotein "bad" cholesterol by an average of 13%.
Why You Should Consider Protein Shakes Smoothies
A protein shake provides low-calorie, clean protein that will enhance your burning furnace. Whey protein contains the hormone CCK, which makes you feel full and satisfied, thereby reducing food cravings. Fermented soy powder was recently studied at Beth Israel Medical Center in Boston for its effects in promoting weight loss in obese animals.
Animals fed fermented soy powder lost as much as 64 percent of their body fat. As well, they did not eat as much food as the animals who didn't get fermented soy powders, providing evidence that food cravings were reduced. Protein shakes are refreshing, provide quick energy, and are a wonderful alternative to caffeine-laden beverages.
Excess consumption of caffeine can lead to a magnesium deficiency resulting in heart palpitations, twitchy eyelids, high blood pressure, anxiety, sleep disturbances, stress, osteoporosis, restless legs, urinary tract infections, and fibroid breast cysts. Protein also keeps your blood sugar levels stabilized. Healthy blood sugar levels are key to reducing body fat.
When you eat carbohydrate-laden meals like (white sugar, white flour, white rice, white potatoes, breakfast cereals, and white pasta), you also dramatically increase your blood sugar and subsequent release of insulin. When insulin is too high it increases your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. If when blood sugar is too low (hypoglycemia) from not eating enough protein, you will experience mood swings, feel lethargic and weak, and crave food.
The Canadian and American Diabetes Associations recommend that 30 percent of the diet should be from protein sources. You can maintain healthy insulin levels by eating small protein meals throughout the day.
How Much Protein Do You Need?
Adult men 70g; Adult women 58g; Pregnant women 65g , Lactating women 75g; Girls aged 13-15>>62g; Girls aged 16-20>> 58g; Boys aged 13-15>>75g; Boys aged 16-20>>85g.
Recommended dosage: One or two scoops of whey protein powder will provide up to 30 g of protein. Two rounded tablespoons of fermented soy powder provide approximately 11 g of protein. One egg provides 6-8g of proteins.
One ounce (30 g) of meat, fish, or cheese will provide 7-8 g. of protein. Four ounces (113 g) of tofu provides 7 g of protein. Vary your sources of protein and include two shakes per day, one for breakfast and one in the afternoon.
The higher the biological value (BV) of protein, the more complete the protein is, meaning the more essential amino acids it contains. Cow's milk is the perfect protein, and the next best protein is the egg, against which all other proteins are measured.
Some people have greater protein requirements than others. If you are very active, exercise strenuously, do heavy labor, or are pregnant, you will need more protein than if you are a couch potato. On average, you should make protein 15-20 percent of your diet.
When choosing your protein sources, opt for free-range poultry and eggs and wild fish over farm-grown to avoid contamination from antibiotics and growth hormones. Purchase nuts in the shell and buy organic legumes. If you need to keep your glucose levels stable, split your protein requirements into three or four small portions and eat them spaced throughout the day. Women rarely get enough protein because of their food choices and calorie-restrictive diets.
In conclusion, adequate intake of protein is essential if you want to maintain optimal health over time. Not only does it help build muscle mass and repair cells it also increases your body's ability to burn fat by 25 percent!
The best sources of protein come from legumes, fresh fish, free-range poultry and eggs, nuts, and seeds as well as protein powders made from peas or rice which can easily be added into drinks or smoothies for a quick boost throughout the day. Make sure you're getting enough essential proteins in your diet so that you can stay healthy for years to come!