I have been penning down nutrition basics highlighting the role and sources of food nutrients. My last post was on carbohydrates and you can click on this link to read it (https://www.nutrientdoctor.com/2019/10/carbohydrates.html ).
Today's topic is on protein, roles, foods sources and certain secrets of it. Don't stop, keep reading😊😊.
Proteins are macronutrients (others include carbohydrate, fat and alcohol), providing the body with energy. One (1g) of protein supplies the body with 4Kcal. That means 20g of protein will be ......(if you said 80Kcal, you got it right 👍).
Proteins are broken into amino acids (BUILDING BLOCKS) in the body for utilization. There are twenty (20) amino acids divided into the essential and non-essential amino acids.
Essential amino acids: These are amino acids (9 of them) the human body cannot produce by itself. We must consume them from the foods to have access to them. They include Histidine, Isoleucine, Leucine, Lysine, Methione, Phenylalanine, Threonine, Tryptophan and Valine.
Non-essential amino acids: These are amino acids the human body can make on its own. They are Alanine, Arginine, Asparagine,Aspartic acids, Cysteine, Glutamic acid, Glutamine, Glycine, Proline, Serine and Tyrosine.
ROLES OF PROTEIN
1) Essential for muscle cell building
2) repair worn out tissues
3) Essential for wound healing
4) Provide the body with energy: Protein keep us full for a prolonged time in combination with other nutrient. This can decrease the need for sugar spikes in the blood that can lead to certain metabolic diseases like diabetes.
Food sources can be broken into two groups:
Complete protein sources: These food sources contain all 20 amino acids (essential and non-essential). They include all animal proteins such as beef, poultry, fish, pork, snail, milk, dairy (yogurt, cheese) and eggs. The only plant source termed complete protein is SOY BEANS & its products.
Incomplete protein sources: They lack one or more amino acids we need to build body cells. They include plant foods such as beans, peas, rice, corn, peanuts, bambara groundnut (okpa), millet, ukpaka (Castor seed flakes), nuts, seeds (chia seed & flax seed), oatmeal. In order to build complete proteins, plant foods need to be mixed together. This is called AMINO ACID COMPLEMENTATION (I will write on this in my next post).
SECRETS OF PROTEIN: Protein are great for in between meal snacks because they leave us fuller even in very small amounts. This is essential if trying to loose weight or maintain weight.
"So when next you get hungry for a snack, add a Protein"
Finally, it is important to note that when proteins are consumed in excess, they body converts them into BODY FAT leading to weight gain.
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