Proteins in Food

Proteins are the main source of materials for building of the muscle, blood, skin, hair, nails and internal organs, including the heart and brain. They are important for developing of all body tissues.

Proteins consist small building blocks, simple molecules – amino acids. There are twenty different amino acids that build a lot of different proteins. Amino acids build 2 proteins groups:

  • Essential amino acids These amino acids can not be created in our body and must be taken through food. They are important for physiological and biochemical process.
  • Non-essential amino acids These amino acids are necessary for basic processes in the body. They can be created in our bodies by carbs and essential amino acids.

Protein’s Roles

  • Primary role of the proteins is in the process of growth and development. Depending of the age and the sex, there are various requirements for proteins. Large amounts of proteins needs are during intense growth and in certain specific physiological conditions (eg. after a long illness, pregnancy).
  • The secondary role is recovery of damaged and dead cells, like: blood cells, kidneys, liver, muscles, hair, nails, teeth, bones.
  • Proteins in our body have and third, very specific role. They are necessary for:
  • reproduction of enzymes (molecules that accelerate biochemical processes).
  • reproduction of hormones (molecules that enable communication and coordination between the various biochemical processes of tissue).
  • reproduction of antibodies (molecules who make the immune system of the body and are responsible for defense against foreign substances, bacteria and viruses).

Proteins are large building part of the molecules of hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is the substance that distributes the oxygen in all cells in the body.

Protein’s needs amount depends of our activity and health condition.

Foods of animal origin such as meat, fish, eggs, milk, yogurt and cheese are good sources of protein in qualitative and quantitative terms.

Protein can not be stored in the body. The excess of proteins, body converts in glucose (sugars reserves). Proteins excess which will be used for synthesis of glucose, body converts in fat reserve. This can cause kidney problems and problems with the liver.

Food rich in protein is: meat, milk and milk diaries, eggs. Food from plant origin is rich in protein too. Some plants has deficiency of some essential amino acid but with various diet of plant origin, all this acids can be balances. Deficiency of essential amino acid causes anemia. Soybean is the only plant that contains all essential fatty acids

Recommended daily intake for adults is 0.8 g / kg. Athletes and pregnant women needs increase proteins intake.