Protein is the most important component that makes up the human body. It allows the body to maintains and regulate itself and takes care of everything from keeping your hormones balanced to rebuilding damaged muscle.
Here are 20 facts about protein you may not have known…
1. Proteins are complex organic compounds made of hydrogen, nitrogen, carbon, oxygen, and sulfur. They are the only source of nitrogen found in the body.
2. Your body needs protein for repair of muscles and tissues and for growth and each cell of the body contains proteins. All body fluids except urine and bile contain proteins.
3. It’s a big debatable subject but most people need around 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of their body weight. Proteins make up more than half of your body weight. You may need more if you do strength training, as higher levels of protein are required to repair damaged muscle fibres. (Disclaimer: Check with your Doctor first before increasing your protein levels!)
4. Approximately eighteen to twenty percent of your body is protein. Your body contains about one hundred thousand different types of proteins needed for different chemical reactions that take place in your body every second.
5. There are two types of protein, which are incomplete and complete. Incomplete proteins only consist of a small quantity of one or more essential amino acids and complete protein contains all of the essential amino acids.
6. Complete proteins can be acquired from sources like poultry, fish, milk, eggs, meat, and cheese with eggs being the richest source of a complete protein.
7. Incomplete proteins are most plant-based foods like nuts, vegetables, peas, seeds, beans, and grain.
8. Protein is made of twenty essential amino acids, which form the molecular building blocks of your body and are considered either non-essential or essential. When your body eats foods with proteins, your body will break the proteins down into amino acids.
9. Some rich sources of proteins are dairy products like yogurt, milk, and cheese. They also give your body essential vitamins and calcium, keep bones and teeth strong, and can help to prevent osteoporosis.
Vegan or vegetarian? Eat your beans!
10. For vegans and vegetarians, some of the best sources of protein are beans, whole grains, red kidney beans, lentils, and soybeans. A half cup of beans contains almost the same quantity of protein as 85g of beef!
11. Having a proper balance of proteins in your diet will help you more efficiently lose weight. Eating protein rich foods will make you feel full for a long time and lean protein sources tend to be low in calories. However, eating too much protein and going over your required calories will cause you to gain weight.
12. Children up to six months should have at least 9.1 grams of protein daily, seven to twelve months should have 11 grams or more. One to three years are recommended to have 13 grams, four to eight years of age 19 grams, and nine to thirteen years 34 grams a day. (Source http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/much-protein-should-child-have-4225.html)
13. Proteins are not stored in your body like carbohydrates and fat. They can exist for a few minutes or even a year but on average, their lifespan is two days.
14. Not counting water, the most abundant kind of molecule in your body are proteins.
15. Although protein is essential to your body if they are consumed in excess can cause different health problems like dehydration, kidney stones, and urea excretion. What is ‘excess’? Ask your doctor!
16. Proteins come in many sizes and shapes. A protein molecule is a chain-like molecule which is so long, it folds in on itself. The smaller are amino acids like the kind you find in BCAA supplements, which form a chain to become a peptide.
17. When compared to many foods it has been found that insects provide higher levels of protein!
18. Protein provides ten to thirty-five percent of the calories that your body needs on a daily basis. However, this is down to each individual person and some people will have this figure as high as fifty percent. (Source http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/how-much-protein-do-you-need-every-day-201506188096)
19. Athletes need more protein than an average person does. How much protein will depend on their type and level of activity. On average, an adult male will need one hundred nineteen grams and an adult female will need sixty-six to ninety-four grams a day.
20. If you are not eating enough protein your body will take the protein it needs from your muscles. You may lose some of your precious gains!
And there you have it! Did you know all these? Pretty mind-blowing isn’t it? And now you know, and Knowing is half the Battle!
Until next time…Keep feeding the Brain, its always hungry for knowledge!