We all have heard that protein is an important nutrient that the body must get in enough quantities. But, have we ever thought of why have been people talking so much about this nutrient? What role does it play? Does it only serve the purpose of increasing the muscle mass? Or do they have some more benefits too?
Let us take a look the 7 things you need to know about protein, an essential nutrient without which we may not even exist!
1. Protein contributes towards our own Survival:
Every part of the body, including the cells, the tissues and the organs is made up of proteins. It is therefore important for us to maintain the protein levels in our body. The protein that is eaten is digested in the form of amino acids known as the building blocks of life. These amino acids, in turn, contribute in the making of protein that our body needs and the cycle continues. It is therefore important for all of us to consume adequate amounts of protein every day.
2. There are different kinds of Proteins that our Body needs:
The proteins that provide the essential amino acid that our body needs are obtained from animal based foods like meat, fish, poultry, eggs, milk and cheese. These proteins are known as complete proteins. While the incomplete proteins are obtained from foods like beans and rice. The incomplete proteins are usually low in content of one or more types of amino acids that are needed by the body.
3. How much Protein do you need to consume everyday:
This is a question that does not have an exact answer. But, there are various studies that have stated that a woman aged between 19 to 70+ years, needs to consume about 46 grams of protein every day. And a man aged 19 to 70+ years would need to consume about 56 grams of protein every day. This makes up about 10 to 35% of the entire food that one would be eating in a day. In a study performed by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Study (NHANES), it was found that men above the age of 20 consumed about 101 grams of protein and women consumed about 70.1 grams of protein in a day. This is almost double than the required amount of protein.
4. The Vegetarian Protein Plate:
It is a misconception that protein is only available in the animal based foods. People look forward to eating meat, and poultry products for the sole reason of increasing the overall protein intake. But, seldom do we understand that there are a number of plant sources that provide enough amounts of proteins as well. Foods such as beans, rice, peas, spinach, broccoli and more contain a lot of proteins and can fulfill the body’s needs up to a greater extent. Moreover, you will get a rich dose of fiber, Vitamins and antioxidants that are usually not found in animal based products.
5. More Proteins does not always result in more muscles:
People often think that increasing muscles need high protein intake. This is actually not really necessary. The amount of proteins that an average person consumes in a day is far more than the required quantity. Thus, athletes and bodybuilders may need only a little more than us. It is therefore seen that one need not put in extra efforts to increase the protein diet simply to increase body mass.
6. Too much Protein is Not Good:
When the amount of proteins you consume exceeds the amount that is required, they might have some adverse effects on your health. People eat a lot of red meat and animal based food that is rich in saturated fat. This increases the levels of bad cholesterol in the body, leading to a weaker heart. People suffering with Renal disorders should avoid consumption of extra proteins as proteins cause more strain on the Kidneys.
7. The Consumption of Proteins:
Now, that we are clear about what is protein, why is it an essential nutrient and how much of protein do we actually need. We move on to the next point that states when is the right time you should take protein. Proteins should be consumed every 3 to 4 hours in a day. You can divide the entire protein intake into 5 to 6 servings in a day. These should be made up of 3 main meals and 2 or 3 smaller meals that consist of protein snacks or shakes.
Keeping all these things in mind will help one monitor the exact amount of proteins being consumed. It is also a fact that too much of everything may result in to adverse effects. Therefore, it is important to make sure the amount of protein you are consuming in a day. Along with this you might also need to see the kind of proteins being consumed and the ways in which you are utilizing every bit of it.