Over the last few years and the many diets and nutritional trends we have all heard about protein. You may have some questions like:
- What is a protein?
- Why are they important?
- How much protein should I eat?
- What foods have proteins?
I’m willing to bet you have more questions than answers on the topic. I’m going to give you some clarity on protein and the role it plays in a diet rich in whole foods.
What is a protein?
Proteins are made up of amino acids- the building blocks of all life. There are two types of amino acids.
The first is are the essential amino acids which our bodies do not produce and therefore we have to get them from our food. The second time are the non-essential amino acids, and these as nature would have it, our bodies do produce.
Why are proteins important?
Since we need amino acids to basically continue living our bodies do not function will without enough protein. Protein is important in the growth and repair, carries substances throughout the body, replaces exhausted cells, and produces the hormone which controls body fat.
How much protein should I eat?
The amount of protein you need varies based on a few factors. The key factor being your activity level. The minimum recommendation for protein is 0.8g per kg of body weight for sedentary individuals. This amount stops you from going into protein deficiency but to thrive you should consume more than that amount. This ensures that your immune system and metabolism work well ; you are able to feel satisfied when eating; and your weight maintenance and performance are all optimal.
What foods have in protein?
While most foods have in some amount of protein this list (which is not exhaustive) focuses on protein rich foods.
- dairy products
- protein powders (not whole foods but if you are vegetarian or can’t handle large amounts of meat or fish it may be necessary to consume these)
Want to learn more about nutrition and health?
If so, and you would like to learn more, consider my Whole Life Nutrition Coaching. You will learn more about nutrition and the role it plays in optimal health. I’ll work with you to discover the underlying factors that sabotage your efforts at better nutrition and work on strategies to improve it.