Protein is one of the main food groups we need in our diets to stay in tip top condition, as you likely already know from that big poster on the wall that every primary school in the country seemed to have next to the canteen (despite the canteen never having anything more than dinosaur shaped mystery meat nuggets).
It helps us with a number of things, from weight management to feeling satisfied after a meal and overall keeping us healthy. It’s usually found in animal products but vegans and vegetarians can get protein from sources such as tofu and vegetables.
Protein Focused Nutrition has many benefits including:
- Repair and Regeneration
- Weight Management
- Muscle building
- Chronic Disease Prevention
- Health Maintenance
Where does it come from?
It comes in different forms, complete and incomplete. We can find protein in meat, fish, poultry, dairy products, beans and legumes, tofu, soy products and nuts. Complete proteins provide the body with all the amino acids we need, which is what protein is broken down to in the body, these are vital for muscle building and repairing and regenerating our bones and skin. Meat, fish, poultry and dairy all come under complete proteins, as do eggs and grains such as quinoa and cous cous.
Other grains, such as those found in cereals, beans, vegetables, seeds and nuts don’t provide all the protein we need. You can of course combine incomplete proteins to ensure you get the benefits of eating a portion of a complete protein, eating a chilli for example – with kidney beans and rice.
How do you choose?!
Protein is one of the macronutrients that we need a lot of in our diets, along with carbohydrates and fats. Protein is basically what provides our body with the ability to repair and rebuild, making new tissue and muscle and repairing old. It’s absolutely essential to us. So choosing the right type of protein is really important to keep your body running as it needs to be. Lean meats and fatty, omega 3 rich fish, are the best choice.
- Chicken breast (avoid the dark meat!)
- Pork tenderloin
- Ground turkey or turkey breast
- Round or tenderloin cuts of beef
- Fish – Prawns
Eating incomplete proteins is just as important, we need micronutrients in our diets to prevent a diverse list of illnesses. The majority of these types of nutrients and vitamins we can find in fruit and vegetables, mainly the latter.
So by now you should realise the importance of protein – it helps your hair grow, your skin, your nails and cartilage as well as blood, bone and muscle – basically everything that makes you a functioning human.