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Why Protein Is So Important for Our Health and Best Food to Eat

HomeWellnessWhy Protein Is So Important for Our Health and Best Food to...

Our general health and well-being depend heavily on protein. Frequently referred to as the foundation of life, this macronutrient is necessary for a variety of physiological processes, like maintaining healthy skin, hair, and nails. Along with the other two macronutrients, fat and carbohydrates, proteins are essential for having a balanced diet. 

How you will fulfill daily protein requirements depends on your lifestyle, beliefs, budget, and even where you live. For example, you can order high-quality meat online in Sydney or grow legumes in a community garden in New York. If you live in the countryside in Brighton, you can have a small farm and make dairy products, or you can just visit local stores or farmers’ markets. 

Options are many and widely available, so you just need to make a plan, consult with a nutritionist, and create a proper diet for yourself. To better understand this immeasurable value of protein, here are facts about why it’s so important for our health and suggestions for the best food to eat rich in this nutrient.

Muscle growth and repair

Protein is a crucial element in building and mending muscles. It supports the repair and reconstruction of tiny muscle fibers that are damaged during physical activity. For those trying to develop and maintain muscle mass, including athletes, and fitness enthusiasts, protein is a mandatory part of their diet.

This is supported by scientific data and years of studying the impact of protein on muscle health. According to a 2011 study from the University of Texas, carbohydrate-protein supplementation after exercise can minimize the extent of muscular injury and speed up healing. 

Enzyme and hormone production

Proteins play a large role in the synthesis of hormones that control a variety of bodily functions. Hormones serve as messengers that provide messages to various organs and tissues, controlling physiological activities, such as metabolism and development. 

On the other hand, enzymes are proteins in charge of supporting biochemical reactions, like digestion and cellular function. So, if you want to improve the enzyme production in your body, you should eat more protein, as well as chew your food longer. 

Immune function

A strong and healthy immune system requires protein. It helps in the production of antibodies — specialized proteins that aid in the body’s defense against sickness and infection. 

A diet low in protein might weaken the immune system and increase your susceptibility to disease. This is because proteins consist of amino acids that help T-cells and B-cells to be efficient against germs and other harmful pathogens in the body.    

Tissue repair and wound healing

Eating protein-rich food can help the healing of wounds and repair damaged tissue. In 2022, Chinese researchers found that taking proteins will speed up the healing process by making it faster go from the inflammatory to the proliferation phase. 

One of the considerably important proteins is collagen which gives skin, bones, tendons, and other connective tissues structure and strength. Not only it’s important for accelerated healing, but also one of the biggest anti-aging resources. High-protein foods, like meat, dairy, and fish contain amino acids glycine, hydroxyproline, and proline that make collagen.   

Weight regulator

Eating protein can keep cravings at bay, helping you to resist those late-night snacks that made you gain weight. A 2011 study from the University of Missouri found that if you increase protein intake, it can lower the desire to eat at night almost by half. 

Being that protein is the most filling of all three macronutrients, it can help you control hunger levels. Basically, if you intend to lose weight, you can reduce carbs and fat portions, and increase proteins in your diet. 

food protein

Best protein foods to eat for proper protein intake

To ensure proper protein intake, it is important to consume some of the following foods:

  • Lean meats

They are low in fat and rich in essential amino acids that our body requires for various functions. Chicken, turkey, fish, and lean cuts of beef and pork are excellent sources of essential amino acids that the body can’t produce on its own.

  • Eggs

Eggs are a great source of protein and contain all the essential amino acids needed by the body. You can use them in a variety of dishes or eat them solo, for example, poached or fried. Egg whites are pure protein and low in fat, making them great for weight management diets.

  • Dairy products

Dairy products, like milk, yogurt, and cheese are rich sources of protein, calcium, and other essential nutrients. Greek yogurt, in particular, is known to be high in protein and can be a healthy option for snacking or adding to meals. Cottage cheese is another dairy product that is rich in protein and low in fat. It can be eaten on its own or added to salads, wraps, or as a topping for fruits for an extra protein boost.

  • Legumes

Lentils, chickpeas, black beans, and peas are legumes, plant-based sources of protein, and the favorite choice of food of vegans and vegetarians. They can be used in soups, stews, and salads, or made into delicious spreads, like hummus.

  • Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds, including almonds, peanuts, chia seeds, and quinoa, are packed with protein, healthy fats, and other essential nutrients. They make for a convenient and portable snack option, and can also be added to salads, smoothies, or baked goods for an extra protein boost.

Finally

The reasons why protein is so important for our health can’t be overstated or overlooked. Thankfully, you can easily find the best food to eat that will provide you with adequate protein intake from various sources, like farmers’ markets and online vendors. However, always consult with a medical professional and nutritionist before starting any diet to ensure it serves your well-being properly.

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Nina Simons
Nina Simons
Nina is a lifestyle blogger, yoga aficionado and a travel enthusiast with a distinctive taste for home decor. She's passionate about learning new things and sharing meaningful ideas. In her free time, she loves to design clothes and furniture.

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