The Importance Of Protein In The Body
Benefits of Protein In The Human Body
Protein is important because it is one of three macronutrients (like fat and carbohydrate), which your body needs each day.
What Are Proteins Made Of?
Protein is made up of amino acids, which are building blocks that help build, repair and maintain body tissues. It also oxygenates the body to supply it with the nutrients it needs, makes enzymes that help with digestion, and regulates hormones.
Why Protein Is Important
While our bodies can make some amino acids, there are others, called essential amino acids, which our bodies can’t make. Instead, we need to get essential amino acids from the food we eat (think about protein-rich foods such as dairy, eggs, poultry, fish, meat, seeds and nuts). Protein is needed in diets to help bodies repair cells and make new ones, essential for growth and development in children.
Are All Proteins Created Equal?
Not all proteins are equal. High-quality protein found in foods, such as dairy foods, eggs, lean beef and pork, poultry, fish and soy, contain all of the essential amino acids your body needs. It’s key to get enough protein, because diets higher in protein have been shown to help preserve muscle with age, curb hunger and maintain a healthy weight.
How To Identify Protein On Food Labels
If you tend to look at food labels, then you’ve likely seen “% Daily Value” on the packaging. This is a guide which tells you how the nutrients in one serving of the food contribute to your total daily diet. Daily values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet for healthy adults. The Daily Value for protein is based on high-quality proteins only. Here’s a quick tip to understand how much high-quality protein is in a food: 5 percent or less means that it is low in protein; 20 percent or more means that it’s high in protein.