As we know that surviving through 2019's pandemic has taught us that it is important to take control of our wellness. From our activity level of eating clean, people are learning to improve their quality of life. As we grow older, our body becomes more fragile, and all we have to do is to keep ensuring that we are taking the necessary action to preserve our wellness. Many may know there are three types of macronutrients: carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Today let's explore one of the important macronutrients - Protein.
What is Protein? Proteins are known to be the building blocks of life. Every cell in the human body contains protein and the basics of it have amino acids in it. It is found throughout the body in muscle, skin, hair, bone, and virtually other parts of the body or tissue which can be an important source to our health. We can track our protein intake and get a better sense of maintaining or choosing the healthy dietary choice that impacts our day-to-day health.
Here are some of the benefits of adding protein into our diet:
- It is fundamental in building blocks that help make up and boost each and every cell in our body. It may also repair the damaged cells and make new ones as it is important to the growth, development, and preservation of vital tissues like muscles in the body. The cleaner the food that we put into our body, the better our body will perform in the short and long term. Protein is particularly important during periods of rapid growth such as childhood, adolescence, pregnancy, and breastfeeding.
- Many of our body parts are widely main from protein - hair, eyes, nails, bones. It provides specific structures to body cells, giving skin elasticity.
- Maintain blood sugar level. Protein is a type of macronutrient that affects the blood sugar level lesser than carbohydrates and fats. Half of the protein intake consumes in compensating the daily protein loss, we get only half of the protein amount to use as glucose. On the other hand, the whole portion of sugar forms of carbohydrates is converted to glucose. That is why protein can affect blood sugar levels by just half compared to carbohydrates.
- Save from mood swings. Protein not only maintains a steady blood sugar level but also contributes to neurotransmitter functions and processes of synthesizing hormones like serotonin and dopamine which keep us calm and positive.
Protein can be found in animal and plant-based food. Animal protein refers to sources such as meat, fish, poultry, eggs, and dairy. On the other hand, plant-based protein refers to the sources of vegetables, whole grains, legumes, seeds, and nuts.
- Lean Beef
- Chicken breast
Is there a difference between plant-based and animal protein?
In general, animal protein is of higher quality as it provides a complete protein, containing all essential amino acids, whereas plant protein is an incomplete protein, providing only several essential amino acids to the diet. You may refer to the table below for the comparison of both.
|Animal-based protein||Plant-based protein|
|Absorption||90% absorbable||60-70% absorbable|
|Digestibility||85% digestible||95%-100% digestible|
|Calories||High in calories||Low in calories|
|Antioxidants||Low in antioxidants||High in antioxidants|
|Rich in||Saturated fat, sodium, calcium, zinc, phosphate, and vitamin B12||Unsaturated fat, fiber, potassium, magnesium, and folate|
|Supply of essential nutrients||all essential amino acids||several essential amino acids|
We believe that you will have no trouble meeting your protein needs with either animal or plant proteins, or even a mix of both, depending on your lifestyle.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It’s not intended to replace medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.