The most important nutrient in the body : Protein

Hello everyone, hope all of you are doing good and are keeping healthy and happy. This article is all about a nutrient that we must eat on a daily basis to lose weight, get healthy hair and skin, to stay happy and for longevity. This nutrient is Protein. We all vaguely know protein as an important macro nutrient. Protein is needed in the body for building, maintaining and replacing tissue. While protein is the single most important nutrient for weight loss and for a better looking body, in reality all of us know very little about this important nutrient. This article is about getting you all a better insight to know all about protein.

Some basic facts

  • Protein is the most important macro nutrient in the body
  • It helps in deciding our body structure and is involved in cell divison for growth, reproduction and healing
  • Protein are made by different combinations of 20-21 amino acids. Out of these 9 amino acids are called essential amino acids
  • Appoximately 16-20 % of our body weight is due to protein
  • The lifespan of proteins is only two days or less
  • Our hair and nails are made up of a protein called keratin
  • Each gram of protein provides you with 4 calories

Plant protein

  • Plant protein lack some of the essential amino acids
  • But they may still be healthier than animal based protein
  • This is because plant protein contain less fat and no cholesterol
  • Plant protein also contains loads of dietry fibre
  • These right plant based food can be excellent sources of protein often with fewer calories than the animal products
  • Some plant products like soy beans and quinoa are complete proteins which means they contain all nine essential amino acids

Benefits of high protein diet in weight loss

  • Protein rich food make you feel fuller for a long time which means you end up eating less
  • The amount of energy required to digest protein is more, hence more calories get burnt in the body
  • Protein boosts metabolism in the body
  • Protein assists in development of lean muscle mass in the body
  • Protein helps to look after muscle wear and tear in the body
  • Protein assists the body in cells divison, growth and reproduction

What food is best for protein ?

 BestGoodFairAverageOk
VeganPulses with legumes and grainsSeedsSoyGrains and nutsVeggies
Veg with milkPulses with legumes and grainsMilkSeedsSoyGrains and pulses
Veg  with eggsEggsPulses and legumesMilkSeedsSoy
Non vegLean meatEggsFatty meatPulses and legumesMilk
SupplementsHigh activity level

Amount of protein in different food

FoodServingCaloriesProtein
Pulses and Legumes30 grams1007 grams
Eggs1707 grams
Lean Meat40 grams7510 grams
Soy30 grams1109 grams
Seeds1 tbsp201.5 grams
Milk1 cup1608 grams
Paneer45 grams1188 grams
Dahi250 ml1558 grams

How much protein do you need in a day ?

  • As a guideline, adults consume atleast 0.83 grams of protein per kg of body weight
Activity levelProtein per day
Low0.8 grams per kg body weight / daily
Medium1.2 grams per kg body weight / daily
High1.4 grams per kg body weight / daily
High with strength training1.6 grams per kg body weight / daily
Professional athlete2 grams per kg body weight / daily

Some other important facts

  • During poeriods of growth such as childhood, pregnancy and breastfeeding, protein needs of our body is relatively high
  • During old age, our protein to energy ratio begins to increse
  • For people with kidney issues, excess protein can be problamatic

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