Everyone needs protein, but why is it so important for our bodies?
Here we explore 5 major reasons why we need protein, how much we need and how The Skinny Food Co can help with protein intake.
The short answer, protein is made up of Amino Acids, known as the building blocks of protein, that play many critical roles in the body.
Proteins in food can be found in animal produce such a meat, fish, eggs and dairy. Vegetarian and vegan high protein foods include Quorn, tofu, beans, lentils and pulses.
1. It is Essential for Growth and Repair
Protein is essential for the body to grow and repair. Without it, it would be impossible for your body to build, repair and maintain muscle tissue.
Protein helps with basic structure of the body, we rely on protein to repair our body throughout our lives. Our cells, organs, muscles, bones and connective tissues are built with the help of proteins.
2. It Provides Energy
Protein gives us with energy, with 1g of protein providing 4kcal it is one of the 3 major macronutrients that provides dietary energy.
3. Helps Produce Hormones
Proteins are also responsible for producing hormones. Hormones are chemical messengers that travel via the blood sending messages from one part of the body to another to help coordinate bodily functions.
Hormonal shifts occur throughout the day which can impact thing such as body temperature, turning enzymes on or off and using food as energy sources - therefore some proteins can actually control and influence the actions of other proteins.
4. It Makes up Enzymes
Some proteins act as enzymes which helps to accelerate and facilitate chemical reactions. These are likely to proceed by lowering the activation energy of the reaction, therefore making these reactions proceed a million times faster than they would.
For example, once a protein reaches your stomach, proteases (hydrochloric acid and enzymes) break it down into smaller chains of amino acids.
5. Protein Intake is Good for Your Fitness
Protein intake can help with your fitness regime whether you're gaining. For those who use weights need to be supported by sufficient protein intake.
Protein can also be beneficial for those who are wanting to lose weight. Many studies have shown that in trained individuals and those dieting, a higher protein diet came out on top.
Typically the best sources of protein are meats, fish, eggs and dairy products. Some plants are also high in protein as well, such as beans, pulses, quinoa, lentils and nuts.
Most people don't need to track their protein intake. Most adults need around 0.75g of protein per kilo of body weight per day (for the average woman, this is 45g, or 55g for men)
The Skinny Food Co have an extensive range of High Protein Products which can help with your protein intake, including snacks, spreads, ready meals, protein powders and drinks.