Protein (protein – from the English “protein”) is a complex high-molecular compound consisting of many amino acids connected in the chain by the peptide. Protein is the most necessary building material for all living organisms.
In the course of a person’s life, proteins play a crucial role. The body uses it to build new tissues, hair, nails. Protein molecules are involved in complex biochemical processes, synthesis of enzymes, hormones. Bone, muscle, cartilage, skin, and blood contain a high percentage of protein (protein).
Squirrels have a crucial role to play in key vital functions:
- They transport molecules all over the body.
- They contribute to the regeneration of damaged cells, form new ones.
- Protect the body from pathogenic bacteria, viruses.
- Provide normal growth of the body, development of children, adolescents.
- Guarantee the normal course of pregnancy.
Lack of protein in the body leads to the dysfunction of internal organs. In a severe case, a person loses the ability to grow, loses muscle mass, disrupts cardiac and pulmonary activity. Without adequate complex therapy, protein deficiency leads to premature death.
The value of protein to the body
For normal life, the body needs 22 amino acids – 13 of them it can synthesize independently, and 9 come with food. Amino acids are formed during protein absorption. The diversity of amino acids is explained by combinations of proteins, the general list of which consists of more than a hundred thousand items.
Proteins take over the bulk of cellular processes. Thanks to them, the structure of tissues is updated, the internal organs of the person are fully functioning. Proteins are part of each cell, all internal systems, all kinds of tissues, mucous membranes. Special protein compounds perform enzymatic and hormonal functions in the body.
Protein function in the human body
Physiologists highlight 9 main functions of proteins:
- Transport. Hemoglobin is a protein compound and is the main component of the blood. It provides the attachment of oxygen molecules and transfers it to all internal organs and tissues. Carbon dioxide is transferred back through hemoglobin.
- Construction. Proteins are an active component of the formation of new cells and intracellular structures. They are a mandatory factor of cell membranes, hair, tendons.
- Defensive. To neutralize pathogens, foreign bodies require antibodies – special proteins that are formed as a result of complex immune reactions. In stopping bleeding, the leading role is given to fibrin, a protein formed from fibrinogen.
- Regulatory. Metabolism of nutrients is impossible without hormones, which include a variety of proteins. For example, insulin, necessary to regulate blood glucose levels, glycogen synthesis. Thanks to him there is an active transformation of carbohydrates into fats.
- The engine. The functioning of muscle fibers is impossible without special contractile elements. These are nothing but proteins – actin and myosin, which carry out the function of contraction of skeletal muscles and smooth musculature of some internal organs.
- Signal. External signals pass through the protein structures of cell membranes. The protein converts pulses and transmits them directly to the cell nucleus.
- It’s a spare. In animals, the protein accumulates only in the form of milk casein or egg globulin. In the blood-building system of man over time there is a breakdown of hemoglobin with further preservation of iron. This specific process leads to the formation of a ferritin complex. The decrease in ferritin rates is a signal of iron deficiency anemia.
- Energy. Assimilation of 1 gram of protein provides the body with 17.6 kJ energy. First of all, proteins break down into amino acids, and then into the final elements – water, carbon dioxide, ammonia. Proteins are only included in the energy formation process when all other components are used.
- Catalytic. Special protein elements are responsible for accelerating biochemical processes. Their participation is the main process in a living cell.
Daily protein rate for men, women, and children
Protein standard for women:
- Women who lead a normal lifestyle, who do not engage in sports: 0.8 grams per 1 kg.
- Provided that the woman is engaged in sports, is quite physically active: 1.5-2 grams per 1 kg.
- Pregnant women need protein: 2 grams per 1 kg.
Protein standards for men:
- Recommended protein dose for men with minimal physical activity: 1.2 grams per 1 kg.
- With moderate physical activity, the man should take: 1.6 grams per 1 kg.
- For men who are actively engaged in sports or engaged in heavy physical labor, the protein rate is: 2.0 grams per kg.
Protein standards for children:
- Infants under the age of 2.2-2.9g per kg.
- 1-3 years – 4 g per 1 kg.
- 3-7 years – 3.5 g per 1 kg.
- 7-10 years – 3 grams per 1 kg.
- Over 10 years – 2.5 grams per 1 kg of weight.
Standards for other categories:
- Those wishing to lose weight or following a low-calorie diet – 2.0 grams per 1 kg.
- People suffering from kidney disease – 0.5-0.9 g per 1 kg.
The need for protein is increasing:
- In the postoperative period, during the illness, at the stage of recovery.
- When performing heavy physical labor, intense sports loads. The need for protein increases twice against the background of accelerating metabolic processes.
- When the temperature drops in the off-season and the cold season. The body uses a lot of energy on its own heating.
- During periods of active growth and development of the body. For example, children need protein twice as much as an adult.
The need for proteins is reduced:
- In the warm period. When the ambient air temperature rises, chemical reactions in the body go differently, without requiring a large amount of energy.
- With age. The older a person gets, the slower the tissues regenerate, the less the need for protein.
- In the case when a person suffers from a disease associated with poor absorption of proteins
8 reasons to increase the amount of protein in the diet
Most people don’t eat enough protein a day. The deficiency of this important nutrient can lead to serious health problems. Numerous studies have shown that high-protein diets help not only to lose weight but also to get rid of some diseases associated with metabolic disorders.
Protein for a long time relieves the feeling of hunger
As studies show, unlike fats and carbohydrates, proteins contribute to better saturation. Thanks to the consumption of protein products, a person will no longer experience hunger and eats smaller portions.
Protein helps to reduce the level of ghrelin in the body. This hormone stimulates appetite.
Another useful feature of protein is its ability to increase the level of YY peptides. This substance is responsible for feeling satiated.
Studies have shown that appetite directly affects the process of weight loss. Women who increased the amount of protein eaten per day from 15% to 30% reduced the caloric content of the daily diet by 441 kcal. And they did it unintentionally, without any guidance from the experimenters.
To lose weight, you do not have to completely switch to a protein diet. Just increase the amount of protein consumed. To do this, you need to reduce the portion of rice or potatoes, but eat more meat or fish.
Protein helps build muscle and strength
It is no secret that protein is the main building material for muscles. Drinking enough protein helps build muscle mass. This is especially true for people involved in power sports.
Protein dishes should be included in the menu for people who lose weight. This will prevent muscle-burning instead of fat deposits.
Protein strengthens bones. The myth that protein increases acidity in the body and promotes the washing of calcium from bones has long since lost its relevance. Recent research proves that eating high-protein foods is good for bone health.
People who receive enough protein per day are less likely to suffer from osteoporosis and fractures. This is especially true for women who have entered menopause.
Protein helps to avoid night snacks
It turns out that eating enough protein food during the day, avoids night trips to the refrigerator. The study, involving men, found that increasing daily protein intake reduces the desire to snack late at night or at night from 25% to 60%.
A similar study was conducted involving obese adolescent girls. Most of them noted that their craving for food at night had decreased.
Scientists suggest that this effect is associated with the effect of dopamine on the body. This hormone plays an important role in the development of various addictions. Protein, in turn, helps regulate dopamine function.
Protein food disperses metabolism
Eating protein foods helps to accelerate metabolic processes in the body due to which excess weight goes away faster. This process is called the Thermal Effect of Food (TEF). It develops after each approach to the table. However, depending on what the person ate, its duration will vary.
Protein products contribute to the fact that TEF lasts longer by 5-15% when compared to fats and carbohydrates.
Scientists have proven that the consumption of protein products helps to accelerate metabolism. Thanks to proteins, the body can spend 80-100 kcal more.
One study found that people who consumed foods high in protein burned 260 kcal more than other participants in the experiment. The same number of kilocalories a person can spend if he will exercise for an hour.
Protein makes you lose weight even without calorie restriction
A high-protein diet results in a person automatically consuming fewer kilocalories per day. He’s just losing his craving for overeating. So the weight starts to go away very quickly.
One study found that increased protein content on the menu leads to the start of the weight loss process. Women who took part in the experiment increased their daily protein intake from 15% to 30%. In 3 months they lost 5 kg.
Another study, which lasted a year, involved 130 obese people. Compared to the control group, participants who consumed a lot of protein lost 53% more fat.
It is not enough just to get rid of excess weight. The result should be fixed and retained. This is a challenge for many people. One study found that increased protein intake helps control your weight after completing a diet. Increasing the number of proteins eaten with food from 15% to 18% allowed to reduce the rate of re-weight gain by 50% (when returning to the usual menu).
Proteins help the body recover from injury
Protein food helps the body recover faster after its injuries. This is quite logical, as proteins act as the main building material for cells, which has been proven in numerous experiments.
It protects against the weakening of muscles
Consumption of sufficient amounts of protein prevents the destruction of muscle fibers, the development of age-related sarcopenia. Sarcopia is an age-related disease characterized by atrophic degenerative changes in musculature. In severe cases, patients have a weakness, a tendency to fractures. All these processes significantly impair the quality of life of patients.
How do you know if you have enough protein?
To find out if your body has enough protein, you should just listen to your own feelings. Symptoms of protein deficiency are often confused with symptoms of exacerbation of chronic diseases.
Signs of a lack of protein in the body
- Reduced performance.
- Lack of vital energy, fatigue.
- Reducing sexual attraction. As a rule, the examination reveals the associated drop in the level of sex hormones in the blood.
- Weakening of immunity increased susceptibility to infections.
- Disorder of the functions of the nervous and digestive systems. First of all, blood vessels, intestines, pancreas suffer, metabolism is disturbed.
- Muscular atrophy develops in severe cases.
- Children experience stunted growth and physical development.
Signs of excess protein in the body
- Reducing bone density that develops due to calcium ingedging.
- Water imbalance leads to the formation of swelling, a disorder of absorption of vitamins, nutrients.
- The appearance of symptoms of gout – a disease that develops against the background of a significant excess of protein in the body.
- Significant increase in body weight. Excess protein affects liver function, which causes it to transform into fat deposits.
- Increased protein content in food can cause bowel cancer.
Which foods contain the most protein per 100g?
The human body needs amino acids for a full life. Proteins coming from food provide us with nine essential amino acids: threonine, methionine, tryptophan, lysine, leucine, isoleucine, phenylalanine, valid. In addition to these species in proteins quite a lot of replaceable acids, which are fully absorbed by the body. All valuable components come with food.
For this reason, nutritionists divide proteins into two types – full and defective:
- A full protein is the source of all nine essential amino acids (which the body cannot synthesize itself). In high concentration is found in meat, seafood, dairy products, soy. The largest amount of high-quality protein is found in eggs.
- The defective protein contains only a fraction of the essential amino acids. The source of this type of protein is almost all plant foods: cereals, seeds, nuts, legumes, vegetables, fruits (except soy and buckwheat).
Combining products with a full and defective protein ensures optimal absorption of both species.