We live in a society in which we like to take care of ourselves more and more, both for purely aesthetic reasons and for health. And this has allowed us to talk more and more about elements such as collagen or proteins , for example. And precisely the latter are the ones that we now want to discover in depth.
Thus, with this article you will be able to know what protein is , why it is important and even in which foods it is most present.
what is protein
The etymological origin of the word protein, a term created in the 19th century by the chemist Jöns Jacob Berzelius, is found in Greek. It derives exactly from the sum of "protos", which means "first", from the suffix -eios and from the suffix -ina, which is used to name chemicals. In this way, it is how said word was created, which comes to define a type of macronutrient that becomes fundamental when it comes to developing muscle mass .
Specifically, said development takes place when the aforementioned proteins are broken down, thus going on to 'nourish' the aforementioned muscle mass. A situation that, in addition, considerably favors what is the metabolism.
What are proteins made up of? Of amino acids, which come to be organic compounds of oxygen, nitrogen, carbon, sulfur and even hydrogen.
Likewise, it must be taken into account that macronutrients, among which are also fats and carbohydrates, also provide us with the daily energy we need.
Protein benefits What is it for?
As we have mentioned, what protein basically does is give us energy and, in the same way, contributes to the development of our muscle mass. But this is not all, because it should also be noted that eating foods rich in it helps us feel more satisfied and, therefore, to reduce our appetite.
In the same way, it must be taken into account that different studies carried out around these macronutrients that concern us, such as those published in PubMed.gov , have yielded really interesting data. Thus, for example, they have determined that those who eat foods rich in them have better cognitive performance and even a better state of mind.
It goes without saying that they are also considered to help keep the bones in good shape and contribute to recovery after having suffered some type of injury. Moreover, it is established that they play an essential role in the proper functioning of the endocrine and immune systems.
And there is even more, since they are essential for the growth of children as well as for any woman to face a healthy pregnancy.
How much protein is healthy?
There are many people who want to achieve an enviable physique and who choose to make proteins the keys to their diet. But are they doing the right thing?
In order for them to know if they are acting properly and healthy, they must be aware that this will depend on certain factors such as their level of physical activity, their age and also their sex. But starting from these premises, it has been determined that an adequate and safe level of protein for any individual should range between 0.8 grams and 2.2 grams of protein per kilo of body weight. Being this last quantity, the 2.2 grams, the adequate one for what athletes are.
If this is not true, both metabolism and muscle mass could be harming and even what are the hormonal levels.
Main sources of protein
Many are the foods that are currently considered good sources of protein. However, among the most significant we can highlight some such as nuts, shellfish, meat, eggs, milk, beans and even seeds.
Of course, without forgetting legumes such as lentils and white beans, quinoa, salmon, Greek yogurt, chia seeds or edamame.
Likewise, it is important to keep in mind that there are two types of food sources of protein:
Those with complete proteins , that is, those that provide the nine essential amino acids (methionine, threonine, histidine, valine, tryptophan, isoleucine, phenylalanine, lysine and leucine). In this food group are quinoa, chia seeds, meats and dairy products in addition to soybeans. What's more, we must not forget that there are supplements that also provide those, such as Energy 3 and Keto Sport .
Those with the incomplete proteins , which only have small amounts of them. These are legumes and cereals as well as nuts, for example. Hence, it is recommended to combine several of these foods in order to achieve a more 'perfect' diet in this regard.
All of them can be used when you want to enjoy an organism that is not deficient in terms of these macronutrients given their importance. However, as we have already indicated above, you can also choose to use their accessories that are for sale. The important thing is that the body has the necessary amounts of protein for its proper functioning.