Protein

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Recently IMRB had conducted a survey on Indians to know the knowledge and daily consumption of protein which has produced shocking results. It is found during survey that proteins are missing from the diet of approx. 90% population. This survey is published in top daily newspapers of India like Hindustan times and Times of India on 2nd and 3rd June 2015 respectively.

This survey exposed the reasons behind this protein’s deficiency in diet.

  • Either the people were unaware of Proteins;
  • Few people were of the opinion that they do not need proteins as such because the diet they take; completes the protein need in body;
  • People who are sick or want to build their boy require proteins
  • Proteins make people gain weight;

These notion are myths and because of less or no knowledge about Proteins, people with protein’s deficiency suffers from

  1. Tiredness and weakness
  2. Low immunity,
  3. Weak bones
  4. Poor digestion
  5. Hormonal imbalances etc.

In this article we will discuss all aspects of proteins in detail like

  1. What is Protein?
  2. Need of Proteins in body
  3. Function of Proteins in our body,
  4. How the Proteins works in our body?
  5. Difference between complete and incomplete proteins
  6. Difference between Essential Amino Acids and non – Essential Amino Acids
  7. The amount of Proteins required in our body on daily basis.

What is Protein?

In simple words, proteins are basic body building block of human body. After water, protein is at no. 2 in our body. Our body made up of 20% of Proteins.

Function & need of Proteins in Human body

  • Structural function
    • Our Hair, skin, nails, ligaments, tissues, muscle fibers and even human heart is made of Protein.
    • Besides this, bone is mainly made up of collagen which is a fibrous protein.
    • Enzymes are also proteins whose function is to regulate digestion, absorption and utilization of food in body like to control chemical activities.
    • Our red blood cell has hemoglobin whose function is to supply oxygen in body and hemoglobin itself is a Protein.
    • The Antibodies that white blood cells produces in body to  defense against illness is also Protein. The contraction in our body is possible only because of muscle fibre which is made of Protein.
  • Human behavior, growth etc. all are hormones based and few hormones are proteins like Growth hormone which instruct cells to create growth I body. Human body is adversely affected in case lacks this hormone.
  • Insulin which controls blood sugar is also a Protein.
  • Protein is also a rich source of energy. Whenever lacks calories then it receives energy from the Proteins available in our body.

How protein works in our body?

Whenever we eat some proteins food, it breaks in amino acids during digestion. The amino acids are of 20 types in general out of which 9 are essential and 11 are non essential.

  1. Essential Amino Acids are those which our body cannot produce itself and we have to take then from our food.
  2. Non-Essential Amino Acids means that body can produce them of its own so non essential does not mean that our body does not require them but the body needs all the 20 amino acids.

The food source which contains all 9 essential acids, are known as complete proteins’ source foods like

  • Meat,
  • Fish,
  • Poultry,
  • Milk,
  • Eggs etc.

If we talk of plant based food sources like bean and grains these are very good source of proteins but these are incomplete as they do not contain all 9 amino acids but to complete them we can eat them in combination like beans and rice together will provide complete proteins to body.

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