Why protein is important

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The Importance of Protein in Your Daily Diet

Protein is very important in helping the body stabilize hormone levels and provides the building blocks that it needs to build bones, muscles, cartilage, skin and blood. One of the key reasons why protein is important to the body is because it is a crucial food element that is key to the body's ability to build and repair muscle tissues. Since protein is soluble and is not stored in the body, it has to be replaced on a frequent basis. There is no protein reservoir in the body, so it uses what it has when it receives it and doesn't create more nor does it store it.

Another reason why protein is important is because it does an exceptional job in increasing satiety and decreasing hunger. This is quite effective in reducing overeating by keeping the body feeling full for longer time periods. Because there is less food intake, the body induces a greater fat loss. A person who follows a diet with a significant amount of protein intake will see a fat loss and weight decrease more rapidly than someone who does not follow a high protein diet.

How Much Protein Is Needed?

The amount of protein that is needed per individual varies from person-to-person depending on their age, lifestyle and exercise activity level. The typical protein diet will consume a little over two servings a day but is broken down according in various demographics:

  • Teenage boys and active men who exercise 3-4 times per week need an average of 3 daily servings and/or 7 ounces of protein per day.
  • Children ages 2-6 years old, the average woman and the elderly need an average of 2 daily servings and/or 5 ounces of protein per day.
  • Older children ages 6 and up, teenage girls, active women who exercise 3-5 times per week and the average man need an estimated 2 daily servings of protein or 6 ounces per day.

All of these factors can be changed depending on each person's needs and as determined by their doctor or a nutritionist. Each body is different and it's important to know how much protein your body needs for effectiveness.

Creative Cooking

There are many creative ways to incorporate protein into your daily diet. Protein shakes are quite popular with body builders and busy folks on the go. Aside from ingesting pure protein in powder form, cooking and creatively preparing foods can get your daily requirements into your body. Foods that are high in protein and offer maximum nutritional value include:

Most fish cooked by broiling, grilling or pan cooking can be very tasty if you use natural herbs and spices for flavor. Avoid heavy oils and sauces and your fish remains a healthy dish. Fish is full of Omega-3 fatty acids and contain far less fat than red meat. It is suggested to consume at least 2-3 servings per week of fish. Salmon, tilapia and trout are all good fish selections to enjoy.

This can be chicken, duck, Cornish hens or turkey. Chicken is a rich source of protein and can be prepared a myriad of ways. To enjoy the dish without excess saturated fats, remove the skin before cooking. The best cooking methods for poultry is baking, broiling or grilling. Use lots of natural herbs and spices for maximum flavor.

Beans or legumes contain far more protein than vegetable proteins and is loaded with fiber that helps you feel fuller longer. Beans that are cooked in little or no salt, natural herbs and spices will help you get the maximum protein benefit from the bean dish.

A wonderful source of nut protein is almonds. Easy and convenient, it can be part of a meal or a wonderful in-between meal snack. One ounce of almonds is equal to six grams of protein.

Whole Grains
It is very important to distinguish whole grains apart from regular grains as whole grains contain ingredients that have not been processed and are all natural. Whole grain products contain bran and germ and the endosperm of the plant. Refined grains or regular grains only contain the endosperm. Refined grains are of course tastier but do not provide much health benefits. This includes white bread and bread products. Whole grains like wheat bread contain the natural substance in pure form. One slice of wheat bread is equal to 3 grams of protein plus fiber which is a big health boost for the body.

Protein Value

Sports medicine professionals and physician cite the importance of building muscles as one of the primary reasons as to why protein is important for individuals to consume. Getting the required suggested daily servings can be challenging or confusing for people to understand. Questions like are they getting enough protein, is a particular food higher or lower in protein value and should a protein be coupled with another food for effectiveness are some of the things they're concerned with when they consider pursuing a high protein diet.

Simply put, consuming enough protein for your body type, structure and exercise lifestyle are all safe indicators and gauges to help you understand why protein is important for your body to use. Incorporating it into your lifestyle as a daily habit and part of your routine should be sufficient and eliminate your confusion on such a beneficial supplement.

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