- Protein exists in every cell in the human body; 18 to 20% of the body is protein.
- It is responsible for many processes such as
- growing, healing, forming cell structures, carrying oxygen, protecting against disease, growing hair and nails, allowing eyesight, providing energy and much more.
- Most proteins only last for 2 days or less.
- The entire human body would swell if it didn’t have a protein called “Albumin”.
- It keeps us feeling full after meals.
- It is a “macronutrient” which provides calories or energy.
- It provides 4 calories per gram; in comparison to fat which provides 9 calories per gram.
- Protein provides our bodies with approximately 10 to 15% of its dietary energy.
- Eating too much protein can stress the liver and kidneys, because they would have to work extra hard to break up and dispose of it and weight gain.
- 1 typical human male ejaculation contains about 150mg of protein. (I would be interested to see how that was measured!)
- In the UK, adults are advised to eat 0.75g of protein for eack kilogram they weigh, (1g if building muscle.) That is 52.5g if you weigh 70kg. On average, men should eat about 55g a day. Women, about 45g.
- Once carbohydrates are depleted, the body then uses protein and fat for energy.
- As we enter middle age, hydrochloric acid in our stomachs, which helps digest protein, drops to half of its regular level. It is possible, because protein is crucial in cell regeneration, that most of ageing is due to this drop alone.
- We also need more protein as we age for the maintenance of our bones.
Now, I don’t know about yourselves but I personally couldn’t be bothered to check food labels to see how much protein I’m consuming. I find that various articles contradict each other on the amount that is safe to eat. How much to eat depends on your gender, how much you weigh and how active you are blah, blah, blah….
However, I find that an increase of protein helps me to stay fuller for longer. Therefore, the risk of stuffing my face with sugary treats is lowered.
For example, I have swopped cereals for breakfast with porridge. I eat nuts, seeds and frozen fruit mixed into it; topped with cinnamon. This keeps me going until lunch time and I rarely experience the mid morning slump in my energy levels.
I love peanut butter and snack on that; 2 tbsp a day. I also eat a couple of handfuls of nuts a day; almonds and walnuts. Almonds have a multitude of benefits for the body, which I have described in another article.
Being active is another reason to increase your protein intake. As described earlier, protein is a macronutrient – it provides energy.
Best sources of protein include:- eggs, lentils (great in curries) pulses, beans, chickpeas, baked beans, oats (hence my porridge), dairy products, nuts, seafood like salmon and white meat.
bareblends.com.au, factretriever.com, BBC1 wonder, telegraph.co.uk, nutrition.org.uk, bbcgoodfood.com, webmd.com