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What Is Protein?
You've heard bodybuilders and sportsmen and women obsess about packing in as much protein as possible. But why are these people so obsessed with this food source? Probably because they realise just how important protein is for growth and repair.
These active people require higher amounts of protein to help repair their body after strenuous training and competition, but its not just bodybuilders and athletes that need protein. Every single human being requires some protein in order to function.
Protein is more than just simply meat. It's an organic compound, made up of a collection of amino acids. These amino acids are known and referred to as "the building blocks of protein". They provide the resources necessary to build and repair human organs, cells and tissues. Your skin, hair, nails and muscles all require amino acids, found in protein in order to grow.
When digested, amino acids are broken down and released into the body's amino acid pool. From there, the body can pull the required amino acids it needs to build and repair damaged or new cells.
There are twenty amino acids which are found in protein. Of these, the human body is only able to manufacture eleven on its own. So, the remaining nine must therefore be sourced from the diet. Without the presence of protein in the diet, the human body would not be able to grow. It would not be able to create new cells or repair injuries to muscles and skin.
Protein that is derived from animal sources such as meat, chicken, fish, eggs and dairy, is considered complete because it generally contains all nine of the essential amino acids the body requires and in the correct proportions. Protein that is derived from plant sources is said to be incomplete because it lacks some of these amino acids. However, it is important for humans to try and consume both forms of protein from animals and plants.
At your next meal, don't forget that protein is just as important as carbohydrates. Each food source has a function and your body requires both in balanced quantities.
Author: Dimi Ingle
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