Proteins- succulent, juicy and rich. Not just a great meal, proteins are major building blocks of our body. They are essential part of every cell, tissue, and organ and are constantly broken down and replaced trough variety of processes. They are essential components of our skeletal, smooth and cardiac muscles. Proteins let us do all the wonderful things we take for granted every day, such as walk, run, climb, swim, speak, hug, smile, sneeze, laugh, eat, digest, breathe and-yes-live. They let us move, manipulate objects and interact with our environment and people. In order to maintain a healthy body and a healthy weight, we need to eat them regularly. Ingested proteins are digested into amino acids used to replace broken down proteins in our bodies.
Proteins are complex macromolecules composed from different combinations of only 20 amino acids, which combined with water, various fats, minerals and vitamins, give them their unique taste. While most amino acids can be synthesized in our body, some cannot. These are called essential amino acids and to remain healthy we must supplement them on a daily basis.
Based on amino acids involved, proteins come in two groups, complete and incomplete proteins. Complete proteins are composed of all 20 amino acids. These are usually animal meats, milk, eggs, and cheeses. Incomplete proteins usually lack one or more essential amino acids and are present in rice, grains, tofu, nuts and seeds, vegetables and some fruits. Wonderful thing about incomplete proteins is that they can be combined to provide all benefits of a complete protein. Such combinations are called complementary proteins.
There is certainly no lack of protein rich food. Readily available in variety of meats, proteins provide us with hearty steaks, hamburgers, bbq chicken, fish and a great variety of luncheon and diner food. And nature is generous. It made sure that everyone, vegans and vegetarians included, can get their proteins. Trough complementary proteins, body can obtain and use all 20 amino acids. By ingesting lentils and legumes such as beans, corn, avocados and other plant sources that contain amino acids, vegetarians can get their share of these healthy building blocks too. It is all a matter of proper combination of amino acid rich plants and grains.
In addition to acting as building blocks of our muscular system, proteins play a crucial role in helping us maintain healthy weight. Good protein intake combined with regular exercise helps us build muscle mass. The more muscles we have the more fat we burn daily. The more fat we burn the greater the weight loss and the closer we are to our ideal healthy weight.
Therefore, proteins are an essential part of a successful diet. They are clinically proven to increase metabolic rates resulting in effective and steady weight loss. In addition to helping us build muscles tone, aid weight loss, and maintain healthy weight, proteins help us improve immunity, maintain healthy cholesterol levels, regulate and maintain healthy blood sugar levels, resulting in stable and effective metabolism.
This is not to say that we should go overboard with our protein intake. Like in everything balance is the key. The recommended protein intake is measured by individual body mass and energy expenditure, and on average it should be 10 to 30% of daily calories. To be effective, protein metabolism needs sufficient amounts of water, vitamins and minerals, regulated amounts of carbohydrates and small amounts of dietary fats. Variable diet is essential.
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