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The "Pros" of Protein

eggThere  is  so  much  information  about  nutrition  and  diet  on  the  Internet  it’s  hard  to  really  know  your  dietary  needs.  A   balance  of  carbohydrates  and  proteins  are  both  necessary  for  optimal  health,  but  protein  has  specific  functions  to   help  your  body  operate.

Protein  is  the  primary  energy  source  for  your  cells  and  essential  in  the  role  of  metabolism.  You  need  protein  to   make  enzymes  to  break  down  food,  repair  muscle,  and  use  energy  efficiently.  Your  hair  and  nails  are  mostly  made   of  protein.  Protein  is  so  vital  to  your  body  that  the  lack  of  it  can  cause  delayed  growth,  loss  of  muscle  mass,   autoimmune  issues,  lung  and  heart  problems,  and  even  death.

So  what  constitutes  a  “protein”?  Protein  sources  are  comprised  of  long  chains  of  amino  acids  -­‐  organic  compounds   that  are  often  referred  to  as  “building  blocks”.  Your  body’s  metabolic  processes  cannot  properly  function  without   them.

There  are  a  total  of  20  amino  acids  –  9  of  which  cannot  be  synthesized  by  the  body  and  must  be  obtained  through   diet.  These  essential  amino  acids  are  derived  from  meat, poultry, fish, eggs, milk, cheese, and yogurt and are considered “complete proteins”. However, vegetarian protein sources, such as quinoa, soybean, whey, and potato (yes, you read correctly) also meet the dietary guidelines for complete proteins. They just need to be consumed in larger quantities.

But  by  how  much?  Of  course  protein  requirements  vary  as  do  caloric  needs,  depending  on  your  activity  level.  The   more  active  you  are,  the  higher  your  body’s  protein  demands  go.  For  example,  a  body  builder’s  protein  intake  will   be  higher  because  the  need  for  muscle  repair  is  higher.  Regardless,  it’s  important  to  get  enough  protein  in  your   diet  to  keep  your  body  running  at  its  peak.

Don’t hesitate to ask your Fremont Chiropractor if you have any questions about your health or diet.  We are here to help!


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