What are Proteins?
Proteins are organic compounds made of amino acids that are a primary component of the human body. Responsible for the shape and structure of cells, proteins are the building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood. Protein is also used make enzymes, hormones, and other vital substances in the body. Like fat and carbohydrate, proteins are considered a macronutrient, which means that the body needs relatively large amounts that must be obtained through dietary intake.
What are the health benefits of Protein?
Protein helps to build, maintain, and repair tissue. Hair and nails are made mostly of protein. The proteins elastin and collagen are what makes the skin resilient. Protein is used to make hemoglobin, a component of red blood cells that transports oxygen throughout the body. Protein deficiency—usually only present in areas where malnutrition is prevalent—has been associated with stunted growth, loss of muscle mass, decreased immunity, and the weakening of the heart and respiratory system.
What foods are good sources of Protein?
Good sources of protein are fish, poultry, eggs, and whole grains. Red meat is another good source of protein, but it is recommended that it be eaten in moderation due to its typical high fat content. Legumes, particularly lentils and black beans, are rich in protein.
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