Saturday, February 19, 2011

Eating to Survive - Protein

The main function of Protein is to aid in growth and repair of the body. Aside from water, protein is the most abundant molecule in the body. Protein is found in all cells of the body and is the major structural component of all cells in the body, especially muscle. This also includes body organs, hair and skin. Proteins also are utilized in membranes, such as glycoproteins. When broken down into amino acids, they are used as precursors to nucleic acid and vitamins. Hormones and enzymes are also formed from amino acids in which they help regulate metabolism, support the immune system and other body functions. Finally, protein is needed to form blood cells. Wikipedia :
Protein in the diet can be obtained from foods from animals as well as foods from the legumes food group.

There are also other plant based foods that are high in protein such as tofu and soy, and lentils that are used instead of animal protein. Almond, rice and soy milk are used mostly by vegetarians and other persons with intolerance and allergies to the usual high protein  foods.  Wheat gluten is used as a form of plant protein, this is seasoned and cooked and is very tasty.
Too much protein in the diet can cause illness. The body has to digest protein as it does to all the foods we eat however the end products of protein causes the usual balance that exists to be disturbed if we consume too much protein than can be excreted by the body through our urine.
Carbohydrates are supposed to be our main source of energy, followed by protein, so we really  should be eating less protein than carbohydrate. How many of us actually do this?
We have to excrete protein through our urine, if we consume too much protein, we have more protein to excrete adding stress on our kidneys. A sustained high protein diet will result in kidney damage which can also lead to kidney failure.
How do you ensure that you do not have a high protein diet? Did you like this article? Leave a comment or share with your friends.


lorna vanderhaeghe products said...

Protein is one of the nutrients that helps us stay healthy and strong. We should take it for us to survive.

Tanya said...

I agree Lorna, protein is essential in order for our bodies to properly function. What sort of Protein to you include in your diet?