Protein

Protein was named 150 years ago after the Greek word proteios: of prime importance

Protein is an essential nutrient . It helps you resist infection, recover from illness, develop strong muscles and leads to healthy skin, shiny hair and strong nails . Protein is made up of chains of amino acids . There are 20 amino acids, half of which your body makes on its own . The other half you need to get from your diet and therefore are called essential amino acids . Without them, the body cannot make the proteins it needs to do its work .

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Protein was named 150 years ago after the Greek word proteios: of prime importance

Protein is an essential nutrient . It helps you resist infection, recover from illness, develop strong muscles and leads to healthy skin, shiny hair and strong nails . Protein is made up of chains of amino acids . There are 20 amino acids, half of which your body makes on its own . The other half you need to get from your diet and therefore are called essential amino acids . Without them, the body cannot make the proteins it needs to do its work .

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True or False: Amino acid supplements are needed for building muscle mass
False
Active people do need a bit more protein, however their needs can easily be met by eating whole foods . Too much of one amino acid from supplements can decrease the absorption of another, causing an imbalance . They also increase the risk of dehydration .
A high-carbohydrate diet is needed to provide fuel for resistance training with just enough protein to support muscle growth . What happens to excess protein that you eat? You guessed it: Your body converts it to body fat

Animal versus plant protein
Animal protein such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs, milk products and one source of plant protein, the soybean, provide all your essential amino acids and are known as complete protein . Other plant proteins such as legumes and nuts are considered to be incomplete because they are missing one or more of the essential amino acids . However, they are considered complementary because they can be combined to make complete proteins . Those who avoid all animal products need to be especially careful to combine complementary proteins together . In the past, vegetarians were told to combine these proteins at each meal . Now we know that eating them over the course of the day is equally effective (refer to Vegetarian Diets in the section for more information) .
Combining incomplete protein sources to make complete protein:

Legumes + Grains Legumes + Seeds
kidney beans and rice chick peas and tahini (as in hummus)
chick peas and pasta bean soup topped with sesame
seeds
split pea soup and roll bean salad with walnuts
baked beans on toast
peanut butter sandwich

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