Today, more and more people suffer from a protein deficiency in the diet, but many do not even know what exactly caused this situation and how to fix it. In fact, proteins are the main building material of our body and their lack affects not only the work of internal organs, but also the appearance of a person. At the same time, it is impossible to stock up with proteins and for good health you need to regularly consume them with food. The article will describe in detail what proteins are, what functions they perform, and what products they contain.
Proteins or, more simply, proteins are complex chemical compounds of amino acids. Some of them can be synthesized by the body on its own, but there are irreplaceable ones that a person can get only from food, and to a greater extent animal.
Proteins were first discovered in the 18th century by a French scientist, after which talk of their benefits did not stop. Interestingly, protein molecules can perform different functions and do not have a clear division into species, but they are often determined by specific functions.
The main task of proteins in the body is to accelerate various processes and reactions. In addition, the benefits of proteins have been heard by everyone who has attended training at least once, because these molecules are the main building material of muscle tissue, and no load without proper nutrition will help to get an ideal relief figure. It is impossible not to mention keratin and collagen known to all beauties - these are proteins. They provide the beauty of our skin, hair and nails.
In addition, proteins are responsible for blood coagulation, activation of immunity, detoxification of the body, the movement of leukocytes and the delivery of nutrients to the cells of the body. Some hormones are also referred to as proteins, the most famous of which is insulin. And finally, protein is the most useful source of energy.
Depending on the lifestyle and the presence of stressful situations, the required amount of proteins for the body can constantly change. In order not to get a shortage of substances in a short time, you need to regularly consume proteins with food, and, if necessary, in the form of dietary supplements. The right amount of protein for each person is determined individually by his gender, age, lifestyle and region of residence. When the substance was first discovered, it was believed that it was enough to consume only 0.3 g of pure protein per kilogram of weight per day. Today, the standards are significantly different and on average are already 0.8 g / kg. Proteins should be at least 15% of the daily diet and, subject to certain conditions, this indicator increases. So, the protein content in food should be increased with:
- heavy physical work;
- regular exercise;
- during illness and recovery;
- in the cold season.
It should be remembered that an excess of protein in the body leads to obesity, urolithiasis and problems with the digestive system.
The lack of proteins is no less dangerous and provokes a breakdown, a decrease in the protective functions of the body, a deterioration in appearance and anemia. That is why, before adjusting your diet, you need to carefully calculate everything. In old age, in hot weather, or with some diseases characterized by difficulties in digesting proteins, their quantity is required, on the contrary, to be reduced.
Today, nutritionists have deduced average protein requirements. For newborns and children under 3 years of age, this is 2.2 g / kg. Preschool children need about 20 g per day, and schoolchildren are already 35 g. In adolescence from 14 years old, the division in needs is already on the basis of gender. So, young girls need 45 grams of protein per day, and guys need 52 grams. Women and men from 19 years and older determine the dose similarly to adolescents, but gradually decrease with age due to a slowdown in metabolism.
A person receives proteins from many food products, including vegetable ones. The highest protein content is found in legumes, mushrooms, nuts and seeds. Among vegetables, all types of cabbage should be distinguished.
In addition, vegetable proteins are found in small amounts in flour and in all flour products, cereals, fruits, dried fruits and vegetables. Despite such a wide list, it is impossible to fully saturate the body with plant products only. The fact is that not a single plant contains all the essential amino acids necessary for humans.
Foods high in protein may not necessarily be of animal origin, but only they can provide the body with a complete list of essential amino acids. These include meat, fish, eggs and dairy products.
It is interesting that many scientists are in no hurry to call them the most useful, because a lot of effort is spent on digesting animal food, and excessive consumption of such products leads to gout, joint disease and other diseases. Vegetable protein does not have such consequences and is absorbed by the body much faster, while improving digestion.
In connection with such a controversial situation for a healthy diet, you need to correctly determine the measure of products and learn how to combine them so as not to harm the body.
The combination of protein foods
It is important to remember that foods that are high in animal protein are a big burden on the digestive system, so it’s best to eat them with greens and non-starchy vegetables. This will increase the secretion of gastric juice and help digest heavy foods faster.
A combination of proteins with opposite fats complicates the digestion process. That is, plant proteins can be consumed only with plant proteins, and animals with animals. It is best to bake, stew or cook meat, and not fry in vegetable oil, as well as season a vegetable salad with vegetable fat, and not sour cream. And, by the way, another rule is not to mix proteins of different origin. That is, fish is not eaten with meat, but cheese with vegetables.
A sweet and acidic environment complicates the process of protein assimilation.
Legumes occupy a special place - soy, lentils, peas, chickpeas, beans and beans. The protein content in them is not the highest, but they differ in composition from everything, so you can not combine them with either vegetable or animal proteins.
Given these rules, it is necessary to draw up a diet so that each meal contains a third of the daily protein intake, and snacks - another 3-5%.
Foods with a high protein content always require high energy consumption for their breakdown, therefore, when they enter the body, more calories are spent than they arrive. Proteins also contribute to a long-lasting sense of fullness and help the body normalize many important processes. All this defines protein food as one of the most useful in diets, of course, only subject to the rules of cooking - boiling, stewing or baking.
For those who want to lose weight, you should check out the list of low-protein foods:
- low-fat dairy products;
- cereals - oatmeal, rice and buckwheat;
- non-starchy vegetables and greens;
- lean meat cooked without fat;
- meat offal, best language;
- fish and seafood of all varieties;
- low-fat hard cheeses;
- boiled eggs.
Foods high in protein. Meat
For those who are trying to build muscle or just make up for the deficiency of a substance in the body, you need to familiarize yourself with the list of foods that have high protein content.
In the first place is meat. In turn, it is divided into varieties, on which the number of enzymes depends:
- Most pure protein is found in beef - 25%. In addition, the product provides the body with enormous benefits, enriching it with iron, B vitamins and an almost complete list of essential amino acids for humans. It is best to cook or simmer the beef for several hours to make the meat structure softer.
- Veal is in second place. This meat is digested much easier and is divided into categories. The first two have 20% pure protein, and fat no more than 2%.
- Horsemeat. It has a high protein content of 21%. Despite the non-proliferation of this type of meat, its regular use is able to quickly fill the body’s needs in “building material”. In addition, horse meat is rich in iron and potassium.
- Rabbit meat. It is considered to be a dietary product, because it practically does not contain fat. Its gentle taste gives the person not only pleasant sensations, but also the benefits of iron, phosphorus, potassium and many vitamins in the composition. Pure protein in rabbit meat - 21%.
- Poultry is also considered dietary. Light and pure protein in it is about 20%, and its low calorie content and a large list of vitamins, amino acids and minerals make the product an ideal source of energy during diets.
- A high protein content is also found in pork, but in certain varieties. The fattest parts can contain up to 50% fat and only 12% protein. Choose a source of protein should be low-fat parts, such as tenderloin or loin. They have 20% protein, and three times less fat.
After meat, chicken and quail eggs should be distinguished.
Ducks also contain protein, but in a minimal amount - only 3% of the total mass. In chicken, the protein can be 7-17%, depending on how well the bird ate. In addition to proteins, eggs contain fatty acids, sulfur, zinc, phosphorus, iron and fat-soluble vitamins. The negative effect of fats from the yolk when consumed is completely blocked by lysine in the composition, therefore it is recommended to eat eggs completely. The best way to cook is cooking, since the shell retains all the beneficial properties.
All animal foods are high in protein. In which milk products is it the most? The main sour-milk source of high-grade pure protein is cottage cheese.
Depending on the fat content, the protein in it can be 14-18%. To facilitate digestion, cottage cheese should be mixed with kefir or yogurt, but remember that such a combination can also increase the calorie content of the dish. Experts recommend eating cottage cheese for dinner, since it contains a substance that is absorbed by the body for the longest time - casein.
In addition to cottage cheese, there is a lot of protein in hard cheese, but the product is very high-calorie. In order not to harm your figure, it is recommended to use it before exercise or give preference to light varieties. For example, feta cheese has 16% protein, and Camembert - 19%. The lowest protein concentration in processed cheese is only 4%.
Most of the protein and other beneficial substances are found in marine fish, so the river fish is not included in the list. So, the proteins in it are at least 16%, while the fish is digested much faster than meat due to the low content of connective fibers. The best choice would be trout, cod, flounder, anchovies, sardines, salmon or tuna, as these varieties do not have excess fat. In addition to protein and fatty acids, iodine, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, fluorine, vitamins A, D, E and group B are also found in fish.
Naturally, dishes prepared by stewing or boiling will bring the maximum positive effect, smoked fish will not bring the body any benefit.
Fruits, Vegetables and Nuts
The protein content in products of plant origin cannot be called high in comparison with animals, but nevertheless it is impossible to delete them from your diet. Vegetable protein in the highest concentration is concentrated in hard fruits, pitted berries, legumes and cabbage. So, daily you need to eat apples, peaches, cherries, apricots, pears, mangoes and other fruits.
Nuts can be safely compared with the amount of protein even with meat, but it is worth remembering that they also contain a large amount of vegetable fat, so such foods are excluded with diets. The highest protein concentration is found in peanuts, sunflower seeds and almonds - 20-25%. Walnuts, pine nuts, pistachios and hazelnuts have only 7-10% protein.
After reading the list of the most protein-rich foods and the importance of this element for the body, many still do not understand why there is a protein deficiency? Even a person who regularly eats meat, fish, and dairy products can face such a problem, not to mention those who voluntarily restrict their diet.
The thing is that regular nutrition may simply not provide the body with the amount of substances it needs to function. That is why when adjusting your diet, special attention should be paid not to average standards, but to individual needs, which will take into account the level of physical activity, age and gender of a person. In addition, the need for proteins is also determined by human goals. If he needs proteins simply to maintain the body's working ability, then their calculated rate must be strictly observed. If an athlete needs proteins to increase soy muscle mass, then any average indicator should be increased by 10-15%.
In addition, you always need to remember that the body is not able to accumulate proteins in itself, as well as do without the essential amino acids that are synthesized only from it. That is why it is necessary to consume proteins regularly. If a person does not have the opportunity to compose his menu daily according to all requirements, the need for proteins can easily be filled with nutritional supplements.