Protein, a major macro-molecule or constituent in our food which is required by the body everyday. Read This to know How You Benefits from having Protein and How Much you should take.
How Protein Comes
To Know this, you must know, what is food? Food is complex chemical substance consumed to get energy and manufacture essential products which keeps the body running. Any food contains a certain amount of carbohydrate, proteins and fats, even vitamins and minerals. The Three major ingredients — Carbohydrates, protein, fats are major macro-nutrients that has their own functions in the body. Now, when we eat food, it get divided into particles and then chemically broken into carbohydrates, proteins and fats. They are, then, absorbed into the blood vessel and get distributed throughout the body.
Protein – The Most Vital
Yes, there are other macro-nutrients like carbohydrates and fats, but, proteins are the most vital. Because they give the structure. That is to say, protein makes the body mass or the muscle mass and make our body. Carbohydrates give us energy to work and fats are also involved in providing us energy besides being other beneficiary. For example, you can see malnutrition children in internet. They are lacking in protein which is why they are very prone to die. But sometimes, we, being well fed people, may become tired. This is due to the fact that our immediate carbohydrate availability has finished and we need carbohydrate. But above all, a newly born baby, first needs protein to make himself. By saying this, I mean the muscles have to be made and formed. So, it is essential to have protein fed. Protein deficiency will make a person lean, thin, weak ( not due to tiredness, this weakness are constitutional). This is not the end of the story. Protein have several functions, like making hormones, enzymes, transportation of substance, antibodies, etc. Basically there will be lack of proteins in manufacturing all these components and the body will completely collapse due to hindrance of normal physiological functions, will get infected repeatedly and all other normal functions like digestion of food will get hampered leading to a point when the person cannot be fed and ultimately die.
Why Protein Is Essential
Protein is very important constituent of our body, not only due to it makes muscles, but also it makes those components or chemicals that run the body. Like, there are essential hormones (a kind of chemicals secreted by certain organs called glands) which controls our glucose availability, digestive processes and more functions.
Next is Enzymes. What are these? Let me explain you elaborately. Suppose you ate food. That food is going to be broken down and converted into energy. This conversion reaction from broken down particles of foods into energy occurs at molecular level. This reaction, in general are very slow. So, do you accept that the food you are eating now will give you energy after few days. It is unacceptable. So, the nature has given us a special kind of chemicals which will quicken the conversion reactions. These chemicals are called Enzymes. These enzymes are made up of proteins. Again, we need protein for this purpose or for making enzymes.
Next part is Transportation. But transportation of what? You are thinking why is it necessary at all. If in a place, crops are grown and then they are harvested. Then they are transported to grocery shops. Then you go to the shops and buy them. After that, you transports them to your house for cooking. Now, you should consider the same story in our body. Suppose you ate rice. That rice is going to be broken down into carbohydrates and hence glucose (singular form of carbohydrate) and then absorbed into blood and transported into cell. While transporting to cell, the cell membrane or the covering of the cell has some gates. These gates decide which substances should enter the cell and which should not. These gates are made up of protein. Even I should tell you that the covering of the cell is also made majorly by proteins.
Antibodies are again proteins which remembers when a bacteria or virus infects our body. Next time, when the same bacteria or virus infects our body, these antibodies takes action and either prevent them or kills them. So, antibodies are very much required in order to prevent the infection.
Building needs bricks to make. Similarly, organs, hairs, eye muscles, skin needs proteins. Protein deficiency will hamper their making and will lead to different kinds of diseases.
From Where I Can Get Proteins
Foods like meat(specially chicken), poultry, seafood, beans and peas, eggs, soy products, nuts and seeds can deliver you protein in significant amount. Besides these sources, there are several alternative sources of protein, including hemp and whey. It is heard that whey protein is better for building and regenerating muscle mass, so for making body, whey protein is required.
Soy protein comes from soybeans and we can get these in many different forms, including milk, tofu, various meat substitutes, flour, oil. Indian foods rich in proteins are dal (pulses), chana, rajma, green peas, milk, cottage cheese, etc. If possible, you can buy Tofu (looks like paneer). It is one of the richest source of protein. Other than these, some fishes are rich in proteins.
How Much I Should Take
Being a doctor, I realize one thing, if I say you should take these much grams of proteins and that much per day, obviously you are not going to buy a weighing machine and doing that. I only should tell that you should take balanced diet and includes two to three items of protein rich origin. That would suffice per day of your protein requirement. For babies and elderly, I should ask you to include more veggies, soy beans, milk ( for babies only), lentils (for elders).
In a Nutshell
Protein is highly required, just to SURVIVE. There are many children with Protein Energy Malnutrition (PEM). You can search for Malnutrition children in the internet. There are always a bad effects for excessive proteins. But, on usual note, this does not happened. I am repeatedly telling do not take Only-Protein diet. Rather take a Balanced Diet comprising of proteins and also other nutrients.
Be healthy and I am sure that you need not to go to your doctor frequently.