What are proteins? Proteins are the most abundant macromolecules in the body and are involved in most vital processes. As the name suggests (from the Greek protosmeaning “first”) Proteins are essential for life.
Hence It is important that they are present at all stages of life and in all diets. It should be clarified how much protein the body needs and from which sources it gets it.
- Structurally they consist of chains of about twenty amino acids. There are eight that the organism cannot produce itself, So you have to get them from food.
- During digestion, the chains are broken and the body builds its own, which are constantly renewed these eight amino acids must be balanced and present at the same timethan the letters of a particular word.
Proteins: what are they for?
- They are the “building blocks” of our structure: they configure the cells of the various organs, bones, muscles, brain, liver and also many regulatory molecules such as enzymes and hormones.
- Proteins form, repair, and maintain body tissues, but they are also involved in the immune systemnerves, oxygen transport, enzyme catalysis, hormone regulation and muscle movement.
- In the absence of energy nutrients (hydrates and fats), they can also be used as fuelalthough this creates complex waste.
Proteins in the diet: how much to take
It is clear that proteins are essential and that its defect poses health risks.
The current diet Nonetheless, tends to have a protein excess rather than a protein deficiency. And consuming too much is not convenient, since residues that are difficult to remove, such as uric acid, are formed and subdues the body Metabolic stress that can lead to hyperacidity of the blood, loss of calcium or overload the liver and kidneys, among other problems.
Because proteins are constantly being renewed the contribution must be made daily and varies according to gender, age and weight.
An adult needs about 0.8 g per kilo per day of body weight; a boy, 1.2 g; and a juvenile, 1 g.
Just like children need more as they grow, older people should moderate their consumption so as not to overload the body.
Usually, The amount of daily protein should be between 10 and 12% of the total calories in the diet. For a 2,200-calorie diet, that equates to between 55 and 66 grams of protein.
But not all proteins are created equal and The key to a balanced and healthy protein intake lies in the right choice and combination of foods be obtained from it.
Animal foods are rich in these valuable and vital nutrients, But are not the only ones. According to experts, half of the proteins should come from plant foods, the rest or even less for animal origin.
In Spain, currently 70% of the protein consumed daily comes from products of animal origin, so it would be advisable to reverse this trend, Increasing vegetable protein to at least 50% of total dietary protein.
- animal protein (those that provide meat, fish, eggs and dairy) are considered more complete as they contain all the essential amino acids in a more reasonable ratio, but also generate more metabolic waste and put a greater effort on the body to be able to eliminate them.
- vegetable proteins (present for example in legumes, seeds, cereals and nuts) are somewhat less complete and require proper meal planning to achieve a correct profile of essential amino acids.
That’s the benefit of plant proteins They are accompanied by less fat and more vitamins and minerals, and their fats are healthier than milk, meat or eggs.
Vegetable combinations to gain protein
Some Food combinations improve the supply of all eight amino acids necessary to utilize plant proteins.
- Whole grain products and legumes. The optimal ratio to get all essential amino acids in adequate dose is one part legumes for three parts grain: lentils or chickpeas with rice, corn pancakes with beans, bean stew with rice…
- Cereals with dairy products of animal origin. Proteins complement each other: in a rice pudding, a bowl of cereal, a toast with cheese, a pasta salad with cream cheese…
- Whole grains and soy milk. It’s a variation on the previous combination, in this case with a legume that provides copious amounts of complete proteins. Ideal for breakfast.
- Legumes and some meat or fish. A small portion of fish or meat optimizes legumes. With a salad of lentils, chickpeas or beans, you can add prawns, tuna, salmon, cod…
- accessories and dressings. nail algae or a tablespoon Yeast They slightly increase the protein content of dishes and enrich them with minerals and vitamins. A heap nuts or seeds (pumpkin or sunflower seeds) make the proteins of cereals and legumes more profitable. That sesame Bread or in butter (tahini) is another good option.
Find out which foods contain plant-based proteins.
- Legumes. They represent one of the main sources of plant-based protein (20% dry and 10% cooked). being lack of amino acids such as cysteine and methionine, Combine them with cereals allows you to improve the quality.
- Grain. They are another good source of plant-based protein, especially if they are integral. Whole rolled oats contain 13.8%. Rye, wheat and grain millet make up about 11%, rice about 7.4%. In the form of pasta, they are also a good source of protein and are very easy to prepare.
- Soy and derivatives. As a legume, soy is very rich in protein and its proteins are used twice as much as those of lentils. Its derivatives also allow for multiple culinary preparations. Tofu, with the appearance of soft cheese, is one of the most versatile, suitable for both sweet and savory recipes, grilled, stewed, in croquettes or hamburgers… But not to be confused with real soy, whose grain is yellow, with mung beans, incorrectly called “green soybeans”. Mung beans however, they are rich in protein (25%) and very easy to digest.
- Nuts. Its high-quality fats and proteins offer a good combination, although it is not advisable to abuse them as they are quite high in calories. A handful a day would be recommended. They can be added to sauces, soups, creams, salads, roasts, pasta, stews and of course delicious desserts.
- seitan. It’s wheat protein. similar to the amount that beef can provide, easy to use and very versatile. It is made by kneading and washing the flour to remove the starch, resulting in a dense dough that can be cut into fillets or chopped. It can be eaten as is, stewed, fried, etc., as if it were meat. It is not suitable for celiac disease.
Table of high protein foods
Protein ranking in grams per 100g of food:
|Lean beef and pork||twenty|
#Balanced #protein #menus