Proteins are large organic molecules made up of long chains of chemical compounds called amino acids. https://kiss-anime.co/
The amino acids can be combined in any order and repeated in any way. If we take into account that an average protein is made up of between 100 and 200 amino acids, the resulting number of possible combinations is enormous.
On the other hand, human proteins are made up of 20 amino acids, of which 8 are essential. Our body cannot form the latter by itself, so it is necessary to obtain them daily through food.
How do they work?
Each animal or plant species is made up of its own type of proteins, incompatible with those of other species.
This results in an inability for our organism to directly assimilate the proteins that it obtains from food.
In order to absorb and use them, it is necessary that during digestion, and with the help of various enzymes and gastric juices, it previously decomposes them into their simplest components, amino acids.
Once this is done, these basic elements pass into the blood and are distributed throughout the tissues. It is there where they combine with other amino acids from proteins that have been degrading and form new ones, of one type or another according to the needs of the moment.
What are they for?
Without them, our muscles would not exist. However, this is just one of the many important tasks they perform.
If we take into account that the term protein comes from the Greek proteios which means primary, the oldest, the first, we can already get an idea of the great relevance they have for our body.
It could be said that they are used for almost everything, since they are present in most of the vital functions of the body: they are necessary for the formation and repair of tissues.
In addition to muscles, they provide the materials that make up bones, glands, internal organs, as well as skin, hair, and nails.
Muscle contraction, immune protection and the transmission of nerve impulses depend on them. They slow down the aging of the body and can also act as an energy source when carbohydrates and fats are scarce.
Where do we find proteins?
Being a constituent element of every living cell, they are found in all tissues and in almost all foods.
What varies, yes, is its concentration and its nature. According to this, we can establish two major sources of protein: those of animal origin (meat, fish, eggs and dairy) and those of plant origin (cereals, legumes and nuts).
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They’re all the same?
No, there are higher and lower quality. It depends on whether or not the protein contains the essential amino acids and in what proportion.
It is enough that a single amino acid is missing for the quality to plummet, since in order for your body to be able to form its proteins it must have each and every one of the essential components.
Furthermore, the increase in one amino acid does not compensate for the absence of another. For this reason and except for some exceptions such as soy, animal proteins are considered to be of better quality than those of vegetable origin.
In addition to the quality of the protein, you have to take into account whether it can be used by your body. Not all the proteins that we obtain through food are digested in the same way.
For example, soybeans, despite having less biological value than other foods of animal origin, have a higher net protein intake since our digestive system assimilates its proteins better.
Animals or vegetables?
In principle, and with the exception of soybeans, the fact that animal proteins are of a higher quality than those of vegetable origin can make us opt for them.
Big mistake. Remember that the former are usually accompanied by fats, mostly saturated, which increases the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Compared to them, vegetables contain fewer toxic substances, less stress on the liver and kidneys, are easy to digest, and their content of saturated fat and cholesterol is low or zero.
In either case, a balanced diet should include both. Ideally, two-thirds of the proteins we consume are of plant origin and one third, animal.
How many do we need?
The amount of protein that each one needs is determined by several factors, such as age, the health of our intestines and our kidneys, etc., elements that, in short, vary the degree of assimilation. According to the WHO, an adult man needs about 0.8 g per kilo of body weight daily.