Yes we need Protein. Protein plays an important role in our bodies and lives. It is the building block of life. There is no single cell that lacks proteins. Therefore, we need protein in our diets. It is important for growth and development in all age sets.
To help shed light on this, we will look at some of the reasons you should incorporate some protein into your meals.
Importance of proteins
Now that you know that we do need protein in our diet, it is only right that we look into the advantages of these building blocks. The truth is, proteins, just like all the other nutrients, play an indispensable role in the body. Here are some of the reason why we need proteins:
Protein plays an important role in the growth and maintenance of different tissues. When everything else is normal, the amount of protein that your body breaks down is equivalent to that used in building the muscles. Your body can also break down more proteins that beat production, which in return increases its needs. This is why sick people and pregnant mothers are encouraged to eat as many proteins as possible.
- Structural proteins take part in cell building
Proteins are building blocks for both cells and tissues. Certain proteins are fibrous and therefore provide cells and tissues with rigidity and stiffness. Some of these are keratin, collagen, and elastin, which play an important role in shaping and defining most structures. Keratin can be found in the bones, tendons, ligaments, and the skin. Do not forget that it is plentiful and more pronounced than all the other protein types. Elastin, just like the name suggests, is heavily elastic, and therefore, it helps the different tissues in your body regain to their normal shape.
Protein plays an important role in balancing fluids. This is possible since it regulates different body processes, which helps maintain fluid balance. Albumin and globulin are responsible for this scenario since they attract and retain water. This is one of the reasons why people are encouraged to eat more protein. The moment you deny your body its proteins need, the level of albumin and globulin will decrease, predisposing you to several conditions. For starters, blood will overpower the blood vessels forcing the fluids into the spaces of the cells. This can result in edema or abnormal swelling. Lack of enough proteins, therefore, leads to this condition, which is largely known as kwashiorkor.
- It boosts your immune system
Trust me; protein plays an even bigger role in your body. They help in the formation of antibodies that fight pathogens, keeping you healthy and safe. The body normally produces antigens as a response to external invasion by different disease-causing germs. Provided that the body produced antibodies to fight off a given infection; your cells will automatically manufacture them when your body faces the same attacks. Thanks to proteins, your body can fight off infections keeping you healthy and alive.
- Transportation and storage of nutrients
There are different types of protein in the body. Transport proteins are charged with ferrying substances through the bloodstream. This can either be into the cells, out for the cells, or from one cell to another. In case you are wondering what these substances are, they are mostly nutrients such as vitamins or minerals. Others include blood sugar, cholesterol, and oxygen. If you need a clear illustration, a good example is hemoglobin, which carries oxygen from the lung to the different body tissues. A session in a Biology class will also teach you that protein transporters only bind to specific substances. You will never find hemoglobin transporting glucose. Focusing on the second part, proteins also serve as storage units; a good example is ferritin, which stores iron.
- Proteins are sources of energy
This may seem far-fetched, but the truth is that proteins can act as a source of energy. I know that you are lost. Well, the calorie content in proteins stands at four calories per gram, which is similar to that of carbohydrates. The highest energy supplier among the nutrients is fats, which have a record of nine calories per gram. The reason why this energy is rarely used in the body is that protein is present in all the parts of the body. Due to this reason, fats and carbs are used as the main sources of the energy used to drive all the body functions. Fats can also be broken down easily and better to provide more energy, which your body needs. Protein, on the other hand, comes in when you are fasting. In case you are wondering how your body will break down the skeletal muscle, and in return, the amino acids will act as sources of energy. This can also occur if you have low carbohydrates reserves.
- Chemical messenger
Most of these hormones are proteins that play an important role in the communication between the cells, tissues, and different body organs. Hormones are transported in the blood to various target organs. There are three main categories, which are steroids, proteins and peptides and amines.
- Biochemical reactions
The last reason why you need proteins in your meal is because they play an important role in several biochemical reactions that happen in the body. This is done by enzymes and different proteins. Enzymes have distinct structures and can, therefore, combine with substrates to catalyze different reactions. Other enzymes, such as lactase helps in the breakdown of different nutrients. Keep in mind that the body needs these enzymes for digestion, energy synthesis, clotting of blood, and various muscles’ contraction. The absence of these enzymes predisposes you to several diseases that you should avoid. All in all, enzymes are proteins that catalyze different chemical reactions.
Do We Need Protein?
We need proteins in our meal and life. This nutrient plays an important role and acts as the building block of different structures in our body.
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