To put it simply, proteins are the building blocks of life. Our bodies utilize proteins in a variety of different ways in order to build and repair muscle, and make enzymes, hormones, and other essential chemicals. Also, protein is an absolute powerhouse when it comes to the production of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, hair and even blood! Without the benefits of protein in our diet, we would constantly suffer in our growth and development as women.
What is it about protein that makes it such an indispensable element in our diet? Proteins contain components called amino acids, which contribute a great deal to our digestive system. Everyone relies on amino acids to keep their digestive tract working properly. There are three groups of amino acids that make up proteins:
- Essential amino acids: These cannot be produced by the body, so we must rely on food sources in order to garner the benefits.
- Nonessential amino acids: These acids are made by the body, or are found in the normal breakdown of proteins.
- Conditional amino acids: These become important during times of illness or anxiety. (via U.S. National Library of Medicine)
Luckily, amino acids are very common in foods, so supplementing your diet should not be too much of a struggle! Sticking with items like meats, milk, fish, eggs, soy products, beans, nuts, and whole wheat grains will go a long way in promoting a protein-friendly lifestyle. Proteins, like fats and carbohydrates, are considered to be macronutrients. Our bodies require fairly large quantities of macronutrients in order to function correctly, so getting enough protein into your diet should definitely be a priority!
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Incorporating enough protein into your meals can make the world of difference, especially for those of us who are looking to trim down our waistline a little! Research has revealed that protein-packed diets — combined with a healthy exercise regiment, of course — can help you shave off those extra pounds. Protein can help increase fat burning in our bodies, it can keep us feeling fuller for much longer after we eat, and it fuels our body with the necessary nutrients to build lean, sexy muscle!
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