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Protein Explained



Proteins are complex molecules that play many critical roles in the body. They do most of the work in cells and are required for the structure, function, and regulation of the body’s tissues and organs.

Proteins are made up of thousands of smaller units called amino acids, which are attached to one another in long chains.

Amino Acids are organic compounds composed of nitrogen, carbon, hydrogen and oxygen with a variable side chain group. Amino Acids are the building blocks of protein.

Your body needs 20 different amino acids to grow and function properly. Although all amino acids are important for your health, nine amino acids are essential and must come from food. Eleven amino acids are non-essential because your body is able to make them.

Complete Proteins are known as the Nine Essential Amino Acids and must come from food.

-Meat -Nutritional Yeast

-Fish –Edamame

-Poultry -Quinoa

-Eggs -Buckwheat

-Yogurt, Milk & Cheese -Pumpkin Seeds

As you can see, there are a number of ways for Vegans and Vegetarians to obtain Protein from Nine Essential Amino Acids.

Incomplete Proteins are in short supply of essential amino acids. You can combine these incomplete proteins to make a complete protein.

-Beans -Nuts & Cheese

-Peas -Vegetables

-Whole Grains

What are the Health Benefits from Protein?

-Builds & Repairs bones, muscles, tendons & ligaments

-Stabilizes Blood Sugar

-Helps us feel full

-Boosts Immune System

-Burns Calories

How much Protein do you need?

Adults need ½ gram of protein per pound each day.

Children need 1 gram of protein per pound each day. Children need more protein than adults because they grow rapidly & need protein for proper development.