These are the bricks of the body. They constitute our envelope: bones, muscles, hair, nails, skin, but also our internal messengers such as hormones, enzymes or antibodies of the immune system, which defend us against infections.
Proteins are said to be essential to humans because they can not be made from other nutrients (as opposed to carbohydrates, for example) and must therefore be supplied by the diet.
chains of amino acids
At the molecular level, the proteins consist of chains of amino acids more or less long. There are in all 20 different amino acids, which can compose complex arrangements without limit, resulting in the formation of an almost infinite number of possible proteins.
Among these 20 amino acids: 8 are essential (leucine, isoleucine, valine, lysine, methionine, threonine, tryptophan and phenylalanine, to which must be added histidine and arginine in children), and must therefore be brought by the diet; 12 are said to be non-essential, ie they can be made from the essential amino acids.
Deficiencies and consequences
The repercussions of such a deficit range from simple fatigue to brittle nails, hair loss, decreased vision, weakened ligaments, osteoporosis or weakened immune systems. Actually, the body does not know how to store proteins ...
It is therefore important to ensure that sufficient protein is consumed every day, if possible at each meal, and of good biological quality
Animal proteins are easily accessible sources of high-quality protein:
- Eggs: these are the proteins with the highest biological quality
- White meat
- Red meat: without abusing them, because they can bring too much iron, especially to men, and that excessive drinking would be associated with increased risks of colorectal cancers (even if there is no formal causal link, The precautionary principle applies);
- Fish and sea food
- Delicatessen: preferentially if it is lean (ham, bacon fillet, grisons meat, etc.), paying attention to their salt intake, and preferring it to the cut to avoid nitrite-based preservatives ( Again applying the precautionary principle, as long as the risk to potential toxicity remains);
- Cheese and dairy products: if possible lightened or semi-skimmed, while avoiding excessive consumption.
There are some complete plant sources, such as soy and its derivatives (tofu, etc.). Cereals and legumes are good sources of protein, but incomplete. If your meal does not contain animal protein, or you are a vegetarian, you can also combine a source of cereal with a source of legumes
Proteins are essential nutrients, which should not be overlooked in order to maintain a good state of shape. It is strongly recommended to consume them regularly, favoring complete sources (animal proteins, soybeans, or combination of proteins Complementary vegetation, etc.) and, if possible, distributed throughout the day.