Best Sources of Protein
Published On Nov 28, 2020, Updated On Feb 08, 2021
Proteins are made up of amino acids that contain essential nutrients which are essential for the human body. Proteins are building blocks of the human body as they make up body tissue and muscles. They produce about 4kcal or 17 kJ of energy per gram which makes them one of the best foods to be included in everyone’s diet. Scientifically, proteins can be defined as polymer chains made of amino acids linked together by peptide bonds.
Proteins are broken down during the digestion process and are converted to amino acids, which can easily be absorbed by the human body. Human beings require the nine essential amino acids and hence cannot survive without proteins. Proteins are mainly responsible for the building and repairing of bones and body tissues like muscles.
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Health Issues Caused Due to Protein Deficiency
Many health complications can arise due to the deficiency of proteins. Some of them are listed below:
1. Kwashiorkor: Causes pedal oedema, skin depigmentation, skin aggravation, diminishing hair and tooth misfortune, repression of mental and physical advancement
2. Marasmus: Causes weakness, muscle squandering, lowered vitality levels and weight loss
3. Impaired mental health: Causes mental hindrance, stress, surliness
4. Oedema: Causes swelling in feet, hands and stomach
5. Organ failure: Protein deficiency causes malfunctioning of various organs of the body
6. Wastage and shrinkage of muscle tissues: As the body requires proteins, it extracts its requirement of proteins from the muscles, which lead to shrinkage of muscle tissues.
7. Weak immune system: Protein deficiencies lead to a decrease in the number of antibodies in the human body, which in turn weakens one’s immune system.
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Food Sources Rich in Protein
The best sources of protein for everyone would include:
1. Eggs: Eggs are regarded as one of the best and readily available sources of proteins
2. Milk and other dairy products: Milk and other dairy products contain a considerable amount of proteins which are especially crucial for young children.
3. Legumes: Legumes should compulsorily be incorporated into one’s diet as they serve as a good source of protein and fibre.
4. Fish: Fish contain an immense amount of proteins. This is why fish oils are marketed as protein supplements to people with protein deficiencies.
5. Soy: Soy can be found in protein powders and other supplements. Soybeans act as a great source of natural protein.
6. Leafy greens: Spinach is one of the best sources of protein. Leafy greens generally contain proteins in abundance and are also readily available.
7. Chickpeas: Chickpeas can act as an alternative to other supplements as it is healthier.
8. Seitan: Seitan is a popular choice for vegans and vegetarians who cannot consume some of the other proteins.
9. Tofu: Tofu is a versatile protein source as it can be used in many different forms with ease.
10. Lentils: Lentils act as a staple food and provide a good amount of proteins.
11. Nuts and seeds: Nuts like walnuts, almonds and seeds like quinoa act as excellent protein sources.
12. Poultry: This is one of the most widely used sources of proteins.
Harmful Effects of Consuming Excessive Protein
Consuming protein is good for the human body, but consuming too much of it can have some harmful effects. Such as:
- Bad breath
- Calcium loss
- Increasing the risk of cancer
- Heart disease
- Kidney damage
Consuming proteins or rather the right amount of proteins is significant for an individual to live a healthy life. They can do so by incorporating good proteins into their diet in a sufficient amount. There are different sources of proteins available for different people. All people cannot consume the same protein as they have differing lifestyles. The proteins listed above are the best sources of proteins available. The different diseases due to deficiency of protein can be tackled easily with proper intake of protein rich food. You should also get covered under a health insurance plan with OPD cover so that you could get expenses of consultation and few restorative medicines covered by it.
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Disclaimer: This article is issued in the general public interest and meant for general information purposes only. Readers are advised not to rely on the contents of the article as conclusive in nature and should research further or consult an expert in this regard.