Protein Definition

Protein builds, maintains, and replaces body tissues. Protein helps regulate different processes in the body such as formation of enzymes and hormones. Muscles like the heart, and many other organs and vital parts of the immune system like red blood cells and hemoglobin are made up mostly of protein.

To figure out your protein needs, divide your weight in pounds by 2 and that is approximately the number of grams your body needs. Foods contianing protein:

Complete vs. Incomplete Proteins

Protein from animal sources is called complete because it contains all nine of the essential amino acids. Most vegetable protein is considered incomplete because it lacks one or more of the essential amino acids so if you do not eat meat, try to combine different foods like rice, breads, nuts and vegetables to get all the essential amino acids.

Amino Acids

The digestive juices in the stomach break down the protein in food into simpler parts called amino acids which are used to make the proteins, which in turn maintain muscles, bones, blood, and organs.

Scientists have found many different amino acids in protein. 22 of the amino aids are very important to health. 13 of them can be made by your body and the other 9 have to come from protein-rich food.

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