The Importance of Protein
When it comes to maintaining a healthy diet, making sure you have a well-balanced diet with plenty of proteins, is usually top priority. But, why is protein so important?
Simply put, protein is one of two macronutrients that the human body needs. Macro means “big”, so in other words, proteins, like carbohydrates are the two nutrients that you need the most of. As a side note, things like fats, vitamins, or minerals are often referred to as “micronutrients” because you only require these in small quantities.
So, then the question becomes, “why do you need large amounts of proteins?” The short answer is, proteins make up almost everything in your body and often oversee some vital reactions that our body needs to occur to keep us healthy (not to mention alive). From your skin, to your hair, to your nails, to your muscles – proteins are responsible for making us who we are – literally! And, unlike, carbohydrates, our body cannot store proteins, leaving it with no storage or extra reservoir to tap into, when protein levels are low.
Protein is what helps us recover from exercise, by reducing muscle loss and helping us repair and rebuild muscles. The higher your protein intake (assuming a low-fat consumption), the more lean muscle you can build and the easier it will be to maintain a healthy body weight. Not to mention, high protein foods can also keep your hunger pangs down and may eliminate some of those sugar cravings you have in between meals. This is because proteins are slowly broken down, so they enable you to maintain your blood sugar levels, keeping you fuller longer.
What are good sources of protein?
The great news is, protein can come from a wide variety of sources. So, getting enough protein should never be a problem. However, the challenge becomes, getting the right amount of protein, without also getting excess fat or carbohydrates. Here are a few sources of protein:
- Meat (Poultry, Beef, Pork, etc)
Eater Beware! Not all protein is made equal. Though animal protein is considered to be a “complete protein”, which means it contains all of the amino acids your body needs, it doesn’t mean that it is the best type of protein for you. Animal protein requires the body to use more energy to digest and get those amino acids where they’re needed the most. But, eating plant-based proteins from beans, legumes, and soy products often make it easier for your body to process proteins while still getting the right mix of essential amino acids. And, the best news of all is… you can get the same deliciousness in every bite when you take the plant-based protein approach. Just check out these 5 easy-to-make recipes using our 100% Organic Bean Pastas that are jammed packed with a healthy dose of protein!