Why Proteins Are Important
In POST 1, we spent a lot of time going through a variety of research that emphasized the value of including high-quality protein in our diet.
Eating complete protein (meat, eggs, fish) is recommended for optimal health and wellness.
It is important for our body because it:
- Provides our cells with the essential building blocks.
- Optimizes the cell’s ability to do its job(s).
- Protects the cells from damage. Part 1
Protein has an enormous influence on our well-being at every age!
Knowing what it is about high-quality complete protein that makes the difference in health – wellness – fitness is what we’ll walk through today.
Having even today’s simplified overview of how it works is helpful when it comes to:
- embracing the idea of eating more complete protein
- wrapping your head around its importance so you feel comfortable when it feels like you are receiving advise to restrain/reduce your consumption.
The information that helped me, as well as many clients, feel comfortable as well.
1: The body does not store Protein as it does Fat.
2: There is no need to eat a large portion at one sitting.
3. Eating portions throughout the day that add up to meet individual body needs is the goal.
4: Consistency will create ongoing accessibility of all the amino acids (building blocks) for the body’s cellular processes to pull from.
1-4 Will exponentially help every system in the body.
Having ALL the Building Blocks from Complete Protein -at the ready- is the KEY.
When it comes to Protein ‘parts’, we need 20 building blocks, and 9 of them are ESSENTIAL!
Essential means we must have them for things to work well. (like essential workers)
- Growing, Repairing
- Health Crisis, Aging
Nine of the amino acids (9 of the 20 building blocks) you can’t manufacture.
Your body depends on you to provide the nine essential building blocks from the foods you eat.
If one or more essential building blocks are unavailable when needed, the body will do what it can to bridge the gap.
It will do this by breaking down and getting what it needs from your muscles or other tissue.
When you lack even one of these nine, over a more extended period, you’ll constantly be pulling from your body until the deficiency creates symptoms – physically and mentally.
A Few Examples of Amino Acid Deficiency:
- Muscle wasting (Think of how we have less muscle as we age –we need more protein.)
- Fatigue, Mood
- Our Immune System can weaken
- Skin and Hair can be weak, break, fall out, not grow.
- Metabolism can slow.
- Hormonal disturbances.
- Need to oversleep
Our brain can be negatively impacted as well:
- Cognition decreases
- Depression sets in
- Anxiety increases
- Overall low mood
- Disturbed sleep…
This list is by far not complete, but is a sampling of research attributing the negative impact even ONE missing essential amino acid can have on our body over time.
The longer we go without one or multiple building blocks, the more multi-system stress gets placed on the body.
Note: It is important to know that the Essential nine are crucial, but the other 11 building blocks, although NOT essential, are needed.
If they, too, are depleted long enough, the same negative impact on our body will result.
Today’s Simple Self Care Tip: Build your meals around a portion of complete protein.
Complete Proteins Provide The Building Blocks. What Does That Mean?
When we eat food, our body disassembles it. Then it takes the pieces it disassembled and reassembles them in a way that can our cells can use them.
The pieces of food broken down by our chewing and other digestive processes give us the different building blocks our body needs.
The first step to improving health, wellness, and fitness, is to ensure that we provide our body with all the ‘pieces’ it needs.
Providing our body with all the ‘pieces’ it needs to maintain, repair, and replicate our cells is the KEY to all our goals.
When reassembled, the amino acids from protein are in shapes that can communicate with the cells, providing them with what they need to do their jobs.
The Cells use the building blocks we get from complete proteins for their:
(I always said– proteins give our cells what they need to S.M.I.L.E. and communicate)
Thinking of the Amino Acids (the building blocks) as a 20-letter alphabet helped me see just how important they would be…
If you had the job of getting someone to move closer to you, you’d assemble the letters needed to get the job done.
If you were missing one of the letters (building blocks) at the time you needed to take action, you’d still likely get your message across by using what you had available.
If you were missing two or three of the letters (building blocks), it would take much longer for the action to take place because the message was more challenging to understand.
This was a really helpful way for me to envision precisely why I needed to consistently provide my body with all the amino acids (building blocks).
The building blocks and body-wide communication helped make it crystal clear to me that it is time well spent to plan and build meals and snacks around complete proteins, so my body had:
- what it needed when it came to building blocks
- when it needed them.
Having all the building blocks ready for the exact time they were needed meant I was:
- protecting my cells from undue stress and deterioration. They could finally replicate optimally.
- these healthier cells created healthier tissues,
- the healthier my tissues became, the better my organs functioned,
- my healthier and healthier organs improved how every system in my body worked!
Finally, my health – wellness- fitness goals became a reality.
Nothing short of amazing…
This was true for many, many of my clients of all age groups as well.
Next time: How much protein? Design your plate around protein. How Protein fits in when you want to Gain, Maintain, Lose, Heal, and Improve your Health Span.