What is Nutrition Part Two- Protein

What is protein, how do you get it and why do you need it?

It is important for your health down to each cell that makes up your body to consume quality food including protein. 

Protein builds muscle, yes, but it does a whole lot more than that!

Protein builds muscle, yes, but it does a whole lot more than that!

What is protein exactly? 

Feeding your body nutrient dense whole foods gets you a good solid foundation and a strong brick house for a body both inside and out.  

Feeding your body nutrient dense whole foods gets you a good solid foundation and a strong brick house for a body both inside and out.  

Think of your body as a brick house. Proteins are the bricks that build your house. They are important to and essential for a healthy system.

We are made up of several different systems all working together to keep us going each second of each day. It is only so long before your body starts to feel the effects of the types of bricks you give it. 

What does protein do for your body?

  • It makes up about 20% of your body weight and is the major part of our muscles, hair, nails, skin, eyes and internal organs- especially the heart and brain. That is a lot of bricks that need to be built. 
  • Your immune system needs protein to make antibodies that fight infection. Hemoglobin and thyroid hormones are proteins.
  • During digestion proteins are broken down in to amino acids which provide structure in the body and help your cells talk to each other and to other systems in the body.
  • Your neurotransmitters are made of amino acids and 95% of muscle tissue is made from amino acids.
  • Remember that your heart is a muscle so it is also 95% amino acids.
  • They play a part in the regulation of your DNA too. 

What does this mean exactly?

Pastured meats, wild caught fish, eggs and raw dairy are excellent sources of protein. 

Pastured meats, wild caught fish, eggs and raw dairy are excellent sources of protein. 

Daily consumption of good complete proteins is essential to a healthy system and a healthy body. A complete protein is something that contains all the essential amino acids which are mostly found in animal products like meats, poultry, eggs, milk and cheese.

Ideally these products would come from pastured animals and raw dairy but do what you can if the highest quality is not in your budget. If you are a vegetarian you may have to combine some foods to get your complete proteins but it can be done. To learn more about combining foods to make complete proteins here

 Soy should only be consumed as traditionally fermented foods such as miso and natto. You can learn more about fermented soy and why I don't recommend consuming regular soy in this article.

How much protein should you consume?

Eating a diet full of processed and refined foods will get you a brick house like this on the inside and over time on the outside of your body too. 

Eating a diet full of processed and refined foods will get you a brick house like this on the inside and over time on the outside of your body too. 

About 30% of your diet should be high quality proteins give or take. You have to play around and see what works best for you. The World Health Organization suggests .45 grams per kilogram of body weight. 

Bottom line is to eat some good food to build and maintain a healthy body. Here is a great recipe to get you started from my friends at Truth + Wellness.  Enjoy!