‘Life in us is like water in a river’
Henry David Thoreau
If we translate this quote in the language of our body mechanism it means that every cell in your
body is constantly being recycled. You have a new stomach lining every five days. You are
continually replacing old blood cells with new ones. The proteins in your muscle are continually
turned over as old tissue is broken down and new tissue is synthesised. So where are these new
cells/tissues coming from? The answer is: from your food, most precisely from protein.
18-20% of our bodies are made up by protein. Water is the only other substance more plentiful in
the body. There would be no life without protein.
All proteins are made from building blocks called amino acids and there are 20 of these in total.
The three groups of amino acids are: essential, non-essential and conditionally essential.
Out of 20 amino acids 9 are considered to be essential to the daily diet because the body is unable
to produce or synthesise them itself.
Non-essential amino acids are made by the body from essential amino acids. They are present in
many foods but are not always required to be part of the daily diet.
Sources of protein:
Fish and shellfish
Turkey and chicken with skin removed
Lean cuts of beef or pork
Nuts and seeds including almonds, hazelnuts, mixed nuts, peanuts, walnuts, peanut butter, sunflower seeds
Black beans, kidney beans, lentils, split peas
Tofu, tempeh and other soy protein products
Low-fat dairy products
YOU CAN DIVIDE PROTEINS INTO FURTHER TWO CATEGORIES: COMPLETE AND INCOMPLETE PROTEINS.
1. Complete Proteins contain all nine essential amino acids.
Sources: Eggs, meat, poultry, dairy (animal source)
Soy foods, Buckwheat, Quinoa (non-animal source)
2. Proteins are originated from plants:
Sources: Vegetables, Cereals and grains, Cereal products (bread, pasta), Pulses, Nuts
Eat a high- protein food with every meal (lean meat, fish, eggs or diary products)
and aim for approximately 1g of protein per pound of body weight per day and your protein nutrition is covered.