Nutrients hold a vital role in the functions, formation and healing of the human body. There are several nutrients like calcium, potassium, magnesium, calories, vitamins, etc., which play their own role in giving you a maintained health. Among all, proteins have their own importance giving you various benefits in different ways. Let’s see here health benefits of protein in detail.
Proteins – A Short Overview
Proteins are molecular structures in the cells, generally visualized in a complex form. They carry most of the work in the cells, which carry out tasks such as structuring, functioning and regulating of the tissues and organs of the body. Every protein in the cells carries specific functions, which lead your body to a healthy path. Some of the proteins are tangled in the supporting of the structures, while the rest are intricated in the movements of the body or in protecting your body from germs. Hence, they are also different according to their functions. The proteins are formed with a set of 20 amino acids, which are interlinked, forming some polypeptide chains.
Health Benefits Of Protein
There are various types of proteins, which are formed by the three-dimensional shaped polypeptide chains. Here is a list of its type and health benefits of protein & the functions it helps in maintaining your health.
The antibodies are dedicated proteins that are helpful in guarding the body from foreign invaders, also known as, antigens. The antibodies over the bloodstreams and get absorbed by the immune system. When absorbed, they identify the harmful germs and protect your body from the germs like bacteria, virus, and similar antigens. The antibodies restrain the antigens, which helps the white blood cells to destroy them.
2. Muscle Contraction
Also known as contractile proteins, these proteins are helpful for the movement of the muscles and the body. They include actin and myosin, which are categorized filament proteins, better for your muscles. When the muscles are given a signal from the central nervous system, both the proteins act accordingly by gathering and shortening lengthwise, which gives your muscles some contraction to move.
Enzymes are proteins that help in soothing the biochemical reactions. They are also known as catalysts, which increase the speed of the chemical reactions in your body. Lactase is an enzyme, that breaks the sugar lactose in the milk. While pepsin is an enzyme that helps the digestive system to obtain proteins from the food. Both are popular enzymes with their own unique properties.
4. Hormone Proteins
Hormone proteins are known as the messenger proteins, which play a vital role in the co-ordination of the activities performed by the body. Insulin, somatotropin and oxytocin are some of the prevalent hormonal proteins. Insulin helps in regulating the metabolism of glucose, by having a control over the concentration of the blood sugar. Somatotropin boosts the production of proteins in the muscle cells, while oxytocin arouses the contractions experienced by women during the delivery period.
5. Structural Proteins
Structural proteins are the supporting proteins, which are gristly and stringy. Structural proteins include collagen, keratin and elastin, which are helpful for the body. Keratins are essential to provide a strong protection cover to the skin and hair. The collagen and elastin are supportive proteins for the connecting tissues like the ligaments and tendons.
6. Storing Proteins
Storage proteins are very helpful in the storage of amino acids. The list of storage proteins includes ovalbumin, ferritin and casein. Ovalbumin is widely found in the white portion of the eggs, while casein is obtained from milk. Ferritin is helpful in storing iron in the hemoglobin. All these proteins help in storing various elements in the body.
7. Transporting Proteins
As the name suggests, transport proteins move the molecules from one part to another in the body. Hemoglobin is a transporting protein, which allows the flow of oxygen in the body through the red blood cells. It also transports carbon dioxide from the lungs to all the cells and tissues, which also removes the metabolic waste through the excretion process. Another transporting protein is the cytochromes, which function in the transportation of the electron chain, in the form of an electron transferred protein.
8. Energy Proteins
When the carbohydrates are washed-out, the body uses energy from the proteins. The proteins use the amino acids, in the form of energy compound, which is further used in the form of glucose to generate energy through the oxidization process. This process is also risky, if more energy is generated through the energy proteins.
Hence, proteins in any form are essential for the functioning of the body in various ways.
Disorders Due To Deficiency Of Proteins
As proteins are very important for the body, the deficiency of proteins also has some side-effects, which may require medications to get back to normal life. The deficiency list is as bellows.
Have you ever visualized anyone with a bony texture with quite less muscle tissues! This situation arises when one faces Marasmus. This deficiency is widely found among the children and the infants. Marasmus attacks the body when it lacks the deficiency of various nutrients, among which, proteins is the prime one. The symptoms of marasmus include a sudden decrease in weight and dehydration. Marasmus can also be a reason of long term starvation, which results in the deficiency of required nutrients.
The unembellished deficiency of proteins through diets lead to Kwashiorkor. When the level of proteins decreases to a great extent in the body, with the increase of calories like carbohydrates through ingredients like rice, yams or bananas. The disorder is widely faced by the children, which would lead them into a figure with puffy abdomen. The symptoms of having Kwashiorkor are petulance, fatigue, diarrhea, stunted growth, damage of the cognition or mental health.
3. Lack of Protein C and S
The deficiency of Protein C and S is the main reason of abnormal blood clotting. The deficiency of protein C is seen in 1 from 300 individuals, while in the case of protein S, 1 is suffering from the deficiency from 20000 individuals. The basic symptoms of the deficiency are swelling, pain, tenderness and redness. The individuals suffering from this deficiency suffer from frequent blood clots, if they carry activities like sitting for a long time, long time traveling, bed rest, etc. Long term deficiency may lead to disorders like the ischemic stroke.
Cachexia is a disease, which weakens the muscles of the skeleton along with reducing the protein cells. The diseases are also related to other disorders like chronic kidney failure, AIDS, rheumatoid arthritis, obstructive pulmonary disease, cancer, and much more. It leads to sudden weight loss, which in severe conditions results in death. When the patients exclude the required amount of proteins in the diet, it can result in colon cancer, liver cancer, stomach cancer, pancreases and biliary cancer.
Hence the deficiency of proteins can lead to harmful diseases, which may also result in death. The diseases widely grab the small and big children along with the infants, which makes it necessary to give them an adequate amount of proteins on a daily basis.
What Are The Common Symptoms Of Having A Protein Deficiency?
The lack of proteins in the body can be known through various changes in the body. They can be easily experienced by yourself or the family members. Here are some common symptoms of having a deficiency of proteins.
- Sore and weak muscles
- Increase in the water retention
- Dry skin, rashes and flakiness
- Immediate weight loss
- Anxiety and nausea
- Skin ulcers
- Bed sores
- Stubborn wounds
- Constant headaches
- Frequent mood swings
- Profound line formations surrounding the toes and nails
- Changes in the skin color
- Depression and much more
What Are The Rich Sources Of Proteins?
We have seen health benefits of protein & disorders due to deficiency of proteins. Proteins are essential for the growth and the functions of the human body. Hence, it is necessary to include at least one ingredient in your meals that are rich in proteins. Here are some ingredients, which would help you in gathering adequate proteins.
Seafood is an ingredient low in fats. It also carries various nutrients healthy for your heart. Having fish like tuna, salmon, shrimp, etc. come with high omega-3 fatty acids that are essential to keep your heart healthy.
Eggs rank top in the list of protein rich ingredients, which are also well known for the nutrients like minerals, vitamins, anti-oxidants for your eyes, nutrients beneficial for the brain, etc. The whole eggs are rich in proteins, in which, the white portion of the eggs come with pure protein.
Almonds are also known as tree nuts, which come loaded with proteins, fiber, magnesium, manganese and Vitamin E. They hold a vital role in the development of the protein cells in the body. Along with almonds, pistachios and cashew nuts also carry some protein levels, beneficial for you.
4. Lean Beef
The delicious ingredient is a treasure box of proteins. It is also loaded with other nutrients like vitamin B12, bioavailable iron, and zinc. The skinless chicken breast also gives you a good quantity of saturated fat helpful in the digestion process. The lean beef includes ingredients like cooked beef, cut beef, etc.
Milk is an exceedingly nutritious ingredient, which comes with high quality of proteins with it. It provides with amazing benefits to the human body along with other nutrients like phosphorus, riboflavin and calcium, which is the daily requirement of the human body.
6. Greek Yogurt
Also known as strained yogurt, Greek yogurt comes with a thick texture. The delicious and creamy ingredient is also filled with various nutrients, like proteins and calories, low in fats too. You can also go for full-fat Greek yogurt; however, it comes with much more calories than the non-fat Greek yogurt.
7. Cottage Cheese
Cottage cheese is preferred by the people who are conscious about the amount of fat and calories they are having. Cottage cheese is overloaded with proteins, selenium, Vitamin B12, phosphorus and Vitamin B2, while it is low in calories and fats. You can also include Parmesan cheese, mozzarella, swiss cheese and cheddar, which give you an equal amount of proteins.
Among the grains, oats are the best healthy ingredient, which are encumbered with proteins, healthy fibers, manganese, magnesium, thiamin and various similar nutrients. Including them in your breakfast would surely give you a healthy beginning of your day.
Broccoli is a healthy green vegetable, with an incredible amount of nutrients like proteins, Vitamin K, fiber, calories, Vitamin C and potassium. It also carries various other bioactive nutrients, which help in the protection against cancer.
An ingredient among the superfoods on the earth is quinoa grains or seeds. The grain is laden with proteins, fiber, minerals, vitamins and antioxidants, necessary for countless health advantages. Have it raw, boiled or cooked, it gives you an equal amount of nutrients in any form.
Lentils, a form of legume, give you nutrients like potassium, fiber, magnesium, folate, iron, manganese, copper, etc. This plant is the best ingredient for the vegetarians for getting the adequate amount of proteins required in a day. Along with lentils, other legumes rich in proteins are soya beans, kidney beans and chickpeas.
12. Ezekiel Bread
This organic bread is made with a combination of sprouted whole grains, legumes, barley, millet, wheat, spelt, and soya beans. Compared to other bread, Ezekiel bread comes with a high amount of protein and fiber with other nutritious nutrients.
13. Pumpkin Seeds
The edible seeds derived from pumpkins are incredibly rich in proteins, magnesium, iron and zinc. The pumpkin seeds are the prime ingredients for several people, who is looking for protein rich diet. Along with pumpkin seeds, other seeds which accompany them are flax seeds, chia seeds and sunflower seeds.
Peanuts are one among awfully delicious ingredients, which are ironic in proteins, magnesium, fiber, etc. Peanuts are also good for the people who are looking for weight loss diets. However, it is good to avoid the excess intake of peanuts in your diet leading to several disorders. It is also consumed in the form of peanut butter by various people.
Thus we have seen here various sourses & health benefits of protein. Hence, there are various veg and non-veg options for giving your body required amount of proteins for having a proper functioning and growth. People are also adopting the protein supplements which are available in the market with ease. Made from high quality of dairy products, the protein supplement has shown wondrous results in the formation of muscles, or reducing those extra kilos. So, next time you cook your meals, make sure you have minimum one of the ingredients to give your body organs quality amount of proteins.