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How & Why to Become Pro Protein

Protein is an important element to everyone's diet, if not the most important. No matter if you are an omnivore, vegetarian or vegan, you need protein to help your body function at its best. Protein allows the body to build tissue, enzymes and hormones, as well as repair itself. Basically protein is one of the most important building blocks of the entire bodily structure and system. It is considered a macronutrient, which means that the body can consume large quantities of it every day, compared to other vitamins and minerals that only require minute amounts.

Most people would interpret this as meaning eat a lot of poultry or red meat every day, since those items are what many of us think of when we think of protein. However, protein can come in many different forms, and the form that you eat it in definitely matters for your body.

Different foods contain varying amounts of protein, mainly due to the range of amino acids in each product. Amino acids are the foundation of protein, with nine of them being essential, meaning they are only available through food consumption. There are many different foods that are amazing forms of protein, yet they don’t have any of the essential amino acids. Animal-based protein are the best at nourishing us with essential amino acids, however this doesn’t do vegetarians or vegans any good. That is why it is important to research which plant-based proteins contain which type of essential amino acids. Adding a variety of veggies to your diet is the best way to ensure that you are getting them all in, as opposed to relying solely on one kind. 

Do not take that information to mean that veggies are not a reliable source of protein. In fact, vegetables can be as good a source of protein as any animal product. If you rely on beef to fulfill all of your protein needs, then you will probably end up taking in an enormous amount of calories, saturated fat and cholesterol, which could end up being detrimental to your health in the long run. In order to keep yourself on track, choosing the proper protein types is key. There are types of proteins that are higher in B vitamins, while others may contain more iron. Some of the most nutritious protein choices include eggs, cottage cheese, chicken, whole grains, fish, legumes, greek yogurt, nuts and leafy greens. Including these kinds of foods in your daily diet, hopefully in every meal, will ensure that you are feeding your body its required protein. 

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