Unlike carbohydrates, fat and similar micronutrients, protein has an almost spotless reputation and you will rarely hear anything bad about it. Protein is hold in high esteem, and we are constantly being told to aim at getting enough of it. While most people associated protein with animal products, the truth is that there are many vegetarian options that are packed with protein, too. We are constantly being advised to make sure we are getting enough protein, as this fabulous macronutrients numerous health benefits.
What is Protein?
Let’s think of protein as a long string of pearls. Each one of those pearls in the string is an amino acid. When protein is digested, we end up breaking a part that string of amino acids into individual amino acids. Therefore, if we take a group of amino acids and string them together, we end up with protein.
Each amino acid plays a different role and can do amazing things, for example, an amino acid called phenylalanine ends up as dopamine, a neurotransmitter that makes us happy. There are two types of amino acids, essential and non-essential.
Now non-essential doesn’t mean that we don’t need them it just means we can create them ourselves from the essential amino acids. They are called essential because we must get them from our diet, and we can make the remainder, non-essential, ourselves
The body needs protein for numerous reasons, and its lack would cause breaking down of the muscle tissue in order to supply the needed amino acids.
The most important property of protein is its ability to repair and build muscle mass. It also creates neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, and melatonin, which send signals around the body. Plus, it has a role in the creation of antibodies, hormones, and enzymes.
You should always make sure you are getting enough protein, but not in excessive amounts. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), you should get a minimum of at least .13g/lb of protein per bodyweight daily to stay alive and prevent muscle wasting.
Their official recommendation for protein consumption is .30g/lb. However, your individual range depends on various factors, such as age, goals, physical activity frequency, type, duration, etc.
For example, the protein requirement for elderly people is slightly higher than the average consumption recommendation by the WHO. Yet, the safe range is within .2g/ – .8g/lb.
Going higher than.8g/lb will cause unneeded stress on the liver. When the body metabolizes protein, one of the results is ammonia which is turned into urea we can excrete. The excessive amounts of protein will expose the liver to a great pressure, and it should never be overburdened.
The most popular protein sources include meat, fish, and eggs. Always make sure you are consuming high-quality, organic products as animals can store toxins in their fat.
However, you can get the needed amounts of protein from plant sources as well, and these are the 10 richest sources, which have more protein than eggs. An egg of 50g has 6g protein, and these foods have more protein per 50g:
Chlorella is an algae used to help with heavy metal detoxification. As little as 50 grams of chlorella provide up to 29 grams of protein. It is also loaded with calcium, iron, magnesium, and vitamin A.
There are 16g of protein per 50g. This sea vegetable is also high in potassium, iodine, and fiber. Add it to salads, in soups, or wraps.
Has 10g of protein per 50g. It is also a good source of healthy fats, biotin, vitamin E, and manganese. Great to add to smoothies.
Flax seeds contain 9g of protein per 50g. and are also rich in fiber and omega-3s, which soothe inflammation. Always use fresh flax seeds, to preserve the oils, and ground them. Add them to smoothies or use them as an egg substitute.
Cacao nibs have 7g of protein per 50g. Cacao is not the same as cocoa, as it contains the living enzymes intact, so it helps digestion. Also, it is rich in calcium, fiber, and magnesium.
These contain 16g of protein per 50g. and are also abundant in omega-3 fat, Sprinkle them on your salads, or add them to smoothies.
50 grams of protein offer staggering 25 grams of protein. Also known as Noosh, nutritional yeast is also packed with vitamin B-12.
There is 28g of protein per 50g. This superfood and algae detoxifies the body and eliminates heavy metals, and is also high in B vitamins, potassium, vitamin K, magnesium.
It is actually roasted and crushed sesame seeds, and 50g. contain 10g of protein. These seeds have potent anti-inflammatory properties and are abundant in vitamins and minerals such as manganese, magnesium, and zinc.
Combine it with steamed veggies like broccoli and cauliflower, and enjoy!
50g. of these seeds contain 8g of protein. They also destroy parasites and are high in magnesium. You can add them to salads or eat them as a snack.