Proteins, long chains of amino acids, are essential micronutrients that are part of every single living cell, tissue or organ in the body. Protein plays a major role in aiding digestion, the growth of muscles, balancing hormones naturally, building and repairing body tissues.
Certain proteins are synthesized by the body while others are obtained from food. Typical sources of proteins include legumes such as peas and beans, animal products e.g. meats, poultry, eggs, milk and dairy products, and whole grains, etc. In fact, about half of your daily dietary protein is used to make enzymes (specialized worker proteins).
Here are some of the reasons why the body needs protein
- Boost immunity
A regular meal comprising of protein rich foods keeps the body processes running efficiently which in turn contributes greatly to good health. Proteins, such as antibodies, are essential for boosting your immunity. They fight harmful bacteria and viruses, referred to as antigens, to protect you from infections, sickness, and diseases. However, too much consumption of proteins does not increase protein synthesis and growth.
- Building body muscles and bones
Myosin, myoglobin, and actin are some of the proteins found in the muscle tissues. The outer part of bones is rich in calcium and other minerals while their inner structure and bone marrow contains proteins. As the body synthesises new proteins, it continually replaces the damaged and dead cells to help in the growth of stronger bones and muscles.
- Stabilizing blood sugars levels
Proteins also exist as hormones which are transported through the bloodstream to regulate various body processes. For example, Insulin is a hormone that is released to control blood sugars levels in the body. Therefore, eating rich-protein food slows down the absorption of glucose which prevents type-2 diabetes.
Since protein is necessary for our bodies, we should make it a habit of consuming foods rich in protein on a daily basis. So that even as we age, our bodies have enough amino acids to improve our immune systems, cognitive abilities and prevent excessive muscle loss.