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Function Of Protein in The Body

Updated on April 1, 2013

For heaven's sake, do not eat too much protein" - an old wives' tale that haunts the nutritional science and can make you sick. Without protein the body does not function properly, nervous and immune systems are weakened, and mental capabilities becomes sluggish.

Too much protein causes by far not as much dangerous effects on your health - as opposed to a lack of protein. This is usually not really noticeable at first: First of all your physical and mental performance are weakened. A fact that many people attribute to other factors, such as stress, poor sleep, or even the weather. This negligence, if left unattended may have far-reaching consequences: bones become brittle and the immune system is so weak that one constantly suffer from infections. In addition, protein deficiency reduces fertility.

Proteins make up the main part of the human diet, in addition to carbohydrates and fat. Each protein is composed of up to 100 amino acids. Enzymes in the gut break down the food protein into its individual components which are absorbed through the intestinal wall into the body where they are there reassembled, according to the proteins that the body needs. Proteins perform various tasks. These are:

  • Storage proteins that store vitamins and minerals.
  • Structural proteins, that provide for stability in the tendons.
  • Motion proteins, that are important for the functioning of the muscles.
  • Carrier proteins, which are responsible for carrying oxygen to the cells.

Proteins are also important for the formation of various enzymes and hormones. One of the most important hormones that one should not miss in sufficient quantities; serotonin. It arises from a brain-active protein component, tryptophan.

Solution Oriented Thinking

Serotonin is known as the "feel-good hormone." A deficiency of this hormone leads to bad moods and in severe cases often to depression. In such cases the doctor then prescribes a drug to elevate the Serotonin levels in the blood. In severe cases this hormone treatment is required, however one can simply increase protein intake to prevent such cases at their initial stages.

Serotonin has not just a good humor hormone. It makes you capable of thinking in solutions, not just problems. People who are successful real-maker types, have a good level of tryptophan and serotonin levels. People with high levels of serotonin are a paragon of optimism and succeed in motivating others and infect others with their enthusiasm. Therefore carries the serotonin is also known as the "boss hormone."

Biological Value of Protein

In order to supply the body with an adequate supply of protein, it is important that you do not just eat protein, but morever that it is incorporated in the right kind of diet. Because it does not depend on the amount, but on the amino acids contained in proteins. Depending upon how the protein is composed, it is assigned a specific biological value. If it contains many amino acids, which are quite close to those of the body, you have to eat less of it. Accordingly, the biological value (BV) is very high. The basis for assessment of the protein biological value, the chicken egg is used. This has a value of 100. Through a clever combination, you can increase the value even further. For example:

  • Potatoes and eggs - 136
  • Potatoes and cheese - 113
  • Corn and beer - 114
  • Beans and eggs - 108

Therefore always keep the biological value of different foods in mind. You lose on a completely protein-free diet 13 to 17 g protein per day. Even if you were to supply this amount of protein every single day, it can still result in a shortage, because the biological quality of the protein is not always 100 or above.

It is important to add protein rich food that is of vegetable origin. Animal protein is indeed high, but simultaneously contains triglycerides, uric acid and cholesterol - a sickening mixture.

A food that is highly rich in protein is lentils - if they are cooked without fat. This makes the protein intake in the intestines better and it also eliminates the annoying flatulence that the legumes are associated with.

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