Protein is one of four basic nutrients: Water, Protein Fats and Carbohydrates and as mentioned in yesterday’s blog: WATER. By choosing the healthiest forms of each of these nutrients and by eating them in the proper balance, you enable your body to function at its best.
Protein is made up of building blocks called AMINO ACIDS which are the end-product left in your body once your digestive system has broken it down. Proteins provide structure to all living things as every living thing is composed of protein. It participates in the vital chemical process that a contains life and necessary for every cell of the body.
Second to water, protein makes up the greatest part of our weight as it is found in:
A deficiency of protein can upset the body’s fluid balance causing EDEMA
Amino acids enable vitamins and minerals to perform their jobs properly. Even if vitamins and minerals are absorbed and assimilated by the body, they cannot be effectively utilized unless the necessary amino acids are present.
EXAMPLE: Low levels of TYROSINE (which is important to overall metabolism as well as a precursor of adrenaline and the neurotransmitters: NOREPINEPHRINE and DOPAMINE, which regulate mood and stimulate metabolism in the nervous system) may lead to an IRON deficiency
Deficiencies and/or impaired metabolism of amino acid METHAIONINE (which assists in the breakdown of fats, which helps to prevent a buildup of fat in the liver and arteries that might obstruct blood flow to the brain, heart and kidney’s) and TAURINE (high concentrations of taurine are found in the heart muscle, white blood cells, skeletal muscles, and central nervous systems and are the building blocks of other essential amino acids as well as a key component of bile which is needed for proper digestion of fats and the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins and the control of serum cholesterol levels) has been linked to allergies and auto immune disorders.
There are approximately 28 commonly known amino acids that are combined in various combinations to create 100’s of different types of proteins present in all living things.
The LIVER produces 80% of amino acids needed, the remaining 20% must be obtained from the diet. These are known as ESSENTIAL AMINO ACIDS:
For example: The non-essential amino acid CYSTEIN (Which is important for the formation of skin, nails and hair and in detoxification) and TYROSINE (which is important for overall metabolism and precursor of adrenaline and the neurotransmitter of norepinephrine and dopamine which regulate mood and stimulate metabolism of the nervous system and acts as a mood elevator) are made from the amino acids METHIONINE and PHENYLALANINE (which is essential because it crosses the blood-brain barrier which can have a direct effect on brain chemistry. Once in the body, it converts to tyrosine)
If methionine and phenylalanine are not available in sufficient quantities, cysteine and tyrosine then become essential to the diet.
ALSO, in times of stress like ILLNESS, both ARGININE (which retards the growth of tumors and cancers by enhancing immune function) and GLUTATHIONE (a powerful antioxidant that is stored in the liver and released to help maintain the integrity of red blood cells and protect white blood cells) are depleted.
The best way to get all essential amino acids is with ANIMAL PROTEIN. If you are a vegetarian or vegan, making sure to combine grains and legumes, like black beans and brown rice, will ensure that you are getting all the essential amino acids. Supplementation is possible BUT do so with caution and with the supervision of a healthcare professional.
Tune in tomorrow for information about the controversial topic of FAT!
I'm Elizabeth and I love cooking! When my son was faced with many different food allergies, cooking became very challenging. Now I like to educate people about what they are putting in their mouth as well as inspire others that cooking healthy allergen friendly foods are easy and delicious. For recipes, visit my Instagram account @holisticmommabear