Protein can be found in every cell of the body. It is required for major bodily functions and can be found in the skin, hair, nails, enzymes, antibodies, muscles and other body parts/tissue.  More importantly, it helps build and maintain the skeletal system which supports the body and assists in movement. Functions of protein also include supporting our immune system and promoting metabolic health.

Benefits of protein
  • Increased muscle mass 
  • Increased fat burn
  • Better utilization of glucose
  • Improved immune system
Protein is made up of building blocks called amino acids. There are 20 amino acids which make up a protein. The human body does not have the capacity to store amino acids, therefore some amino acids must be acquired through food on a daily basis. These are referred to as essential amino acids. 

There are some foods which provide all of the amino acids humans require and are called complete proteins. Examples of complete proteins are animal-based foods: beef, chicken, poultry, eggs, etc. On the other hand, there are foods that lack all of the essential amino acids and are referred to as incomplete proteins. Most plant-based protein sources are considered incomplete proteins and include grains, legumes, and nuts. Despite your food choices it is important to know the following:

  1. Are you consuming enough protein?
  2. What are the best ways to maximize protein consumption?
  3. Will you benefit from protein supplementation?
Join the Nutrition Team for the complimentary talk, All About Protein, on July 24 at 10:30 a.m. If you have any questions or would like to RSVP, please contact us at nutrition@houstonian.com.