These Sources of Protein Promote Anti-Ageing, Overall Wellbeing & Much More

 

sources of protein

Protein is of paramount importance to the human body, serving as a cornerstone of health and functionality. At its core, protein is essential for the growth, repair and maintenance of our body's cells and tissues. It provides the structural foundation for muscles, organs, skin, hair and nails, ensuring that they remain robust and functional throughout our lives. It is an integral part of our immune system, forming antibodies that defend against infections and illnesses. Overall, protein's multifaceted functions make it indispensable for our overall health and well-being. Adequate protein intake through a balanced diet is essential to support these processes, ensuring that our bodies function optimally and remain resilient against various challenges and stressors.


The Best Sources of Protein

1. Lean Meats

Lean cuts of beef, such as sirloin or tenderloin, as well as poultry like chicken and turkey, are some of the best sources of protein. Opt for skinless poultry to reduce saturated fat intake. 

2. Fish

Fatty fish like salmon, trout, mackerel and sardines are not only high in protein but also provide heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.

3. Eggs

Eggs are versatile sources of protein and they contain all essential amino acids (Lima, M., Costa, R., Rodrigues, I., Lameiras, J. and Botelho, G., 2022. A narrative review of alternative protein sources: highlights on meat, fish, egg and dairy analogues. Foods, 11(14), p.2053). They are also rich in nutrients like vitamin B12, biotin, and choline.

4. Dairy Products

Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, and low-fat milk are excellent dairy sources of protein. Greek yogurt, in particular, is high in protein and probiotics.

5. Legumes

Beans like black beans, kidney beans, chickpeas, and lentils and peas are plant-based sources of protein. They are also high in fiber and various vitamins and minerals.

6. Tofu and Tempeh

These soy-based products are popular sources of protein for vegetarians and vegans (Karyadi, D. and Lukito, W., 2000. Functional food and contemporary nutrition-health paradigm: tempeh and its potential beneficial effects in disease prevention and treatment. Nutrition, 16(7-8), p.697). Tempeh and tofu are versatile and you can use them in a variety of dishes.

7. Nuts and Seeds

Almonds, peanuts, chia seeds and flaxseeds are protein-rich snacks and additions to meals. They also provide healthy fats and fiber.

8. Quinoa

A pseudo-grain, quinoa is unique among plant-based foods as it contains all nine essential amino acids, making it a complete protein source.

9. Seafood

Apart from fatty fish, other seafood options like shrimp, crab and scallops are good sources of protein and are low in saturated fats. Learn more about the best sources of protein by logging into DocTube.

Protein for Healthy Skin & Anti-aging

Protein plays a crucial role in maintaining healthy skin and also helps in anti-aging. Here is how protein contributes to skin health:

1. Collagen Production

Collagen is a protein that provides structural support to your skin, helping it stay firm, elastic and youthful. Without including adequate sources of protein in the diet, your body may struggle to produce enough collagen, which can lead to sagging skin and the formation of wrinkles.

2. Wound Healing

Protein is vital for the process of wound healing. When you get a cut or injury, your body relies on proteins to repair and regenerate skin cells. Proper healing helps prevent scarring and promotes the overall health and appearance of your skin.

3. Skin Repair and Regeneration

Skin cells are constantly turning over, and protein is essential for the regeneration of new skin cells (Rattan, S.I., Kryzch, V., Schnebert, S., Perrier, E. and Nizard, C., 2013. Hormesis-based anti-aging products: a case study of a novel cosmetic. Dose-Response, 11(1), pp.dose-response). Adequate protein intake ensures that your skin can repair itself effectively and maintain a healthy appearance.

4. Antioxidant Protection

Some proteins contain antioxidants that help protect your skin from damage caused by free radicals, which can accelerate the aging process and lead to skin problems.

5. Moisture Retention

Proteins like keratin help form a protective barrier on the skin's surface, preventing moisture loss. This barrier function is critical for maintaining hydrated and healthy-looking skin.

Protein for Healthy Bones and Muscles

Proteins are widely known as the building blocks of our muscles. Skeletal muscles, responsible for voluntary movements, are primarily composed of proteins. When we consume dietary protein, it gets broken down into amino acids, which are then used by our bodies to repair and build muscle tissues. This process is vital for muscle maintenance, growth, and overall strength (Ebeling, P., Daly, R., Kerr, D. and Kimlin, M., 2013. Building healthy bones throughout life: an evidence-informed strategy to prevent osteoporosis in Australia. Medical Journal of Australia, 2(S1), pp.1-9). Protein intake is especially important for individuals engaged in physical activities, athletes, and those looking to increase muscle mass. It aids in post-workout recovery, helping to repair muscle fibers that may have been damaged during exercise. Proteins also contribute significantly to bone health. Collagen, a protein abundant in our bones, provides structural support and flexibility. It is essential for bone density and strength. Without adequate protein intake, our bodies may struggle to maintain healthy bone mass, increasing the risk of conditions like osteoporosis. 

Protein for Optimal Brain Function

Protein plays a pivotal role in supporting optimal brain function, influencing various cognitive processes, neurotransmitter activity and overall mental well-being. Here is why protein is essential for your brain:

1. Neurotransmitter Production

Proteins are integral in the synthesis of neurotransmitters, which are chemical messengers that transmit signals between nerve cells. Amino acids, the building blocks of proteins, are essential for producing these neurotransmitters. 

2. Brain Structure and Repair

The brain consists of various proteins that are essential for its structure and repair (Rothman, S.M. and Mattson, M.P., 2013. Activity-dependent, stress-responsive BDNF signaling and the quest for optimal brain health and resilience throughout the lifespan. Neuroscience, 239, pp.228-240). Neuronal proteins are responsible for maintaining the integrity of brain cells, ensuring efficient communication between them and facilitating the repair of damaged neurons.

3. Energy Source

While the brain primarily relies on glucose for energy, certain situations, such as prolonged fasting or low-carbohydrate diets, can lead to the use of ketone bodies derived from proteins and fats as an alternative energy source for the brain.

4. Long-term Brain Health

Adequate protein intake is particularly crucial during critical stages of development, such as childhood and adolescence, to support proper brain growth and function. It helps to preserve cognitive function and potentially reduces the risk of age-related cognitive decline and neurodegenerative diseases.

Protein for Weight Loss

Protein is a valuable nutrient for weight loss. It plays a crucial role in satiety and metabolic processes. Consuming protein-rich foods helps control appetite by promoting a feeling of fullness, reducing the chances of overeating or snacking on unhealthy options (Leidy, H.J., Clifton, P.M., Astrup, A., Wycherley, T.P., Westerterp-Plantenga, M.S., Luscombe-Marsh, N.D., Woods, S.C. and Mattes, R.D., 2015. The role of protein in weight loss and maintenance. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 101(6), pp.1320S-1329S). Moreover, protein has a high thermic effect, meaning it requires more energy for digestion and metabolism, potentially increasing calorie expenditure. Additionally, protein helps preserve lean muscle mass during calorie restriction, preventing muscle loss while primarily targeting fat for energy. Thus, incorporating protein into a balanced diet can be an effective strategy for weight management.









  Does protein promote glowing skin?  
   

Protein is enriched with amino acids that help to create collagen in the human body. It helps to fortify collagen levels and keep the skin looking clear, smooth and free from wrinkles.

 
  What are the best vegan protein sources?  
   

Some of the best vegan protein sources include quinoa, tofu, pulses, nuts, seeds, oats and brown rice.

 

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