Are Your Proteins Complete? 17 Interesting Facts About Proteins - Grace Ngo Foundation

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Thursday, 15 October 2015

Are Your Proteins Complete? 17 Interesting Facts About Proteins

Natural protein sources from plants 
The term protein is derived from the Greek word protos meaning “first” The derivation indicates the importance ascribed to this substance when it was first recognized. An essential structural component of all living matter, protein is involved in almost every biological process in the human body, and it makes up more than half the dry weight of most cells.

Here are some 17 Interesting Facts about Proteins

1. Proteins come in different shapes and sizes, and each plays a unique role in the body. The primary role of proteins is to provide the building materials for the various components of the body’s tissues. Cells are your body’s protein manufacturing plants. Proteins are the basic chemical components of myosin, actin, collagen, elastin, and keratin – substances in the muscles and connective tissues. They provide the basic building units of hemoglobin,, enzymes, hormones, neurotransmitters, antibodies, and protein “carriers” of certain nutrients in the blood. Protein are also used in energy formation, but this is not their primary role.

2.  Protein like carbohydrates and fat, is a macro nutrient.  Macronutrients are nutrients that provide calories or energy.  Protein and carbohydrates each provide 4 calories per gram.  Fat provides 9  calories per gram.  The only other substance that provides calories is alcohol.  Though humans do not need alcohol to survive so it is not a macronutrient.

3. Insects are more nutritious than many other common forms of protein.  For example, 100 grams of top sirioin beef contains 29 grams of protein  and 21 grams of fat.  However, 100 grams of grashopper contain 20 grams and just 6 grams of fat

4. One typical  human male ejaculation  contains about 150mg of protein.

5. Errors in protein function can cause diseases such as Alzheimer's and cancer, as well as prion diseases such as Creutzfeldt Jakob disease in which the brain degenerats to a structure that looks like a porous spong.

6. Complete proteins are proteins that contain all nineof the essential amino acids.  Typically, proteins from animal foods such as meats, poultry , fish dairy and eggs are complet.  Incomplete pretien sources usuallly include nuts and vegetables.

7. Protein deficiency can cause serious helath problems.  For example, children with a protein deficiency could develop a condition known as kwashiorkor.

 8. The protein in eggs is among the highest quality of protein found in any food.

9. Proteins helps make a meal more satiating  which in turn help people maintain a healthy weight.  Just increasing protein from 15% to 30% of total calories and reducing fat from 35% ti 20% can result in sustained weight loss.
10.  The fish with the most proteins include:  Yellowfin Tuna, anchovies, salmon, halibut, snapper and tilapia.

11.  Without a protein called Albumen, the entire body would swell.

12. Cataracts are said to be caused by the denaturation of proteins in the lenses of the eyes

13.  Hair is made up of a protein called keratin, which forms a helical shape, This protein has sulfur bonds, and the more sulfur links it has, the curlier a person's hair will be.

14.  Inadequate protein/amino acid intake can affect the entire body, including:  bone synthesis, red blood cell production, heart cell turnover rate, immune function/antibodies, enzymes/hormones, skin elasticity/muscle tone, organ function, body pH and the entire body function.

15.  Eating too much protein can be dangerous for the body.  For example, high levels of protein can stress the livers and kidneys and kidneys because they have to work extra hard to dismantle and dispose off the extra protein.  Excess protein can also lead to weight gain.

16. The human body has about 100,000 different types of protein.  The body needs protein to grow, heal,  and carry about nearly every chemical function in the body. 

17.  Animal proteins are more similar to our proteins than are plant proteins.  They are used more readily and rapidly.  In order words, our bodies can use animal proteisn slightly better than plant-based protein, However some meats are loaded with unhealthy saturated fat.  The healthiest choice of meat is lean meat low in saturated fat.      

How often do you consider your cells when planning your diet, Indeed not all foods eaten by us are needed or used by our cells. Proteins are complex and often large molecules that require many types of enzymes for their digestion.

Amino Acids:

Proteins are comprised of sub units called amino acids. (amino acids are described as the “building blocks” of protein.)
Classification of Amino Acids:
Of the 20 naturally occurring amino acid, 9 cannot be manufactured (synthesized) by the body, or cannot be produced in adequate amounts, and therefore must be supplied by the diet. These 9 amino acids are called te essential amino acids. The other 11 can be manufactured by the body and are referred to as the nonessential amino acids, There are no specific dietary requirements for the nonessential amino acids. Protein in foods contain both essential and nonessential amino acids.

The body manufactures the nonessential amino acids from carbohydrates and nitrogen and by chemically rearranging essential and nonessential amino acids. Nonessential amino acids are as important to protein synthesis as the essential amino acids are, but they are seldom given as much attention because the body does not require dietary sources of them. Of the billions of types of proteins that can be made from the 20 amino acids, the body manufactures and uses only several thousands of types.
Proteins are classified by their shape or by their ability to be used by the body in protein synthesis. This ability depends on their essential amino acid content. How well a dietary protein supports protein synthesis is referred to as its “quality” The quality of dietary sources of protein is an especially important issue s where few high-quality protein foods are available and among vegetarians.

The quality of a protein source depends on its content of essential amino acids. Complete proteins contain all of the essential amino acids in the amounts needed to support protein synthesis in the body. If any essential amino acids is missing in a protein source, or if any is present in only a relatively low amount, the protein source cannot be used for protein synthesis. Protein sources that lack particular essential amino acids are considered incomplete proteins. Proteins found in milk, meat, eggs, and other animal products are complete proteins, whereas proteins in plant sources are incomplete proteins

In spite of the fact that not every protein made in the body contains all of the essential amino acids, the lack of just one essential amino acid halts protein production in the body. if it strikes you as inefficient for the body to shut off all protein synthesis for the want of one or two amino acids, consider what would happen if protein synthesis continued. Cells would end up with an imbalanced assortment of protein. That would seriously affect cell functions and homeostasis. Without the needed level of each essential amino acid, proteins consumed can only be used to form energy. The body does not store amino acis, so they mus be available for the body’s use all at once. This means we need to consume a sufficient amount of complete protein consistently throughout our lives.
Complementary Proteins

Which combinations of plant proteins complement each other depends on which essential amino acids are missing from the particular plants or present only in low amounts. The essential amino acid that is missing or found in the lowest amount is referred to as the limiting amino acid. The goal of combining plant foods to obtain a complete source of protein is to select foods that complement each others limiting amino acids. To select complementary proteins. The three most common limiting amino acids in plant foods are lysine, methionine, and tryptophan. Wheat, rice, nuts, and seeds contain limited amounts of lysine but a good amount of methionine. All of the legumes except peanuts contain a high amount of lysine but a low amount of methionine. Thus, combining a grain such as rice with a legume such as dried ;beans provides a source of complete protein.

The following are examples of combinations of plant foods that could supplement the other and provide near complete protein  for vegans:

1) rice and dried beans
2) rice and green peas
3) bulgur (wheat) and dried beans
4) barley and dried beans
5) corn and dried beans
6) corn and green peans
7) corn and lima beans
8) soybeans and seeds
9) Peanuts, rice and dried beans
10) Seeds and green peas.


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