Foods Containing Protein
Proteins are one of the primary nutrients needed by the human body. They play an important role in the realization of many body functions such as growth, development, cell repair, muscle formation and blood production. For this reason, attention should be paid to the amount of protein that should be taken daily for a healthy life and care should be taken to include foods containing sufficient protein in the diet calendar. So, what are protein-containing foods? What foods should be consumed for adequate protein intake? For detailed information about protein-containing foods, you can read the rest of our article.
What Are Protein Containing Foods?
Protein-containing foods can be of animal or vegetable origin. Foods that have an important place in protein intake are:
Red Meat: Especially lean red meat is very rich in protein. It is also an important food source in terms of vitamin B12 and iron. 100 grams of lean red meat contains about 30 grams of protein.
White Meat: Chicken meat is among the protein-based foods and is rich in vitamin B3. 100 grams of chicken breast contains about 30 grams of protein.
Egg: One of the most important protein sources among foods containing animal protein is eggs. Both the yolk and white of the egg contain protein, but the white is richer in protein.
Fish: Among the protein-heavy foods is fish, which is an animal food. Fish varieties are rich in both protein and omega-3.
Milk and Dairy Products: Dairy products such as milk, yogurt, cheese, and ayran are among the foods rich in protein. These foods also contain plenty of calcium.
Oilseeds: Oil seeds, which have an important place in vegan nutrition, contain high amounts of protein. Soybean, rapeseed, cottonseed, flaxseed, sesame, chia seed, sunflower seed and peanut are the most important oilseeds. The pulp of these oilseeds also contains high protein. For example, soybean contains 40% protein, while soybean meal contains 50% protein.
Grains: Wheat, rice bran and oats have an important place among protein-containing foods. Compared to oilseeds, cereals contain 10-12% less protein than oilseeds.
Legumes: Legumes such as peas, chickpeas, broad beans and lentils are richer in protein content than grains. Legumes contain 20-30% protein, depending on their variety.
Green Plants and Leaves: Some green plants, such as spinach, alfalfa, broccoli, and beet leaves, are among the vegetables that contain protein. Although the protein ratio of these plants is lower than other foods, vegetables containing protein also have an important place among the foods containing protein.
Why Are Protein-Containing Foods Important for the Body?
Protein-containing foods are very important for human health and physiology as they meet the body’s protein needs. The importance of proteins – and therefore protein-containing foods – for the body are as follows:
Proteins are one of the main substances of all living cells. It plays an important role in many vital activities such as the creation of tissues and regeneration of cells.
Protein is one of the basic nutrients used in the energy production of the human body. When 1 gram of protein is burned, 4 calories of energy are released. In this respect, protein-based foods are of great importance as an energy source.
Protein is included in the structure of enzymes that play a role in the realization of many chemical events such as production and destruction in the body.
Some hormones are made of protein. For example, hormones of the hypothalamus, pancreas, and pituitary are made of protein.
Proteins also play an important role in the formation of immunity. Proteins take part in the production of antibodies, which are the most important elements of immunity.
Protein, which plays an active role in balancing intracellular and extracellular fluids, prevents water accumulation (edema) in the body.
Hemoglobin, which carries oxygen in the blood, also contains proteins in its structure.
Proteins also provide the acid-base balance in the body.
How Much Protein Should Be Taken Daily?
Approximately 10-15% of the daily energy need in the human body is met from proteins. Daily protein consumption should be 0.8 g per 1 kg of body weight or 30-35 g per 1000 kcal for adults. The amount of protein that should be taken daily can also vary depending on age and gender. Since the weight and muscle density of men are higher than women, the amount of protein consumed and needed is higher in men than in women.
The daily intake of protein RDA values, which depend on individual body weight and body composition, is as follows:
For Young Men: 45 g
For Adult Men: 58-63 g
For Young Women: 46 g
For Adult Women: 44-50 g
How Should Protein-Heavy Foods Be Consumed?
For a healthy life and a balanced diet, every meal should include protein-based foods. Protein-containing foods should be divided into meals and protein intake should be balanced.
Consuming protein-containing foods for breakfast is a good start to reach your daily protein intake. You can make a good start by consuming milk and dairy products, eggs, protein-containing vegetables and oatmeal to choose protein-containing foods for breakfast. Eating protein-containing foods for breakfast allows you to start the day more energetic and also makes you feel less hungry during the day.
To balance protein intake, you can consume protein-containing foods such as vegetables, pumpkin seeds and almonds in snacks. It is very important not only to eat protein-containing foods for breakfast, but also to balance the meal with a vegetable or animal protein source at every meal of the day. Foods containing protein for breakfast can be not only milk and dairy products, but also a pancake made with protein-containing vegetables.
Lunch and dinner should include protein-based foods such as fish, chicken and red meat. Protein-containing foods such as grains and legumes that can replace them can also be a second choice for lunch and dinner.
What is Protein Malnutrition, Which Diseases Does It Cause?
Malnutrition is the name of the nutritional disorder in the literature. Protein malnutrition is a nutritional disorder caused by insufficient protein intake and can cause various problems. Protein malnutrition may develop due to not consuming foods containing sufficient amount of protein in the daily diet or various absorption disorders.
Protein malnutrition can lead to:
Inadequate protein intake can lead to loss of muscle tissue in the first place. Muscle tissue weakens over time as the body tries to meet the protein it needs from muscle tissue.
Since protein plays a role in balancing intracellular and extracellular fluids, if protein-containing foods are not consumed in sufficient quantities, it causes edema in the body.
Protein malnutrition also causes various problems in organs such as the liver and heart. Inadequate protein intake can develop myocardial failure and, if left untreated, can quickly lead to heart failure.
When protein, which plays an important role in the formation of immunity, is not taken in sufficient quantities, the body becomes open to infections and this can cause many diseases.
When protein-containing foods are not taken in sufficient quantities, protein energy malnutrition develops and the body begins to use all energy sources in the body to produce energy. In advanced levels of protein malnutrition, subcutaneous adipose tissue decreases, so body temperature cannot be maintained and its capacity to regulate the amount of water decreases. As a result, hypothermia, dehydration and hypoglycemia may develop.
Is Excessive Protein Intake Harmful, What Causes?
Excess protein intake, like insufficient protein intake, is of course harmful and can lead to various problems, even diseases. Excessive protein intake can be seen in athletes who frequently consume protein-rich foods and in people who include foods containing a lot of protein in their diets to lose weight.
Problems that may occur in the body with excessive protein intake are as follows:
When protein-rich foods are consumed excessively, the heart starts to work more with the sudden increase in protein in the body. This causes the heart to tire. If the diet contains high amounts of fat along with protein, cardiovascular disorders may also occur.
Excessive protein intake causes calcium to be discharged from the bones and weakens the bones. This causes osteoporosis over time.
The calcium leaving the bones begins to concentrate in the kidneys and causes the formation of kidney stones.
The liver starts to work harder in order to remove the protein taken in more than needed amount. Overworking of the liver can cause various liver problems.
Gout may occur with an increase in uric acid, which is one of the end products of protein metabolism. Excessive protein intake can also cause gout as it causes an increase in uric acid.
For a healthy life, it is very important to consume foods containing protein and to reach the amount of protein that should be taken daily. You can apply to the nearest health institution to get information about everything for your health, and you can talk to a specialist dietitian for nutrition and adequate protein intake.
We wish you healthy days…