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The Importance of Protein in Your Everyday Diet

The Importance of Protein in Your Everyday Diet

It's Growing Popularity

Over the last 5 years, there has been growing obsession fitness supplements. It seems as if every other week there is a new supplement on the market advertised to give you that so called "ideal body". However, there is one is particular that fitness fanatics seemingly can’t go without. That’s right, protein! You may have witnessed one of your friends guzzling down a chocolate shake just minutes after a workout. Or you may actually be guilty of this yourself. Because of it's proven abilities to speed up the recovery rates of broken down muscles from working out, it can be argued that as an athlete you are in fact holding yourself back from optimal performance by not adding some sort of protein supplement to your everyday diet. But, believe it or not, protein is not just for those who partake in the "fitness lifestyle".

Why is Protein So Important?

Protein is a very important component of each and every cell throughout the body. They are in fact the building blocks of any living organism in terms of bones, muscles, blood, skin, and much more. The list of benefits is close to endless, but to name a few:

  • Growth and body development
  • Healthy cell maintenance
  • Healing of wounds and scars
  • Hair and nail growth
  • Boosting of both the nervous and immune system
  • Aids in digestion
  • Supports neurological function
  • Helps to naturally balance hormones

What Exactly is Protein?

In short, proteins are long chains of amino acids. Classified as a macronutrient, the human diet requires relatively large amounts of it in order to properly function. Macronutrients provide both calories and energy. Other macronutrients besides protein are fats and carbohydrates. Unlike fats and carbohydrates, the body is unable to store proteins which is why it is important to consume the proper amount on a daily basis for optimal health. According to the DRI (Dietary Reference Intake), the average male should consume around 56 grams of protein per day verse the average female who should consume 46 grams per day!

There are a total of 20 amino acids within the body’s proteins. Of these 20, there nine in which the body’s cell cannot manufacture on their own. Theses specific amino acids are referred to as essential amino acids or essential proteins. The highest sources of essential/complete proteins primarily come from animals. However, it is no secret that eating steak and burgers everyday can lead to a variety of health issues including high levels of cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, and much more. Experts recommend consuming the majority of your proteins from the following:

  • Fish
  • Poultry
  • Beans
  • Nuts
  • Whole grains

Getting the Proper Dosage

Although it is rare for the average person, failing to consume the proper dosage of protein on daily basis can lead to one becoming amino acid deficient. Effects of this deficiency include:

  • Low energy levels
  • Low levels of concentration
  • Unstable blood sugar levels
  • Trouble maintaining a healthy weight
  • Trouble building muscle mass

Still, consuming the proper dosage can be a challenge for some, especially for those who enjoy the active/fitness lifestyle. Adding a healthy protein supplement to your daily diet can be extremely beneficial. For great taste, try these two recipes below:

Peachy Green Protein Smoothie (20 oz serving):

  • Unsweetened Almond Milk- 1 cup
  • Frozen Peaches- 1 cup
  • Banana- ½
  • Pineapple- ½ cup
  • Ground Flaxseed- 1 tablespoon
  • Kale- 2 cups
  • Vanilla Protein Powder of choice- 2 scoops

Peachy Green Smoothie

Blueberry Mango Smoothie (16 oz serving):

  • Unsweetened Almond Milk- 1 cup
  • Frozen Blueberries- ½ cup
  • Frozen Mango- ½ cup
  • Chia Seeds- 1 tablespoon
  • Vanilla Protein Powder of choice- 2 scoops

Blueberry Smoothie

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