Protein is touted as a “must-have” nutrient when it comes to health and fitness. But why? What makes it so important to the human body?
Protein is responsible for assisting with many functions in the human body.On a molecular level, it makes up your muscle fibers in the form of myoglobin and elastin. And, as enzymes, it helps with food absorption and waste removal. Its antibodies help protect your immune system and its keratin gives you strong hair and nails.
On a health and fitness level, eating protein helps build strong muscles. It works to repair them after grueling workouts and prepare them for additional strength training. When your diet has adequate quality proteins, it raises your “good” cholesterol level and reduces your risk of heart attack, stroke and other cardiovascular issues. It also helps you stay fuller longer and keeps your blood sugar more stable, giving you relief from hard-to-fight cravings.
Good Protein Guidelines
Some good protein choices as far as meatsare lean beef and pork, chicken, turkey and fish. Make sure the cuts you select are low in fat as even ground turkey and chicken can sometimes have more than you expect. Also, you want to try to stay away from processed meats as they tend to be high in sodium and contain other chemical additives to keep their shelf life.
In regard to vegetable protein sources, beans, whole grains and nuts are on the top of the list. Not only do they give you a healthy dose of fiber, but they’re loaded with vitamins and minerals to boot.
Try to include some form of protein every time you eat. It will make your meal more satisfying and give your muscles everything they need to function efficiently and effectively.