From your immune function, all tissues and cells, hair, nails, skin,
blood cells, bone, cartilage, ligaments, protein is a major functional
and structural component. Protein is needed for all chemical reactions,
digestion, detoxication and all organs. Protein provides the body with
roughly 10 to 15 per cent of its dietary energy, and is needed for
growth and repair.
Proteins contain Amino Acids and humans need
around 20 of these for the body to be healthy.
Depending on which expert you refer to 8-10 are
essential Amino Acids. So called because the body
cannot manufacture them. In order to get all the
Amino Acids the body needs, it is recommended to
include high quality animal sourced or high quality
vegetable sourced proteins.
Animal proteins are easier to digest and utilise within
the body. Vegetable sources need to be carefully
combined so that all the essential amino acids are present. If all Amino Acids are not
present then when the body comes to use the protein it would be like writing a novel
with the s and t missing, it can’t be done.
In the Western diet most people get enough protein, some eat far more
than they need. Protein is a substance that is particular to the
individual’s needs. For example athletes need a lot more than sedentary
people, even those who train heavily in a gym need extra amounts of protein.
Increased protein requirements are not limited to these people though.
Other people that need extra protein:
Yoga – people who practice the more dynamic form on a regular basis
Growing Children / Teenagers
Long-term vegetarians or vegans
Swimmers – regular swimming increases the demand
It is important to know what the correct protein consumption is for
you personally. You can research this yourself or speak to a good
nutritional therapist that can help guide you.
In my practice I have found that quite a few women don’t understand
their need for protein, in general men either eat enough or too much.
Protein deciency can lead to accelerated aging, lowered immune function,
fatigue, and muscle wastage. It can affect every aspect of health –
even mentally as protein grounds you, a long-term deciency can lead to
feelings of ‘disconnection’. Children’s wellbeing can suffer too if their diet
consists mainly of carbohydrates and not enough quality proteins.
Over consumption of animal protein can lead to sluggish digestion, toxic
build up in the gut and excess uric acid in the blood caused by over worked
kidneys. This can lead to chronic health conditions and disease.
Over consumption of animal protein can also lead to calcium loss due to
excess phosphorus in animal protein, this upsets the delicate balance
and the body is forced to leach calcium from the bones. There are some
studies done that have found higher risk of bone fractures in women who
consume high amounts of protein.
Further reading on over consumption of protein and weakened bones at:
Best Sources of Protein:
Pulses, Nuts, Seeds
Some whole grains – black or wild rice
High quality organic Dairy – including goats products, ewes products.
If you would like a list of foods and the protein content please contact me
via email or phone and supply your email address.