Updated: Mar 22
Proteins are essential nutrients that are necessary for the growth, maintenance, and repair of our bodies. They are made up of a combination of amino acids and they play many important roles in the body. Such of these roles include building and repairing tissues, producing enzymes and hormones, and supporting immune function.
There are several types of proteins, including animal-based proteins and plant-based proteins. Animal-based proteins are found in foods such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy products. Plant-based proteins are found in foods such as beans, lentils, nuts, seeds, and whole grains.
One of the most common myths about protein is that we need large amounts of it to build muscle and as a daily requirement. While protein is important for muscle growth and repair, the body can only use a certain amount at a time. Consuming more protein than your body needs will not necessarily lead to increased muscle mass, and can actually be harmful to your health.
Another common myth is that animal-based proteins are superior to plant-based proteins. Here is the fact; while animal-based proteins are generally higher in certain amino acids, plant-based proteins can still provide all of the necessary amino acids when consumed in the right quantity and variation. In fact, a diet that is high in plant-based proteins has been shown to have numerous health benefits, including reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Why won't you love plant proteins?
More myths and facts are cited below;
Myth: You have to always eat protein.
Fact: Proteins are made in the body, depending on the need. The ingestion of amino acids through our diet makes it possible for the body to manufacture its own protein. And the body does this as the needs arise. Hence, You do not need the same protein structure throughout your body for the whole of your life. They vary based on age, body needs, diet, physical activity and so on. Proteins aren't eaten, Amino acids are.
Myth: You need to eat animal products to get enough protein.
Fact: Plant-based sources of protein can provide all of the necessary amino acids when consumed in the right combinations. In fact, many plant-based sources of protein are rich in nutrients such as fibre, vitamins, and minerals, making them a healthy and nutritious choice.
Myth: High-protein diets are always healthy.
Fact: While protein is important for our health, consuming too much protein can be harmful. High-protein diets have been linked to an increased risk of kidney disease, osteoporosis, and certain types of cancer. It's important to consume protein in moderation and to choose healthy sources of protein.
Myth: Protein supplements are necessary for athletes and bodybuilders.
Fact: While protein supplements can be a convenient way to increase your protein intake, they are not necessary for most people. Athletes and bodybuilders can usually meet their protein needs through a balanced and healthy diet that includes plenty of whole and protein-rich foods. And if you must I recommend plant-based versions.
It's important to note that not all proteins are created equal. Some sources of protein, such as red meat and processed meats, have been linked to an increased risk of certain health problems. For example, a study published in the journal Circulation found that consuming just one serving of red meat per day was associated with a 13% higher risk of mortality while consuming one serving of processed meat per day was associated with a 20% higher risk. This put every meat eater at risk of chronic lifestyle diseases and early death.
On the other hand, consuming plant-based sources of protein has been linked to numerous health benefits. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that a diet that was high in plant-based proteins was associated with a lower risk of heart disease, while a study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found that a diet that was high in plant-based proteins was associated with a lower risk of all-cause mortality.
Do you know that Plant-based sources of protein have numerous health benefits? Here are some additional benefits of plant-based protein sources:
Improved digestion: Plant-based sources of protein are often high in fibre, which can help improve digestion and prevent constipation.
Reduced inflammation: Plant-based proteins are often rich in anti-inflammatory compounds, which can help reduce inflammation in the body and protect against chronic diseases.
Environmental sustainability: Plant-based proteins have a lower environmental impact than animal-based proteins, as they require less land, water, and other resources to produce.
Some examples of healthy plant-based sources of protein include beans, lentils, nuts, seeds, tofu, tempeh, and whole grains such as quinoa and brown rice. Incorporating these foods into your diet can help ensure that you are getting all of the necessary nutrients to support your health and well-being.
In conclusion, protein is an essential nutrient that is important for our health and well-being. While there are many different types of proteins, both animal-based and plant-based sources can provide all of the necessary amino acids when consumed in the right amounts. It's important to choose sources of protein that are healthy and nutritious and to avoid consuming too many amino acids or sources of protein that have been linked to negative health outcomes. This propels us towards eating a plant-based source of foods in general because they are the ones that resonate best with our bodies and inspire health in us. By following a balanced and healthy diet, we can ensure that we are getting all of the nutrients we need to live a healthy and happy life.