There is so much talk about protein – but do we really know what are we talking about? What are they and why are they so important? Proteins are considered one of the three main macronutrients, besides carbohydrates and fats. In fact, many consider them the most important nutrient. This is of course not true – we equally need all three groups of macronutrients and each of them plays a vital role in our body. Let us take a look at protein.
What are proteins?
Proteins are big complex molecules, made of amino acids. Different proteins consist of different amino acids in various combinations and play different roles in the body. Proteins can function as enzymes, as crucial parts of important body processes or simply as structural parts of our cells. They are mostly talked about in the context of muscles – and yes it is true, proteins are the main building blocks of our muscle cells.
Whatever function they have, proteins are crucial for life. We have to consume them through food and from there on, it is simple: each protein is digested and broken into individual amino acids. Our body uses these as building blocks to create new proteins.
How much do we need?
Official recommendations say we need 0,8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. If you are a woman with 60 kg, this means approximately 48 grams of protein per day.
But as we mentioned, we do not really need protein – we need the building blocks to make them, amino acids. Most of the amino acids we create by ourselves, but there are nine essential amino acids – we have to consume them through food, as our bodies can not synthetize them. It is therefore most important to eat high quality protein – proteins that contain optimal ratio and quantity of all essential amino acids.
Which food is rich in protein?
Everybody thinks of meat and other animal foods first, when talking about protein. The truth is, protein is everywhere – even in vegetables! Of course, nobody can eat so much broccoli and lettuce (they only contain small amount of protein) – this is why it is so important to choose concentrated sources of protein.
Best plant protein sources are legumes (beans, chickpea, soy, pea), nuts and seeds, quinoa, rice and greens. We have combined only the highest quality protein sources in our PlanetBIO Protein Shakes: pea, rice and pumpkin protein.