Proteins are macronutrients that play an essential role in the human body. They are made up of amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein.
Function of Proteins
Proteins perform many critical functions in the body, including:
- Tissue growth and repair: Proteins are essential for the growth and repair of body tissues, including muscle, skin, and bones.
- Enzyme production: Enzymes are proteins that catalyze chemical reactions in the body, helping to break down and transform substances.
- Hormone production: Some hormones, such as insulin, are proteins that regulate many physiological processes in the body, such as blood sugar regulation.
- Immune system function: Antibodies, which are proteins produced by the immune system, help to identify and fight infections and diseases.
- Energy production: In times of low carbohydrate availability, the body can break down proteins into glucose for energy production.
Sources of Proteins
Sources of proteins include:
- Meat and poultry: Beef, pork, chicken, turkey, and other meats are excellent sources of protein. They are also good sources of iron, zinc, and vitamin B12.
- Fish and seafood: Fish, shellfish, and other seafood are also good sources of protein, as well as omega-3 fatty acids and other essential nutrients.
- Eggs and dairy products: Eggs, milk, cheese, and yogurt are all good sources of protein. They are also good sources of calcium, vitamin D, and other important nutrients.
- Legumes and soy products: Beans, lentils, chickpeas, and soy products such as tofu and tempeh are good sources of protein for vegetarians and vegans.
- Nuts and seeds: Nuts and seeds, such as almonds, walnuts, peanuts, and chia seeds, are also good sources of protein. They are also a good source of healthy fats, fiber, and other nutrients.