A primer on Proteins

The most important thing that makes life possible and keeps us going is the energy we get from the regular intake of foods. Without foods and the energy from the foods, one cannot sustain in this life.

The foods we consume contains a mix of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, fibers, vitamins and minerals. Without a right mix of any of these essential aspects, we cannot get the required energy for the body.

Proteins are very essential in the prinicipal years of life, especially the childhood and the adolescene period. Proteins are also required for the maintenance of the body throughout the life.

They are required primarily for two things – one is to build body structure such as bone matter as well as cell tissues. The second is to maintain the supply of antibodies, hormones as well as enzymes that are essential for digesting the food we consume in either solid or liquid form. During the process of digestion, the proteins are broken down into the components – called amino acids, and these amino acids are then absorbed and rearranged/

The amino acids present in the proteins are linked together in the form of chain structures. It has been found that as many as 24 types of amino acids are there in the proteins. Of all the 24 amino acids, ten amino acids are called as “essential amino acids” and are required for the effective survival of the body. In other words, if one does not consume these essential amino acids on a daily basis, the body cannot survive as the food we intake devoid of these essential amino acids could not be synthesized effectively. Almost all the foods we intake have these essential amino acids in some proportion. Some of the examples of these essential amino acids include milk, fish, eggs and meat.

In addition to these 10 essential amino acids, some amount of other amino acids are also produced from the proteins that are required for effective maintenance of the body. The balance 14 types of amino acids are called as “second class proteins”. It does not mean that you can afford to ignore these second call proteins. They are also equally important and required.

One has to ensure that the required amino acids are included in our daily intake of food in some form or the other. The body is bestowed with the unique capability of processing the foods and extracting the protein required for the maintanence of the body.

You need not get too much worried about the actual content of each type of amino acide contained in each type of food and such other things. All types of food we eat, either vegetarian diet or non-vegetarian diet,contain some amount of protein, and it is the responsibility of the body’s digestive system to extract the amino acids and maintain the body. One interesting aspect is that the amino acid profiles in each of the food groups complement each other in some way or other, and ensure that they get the complete protein required for the body.

As long as one consumes a wide range of staple foods that include some amount of daily products as well, the requirement of protein for the your body and its effective maintenance can be adequately fulfilled.

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