Are you eating the optimum amount of proteins every day? What are proteins and how important are they to optimum functioning? The answer is VERY IMPORTANT! After water our bodies are mostly composed of proteins. Proteins are the main component of all cells, that are essential to life. Proteins are often called “the building blocks of life”. Proteins are the staple of our most important immune system today, as we fight off illness. Our immune system needs all the help it can get!
Protein is the building block of our bodies:
- Collagen which provides strength and structure to tissues (e.g. cartilage).
- Muscle mass is built from protein.
- Skin, hair and nails which are mainly composed of proteins
- Hemoglobin which transports oxygen around the body
- Most hormones which act as your body’s chemical messengers are also proteins
- Enzymes which regulate all aspects of metabolism; they support important chemical reactions that allow you to digest food, generate energy to contract muscles, and regulate insulin production
- Antibodies which play a role in your immune response
According to the Cleveland Clinic, high protein foods in your diet will help you improve cognitive function, including memory, decision making ability, mental response time and your daily mood. Brain power foods contain antioxidants and other nutrients that protect the brain. They also provide essential fatty acids that stimulate and strengthen brain cells. Try increasing some of these healthy brain foods in your diet, leafy green vegetables, salmon and other cold-water fish, berries, eggs, plain Greek yogurt and dark-skinned fruits, coffee and chocolate (YEA), as well as extra virgin olive oil or cold pressed virgin coconut oil
So, get out your calculator and find out your personal protein recommended daily allowance in grams, Health.com recommends calculating 0.36 by your weight in pounds. So, 150 pounds multiplied times.36 = 54 grams of protein, at least, per day. “The trick is dividing it by your three meals a day to aim for “optimal protein usage,” to help maintain muscle as you age and support wight lose. Health.com study suggests adults over the age of 50 plan to get 15-20 grams of protein at each meal. A 4-ounce roasted chicken breast gives you just over 25 grams of protein. Just one egg has about 6 grams of protein and only 71 calories. Edamame ( soy beans) can often be found in the frozen section and makes Bonus: edamame are high in fiber, four ounces has 12 grams of protein and 136 calories. Cottage cheese is low in calories—four ounces has 14 grams of protein and 81 calories. So, polish your glasses, when you shop next and read the labels. Just for a month, do the daily calculations of the protein intake, spread out over the day and you will boost your body to function at peak performance.