Proteins are an integral part of our body. They must be part of it. They are responsible for many functions within our body including the proper functioning of tissues, cells, and muscles. We need protein and it is essential to include them in our daily diet. In particular, those who practice sports may need an increase in protein intake that allows them to improve their physical performance and to feel fit.
The main functions
– Structural function: as the major constituents of the cells of our body, proteins are inorganic and material, and, at particular times such as growth and pregnancy, these tissues.
– Energy function: the proteins present in excess in the body transformed into sugars, which in turn, if in excess, are transformed into fats that, if not consumed, and fat deposits become a formation.
– Regulatory function: they regulate everything from the organism, as components of hormones, enzymes, neurotransmitters, etc.
– Protective function: special immunoglobulin (antibodies) protections with respect to our immune defenses, while keratin, a disease-healing protein, protects the most dangerous areas of our body from external agents (cold, blows, etc.).
The recommended daily dose is about 1 gram of protein per 1 kg of body weight in a normal person. For athletes, instead, it goes to 1.5 grams.
After physical activity, proteins are quite important. In fact, the muscles need to recover and grow. Nutritionists recommend, therefore, to integrate 20 grams within 30 minutes of the physical exercise performed, when the muscles become particularly receptive for protein synthesis. Now, for most of us, the daily protein requirement can be easily reached thanks to protein-rich foods brought by a healthy and balanced way of eating, like the Mediterranean diet. Usually, doctors recommend, however, to avoid consuming more than twice the recommended protein dose. This is because it is now evident that, in the long run, the body consumes too many. This can lead to serious health problems such as, for example, an increased risk of osteoporosis and a worsening of kidney problems. But to make protein foods physically, we need to change our gastronomic lifestyle. Yes, because one of the main problems of the Western diet is that breakfast and lunch are often low in protein but rich in carbohydrates. Aiming for an intake of protein-rich foods throughout the day becomes, therefore, the best choice.
An omnivorous, vegetarian or vegan diet is a very personal choice. It must be done in complete autonomy and awareness. In nature, many foods are rich in protein, with almost non-existent contraindications. In any case, maintain a healthy, varied and balanced diet. The eggs, of animal origin, are very rich in proteins. They consist of over 90% of “good” proteins, easily assimilated. To avoid complications, we recommend two eggs a week. To make the most of its properties, opt for very fresh and zero-kilometer organic products. Preferably inquire about the provenance.
Soy is a plant food rich in proteins. It is widely used by vegetarians and vegans to replace meat. Like soy, legumes are also an inexhaustible source of protein. In this regard, regularly take lentils, chickpeas, beans, peas and broad beans. Even chocolate contains about 20% of proteins. However, opt instead for the extra-dark one. Dried fruit, especially pine nuts, walnuts, and almonds, in addition to taste, guarantees good protein percentages.
Among the best foods of animal origin rich in protein, we find the classic chicken breast and beef fillet. Light, low-calorie and lean, they guarantee a healthy diet. Even the cheeses are very rich in protein, but also in fats. So, it is better not to abuse it. They should preferably be consumed at lunch rather than at dinner. Fish is ideal for protein deficiencies. In this regard, excellent salmon, sardines, cod, sole, and tuna. These foods contain high pre-omega 3 (good fats). To be consumed two or three times a week.
As you may have noticed, there are so many delicious options to add proteins to our nutrition while playing around with recipes and foods. Remember to always rely on fresh and organic foods to really enjoy their nutritional properties.