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Facts About Protein and Why It's So Important

Posted by Dr. Donna Restivo on Jan 28, 2019 10:23:00 AM

In Health Tips, food

We’ve all been told countless times that it is important we eat protein, and lots of it. Diets high in protein and low in carbs have been all the rage for years now, and there is good reason for that, as the power-packed source of food has countless benefits that go beyond weight loss. Here are a few reasons that will keep you reaching for the foods that are packed with protein.

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Cell Communication. Several proteins contain hormones which act as a source of transmission between cells, organs and tissues. Without the ability of communication, our bodies would fail to run efficiently.

Provides Framework. Proteins such as collagen, elastin, and keratin, are essentially used as blueprints for certain structures in your body. Because they are fibrous, they allow cells and tissues to take on a stiff and rigid formation. Keratin is the source of protein that is found in your skin, hair and nails. Collagen is a protein that provides the structure for your tendons, ligaments, skin, and bones. Elastin allows the tissues in your body to get back to their original shape after they contract and stretch. One example of this occurs during pregnancy, when the uterus stretches after conception and returns to normal size after birth. Elastin is also used when the lungs and arteries contract. 

Ensures Proper pH Balance. In order to keep bodily functions working properly, we need a balance of both acids and bases in your bodily fluids and blood. Protein assists with regulating these materials, so each organ can successful do its job. 

Boosts Immune Health. Antibodies are created by proteins and are used to fight infection. Found in the proteins in your blood, these antibodies do magic when it comes to warding off bacteria and viruses that can lead to illness. When bacteria and viruses make their way into your body, antibodies work to eliminate them. If your system didn’t produce these essential antibodies, the harmful invaders would have the opportunity to multiply and take over your body with sickness and disease. Once protein has created antibodies against certain bacteria’s or viruses, the cells remember how to make them, the next time that same bacteria enters your body, allowing them to be fought off more quickly. 

Because protein is considered a macronutrient, much like fat and carbs, the body requires large doses of it. The difference between carbs and protein is how they are extracted. Unlike carbs, protein is not stored in the body and it can’t be utilized on a whim, which is why we need to constantly provide our bodies with a steady intake of it. 
 


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