Why is protein important?

Protein is an important component of every cell in the body. Hair and nails are mostly made of protein. Your body uses protein to build and repair tissues. You also use protein to make enzymes, hormones, and other body chemicals. Protein is an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood.

Along with fat and carbohydrates, protein is a “macronutrient,” meaning that the body needs relatively large amounts of it. Vitamins and minerals, which are needed in only small quantities, are called “micronutrients.” But unlike fat and carbohydrates, the body does not store protein, and therefore has no reservoir to draw on when it needs a new supply.

The basic formula to work out your personal protein requirement is 0.75 grams x body weight. This can vary up to 0.95 grams depending on age, physique and type of exercise.

Protein Sources:

Ingredient Quantity Protein Value
Qunioa 1 cup cooked = 8 grams
Tofu ½ cup (firm) = 10 grams
Tempeh ½ cup = 15 grams
Rice/Beans 1 cup (cooked =7 grams
Peanut butter smoothie 450ml = 21 grams
Hemp seeds 2 tbsp = 10 grams
Chicken breast 85 grams = 26 grams
Salmon and prawns 114 grams = 27 grams
Pork 85 grams = 23 grams
Ground beef 85 grams = 18 grams
Corned meat 85 grams =24 grams
Egg 1 large = 6 grams
Greek yoghurt 1 cup = 25 grams
Cottage cheese 1/2 cup = 14 grams

As you can see, it is easy to obtain enough protein in your diet if you are vegetarian or vegan. Just be sure to eat enough varied macronutrients and micronutients every day. 

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