The word protein came from the Greek work “PROTEIOS” over 150 years ago meaning – “of prime importance”.
First it is important to know that protein is not just something we eat, but its everything that our body consist of. Protein is basic building block of all the organs, bones, ligaments, tendons, muscles, cartilage, hair, nail, teeth and skin. Described above all are passive proteins, while active protein includes enzymes, antibodies, hemoglobin, most of hormones, growth and maintenance protein.
The building blocks of protein.
Unlike carbs and FAT, protein consists of carbon, oxygen, hydrogen and nitrogen. The nitrogen is important here. This makes protein distinct from carbs and FAT.
There are total 20 amino acids, categorized in two. 1. Essential and 2. Non essential.
Indispensable Amino Acids (Essential Amino Acids):
Since the 9 out of 20 amino acids cannot be manufactured by our body, they are required to get from outside food source. They are known as essential amino acids. Our body requires each and every amino acid to function properly.
Histidine Isoleucine lysine
Methionine phenylanine leucine
Thronine tryptophan valine
Dispensable Amino Acid (Non Essential Amino Acids):
The rest can be manufactured by our body, named as non essential amino acids. They are
Glycine Glutamic Acid Arginine Aspartic Acid
Proline Alanine Serine Tyrosine
Cysteine Asparagine Glutamine
As the different arrangement of alphabets make words and sentences, the combination of different amino acids perform different tasks. For example the combinations of amino acids muscles are having, will be totally different from the combination enzymes will have.
Animal protein & Vegetable Protein:
In general one cannot get all the protein from single source, so it is required of us to use different food sources in order to have complete amino acid profile. But comparing the animal protein to vegetable protein , it results in animal protein being rich in complete protein as they contain ample amount of all essential amino acids, while veg proteins are missing one or more of the essential amino acids, thus the conclusion is , combination of two of them should be practiced.
Animal proteins: meat, fish, poultry, milk & milk based products, cheese and eggs.
Vegetable proteins: grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, and other vegetables.
So whenever we take oats with milk, or beans with cheese we are creating complete proteins. And that’s the perfect way to have protein.