What exactly are proteins? Proteins are considered long chains of amino acids, which are the important molecules we get from our diets. Amino acids can be found in many different types of foods, even vegetables, but the highest sources are those that come from animals — like meat, dairy, eggs and fish — plus to a lesser extent certain plant foods like beans and seeds.
Proteins are long chains of amino acids, which are essential molecules for all metabolic processes. Amino acids, such as glutamine, arginine and glycine, allow for the break down, transport and storage of all nutrients, including proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and water.
The body can make some amino acids on its own, but it depends on protein foods to obtain the rest, which are considered “essential” amino acids because we can’t make them. Research shows that amino acids hold great promise in the prevention and treatment of many metabolic diseases, including cardiovascular disorders, infertility, obesity, diabetes and neurological dysfunction.
Although amino acids are separate chemical compounds that are stored in a range of different foods, in the body they’re held together by peptide bonds. Without enough diverse protein food sources in your diet, you risk becoming deficient in certain amino acids. The result? Low energy, trouble building muscle mass, low concentration and memory, mood swings, unstable blood sugar levels, and trouble maintaining or losing weight.
Proteins are used every day to keep the body going. Because they’re used to develop, grow and maintain just about every part of our body — from our skin and hair to our digestive enzymes and immune system antibodies — they’re constantly broken down and must be replaced.
When you don’t eat a range of foods high in protein, you become at risk of deficiencies in certain amino acids, which can result in many health issues. If you are struggling with the following health concerns, it may be due to a protein deficiency:
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