Proteins are the Building Blocks of Life!

7be6b7_86be7d1c2c0a40b8addbd43c2fbc7503.jpeg_srb_p_251_201_75_22_0.50_1.20_0Without getting a good balance of proteins in your diet, you can’t achieve a healthy nutritional balance or a strong body. Proteins consist of compounds known as amino acids-something which you may be familiar with from science or health class. They are essential for the growth and repair of body tissue! When we consume foods that are naturally high protein sources, our bodies break them down into amino acids which are then combined to create a variety of different  molecules. These different molecule combinations make up over 50,000 different types of proteins, all of which have a specific function and use for your body. 

Essential…. or Not????

Amino acids come in two different forms: essential and non-essential. The body is able to produce the non-essentials on its own, which means that we are left to source the essentials for ourselves. We obtain these essential amino acids through consuming natural protein sources as a part of our daily diet. There are 8 different essential amino acids we need in order to maintain a healthy balance. 

  • Tryptophan – helps with the production of serotonin, promoting healthy sleeping patterns; combats depression, stabilizes moods, alleviates stress, assists with weight control and aids in the control of hyperactivity in children. 

  • Lysine – essential for bone growth and development (especially in children), maintains the body’s nitrogen balance as well as assists in absorption of calcium. It helps to produce enzymes, hormones and antibodies. This also aids in the recovery of surgical procedures and sports injuries. 

  • Methionine – a great antioxidant aiding in digestion, muscle strength, prevention of brittle hair, and fat build up in the liver and arteries. 

  • Valine – maintains the body’s nitrogen balance and helps with tissue repair and muscle metabolism

  • Leucine – helps to repair damage to the skin, bones and muscles; therefore a great aid to recovery after undergoing surgery. 

  • Isoleucine – delivers energy to the muscles

  • Threonine – hinders the buildup of fats in the liver and helps your body to sustain the correct balance of protein.

  • Phenylalanine- synthesizes the neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine, which help us to stay alert. It also helps to alleviate pain and acts as an appetite suppressant. 

You can see why protein is so necessary to the human body! 

When you don’t get enough of these essential elements – you can feel listless, lethargic, weakened muscular and nervous systems and run into issues with your growth and metabolism. A deficiency in these amino acids will also inhibit energy levels, prevent the repair of tissue damage and decrease the regulation of blood sugar levels. So it’s safe to say that nutrient dense protein sources are the way to go!! 

Ideal Protein Sources: 

  • Grass-fed Beef: organic beef rich in beneficial fatty acids and nutrients that are missing from factory raised cattle.

  • Pasture Raised Chicken: Chickens allowed to roam free and eat bugs and grass are rich in Essential Fatty Acids and one of the best protein sources available. 

  • Wild Salmon: These are very different from Farm raised salmon. Farm raised salmon are fed cheap feed that does not yield the desirable omega-3 rich flesh. Often they are sick and infected – filled with inflammatory omega -6 fatty acids. 

  • Tuna: Wonderful Omega – 3’s

  • Greek Yogurt: Greek yogurt is richer, fattier, more nutritious and lower in sugar. Avoid the plastic cups of sugar and artificial flavor infused ‘wannabe’ healthy yogurts. 

  • Pasture Raised Eggs: Eggs are rich in antioxidants, good fats, vitamins and protein! Twice as much so if they’re coming from pasture-raised hens.