It’s the age-old question, what is protein, do we need it, and how much of it do we need?
Protein, what is it?
Well, protein is a macronutrient, being one of three, which are: Protein, Fats, and Carbohydrates. And yes, you do need it. The macronutrient, protein is composed of amino acids. The amino acids are in turn organic compounds made out of:
- Oxygen or sulfur
Your muscles, organs, tissues, and hormones are made from proteins. Basically, your body needs it in order to develop, grow and function the right way.
What does It do?
Protein helps you:
- Manage your weight – Looking slim.
- Stabilize your blood sugar – Not wanting to murder your co-workers.
- Enhance your learning and concentration – Being smart.
- Decrease your brain fog – Seeing things more clearly.
- Increasing your energy levels – Perhaps taking those long walks you always have talked about.
I’m by no means one of those “protein gurus”, nor am I that annoying co-worker, who herself doesn’t look all that slim, telling you that it’s the most important thing in the world. It’s however, an important macronutrient that supports your muscles and bones. Yet another reason for the importance of protein is the fact that it helps you with the absorption of valuable nutrients.
Us humans can actually make some amino acids. The others are the ones we need to get from food. The ones we need to get from food are called essential amino acids. Out of the amino acids, nine are essential. And, the essential amino acids are as follows:
We call the protein that includes all amino acids complete proteins.
How much Do we Need?
As for how much we need, well that is a science in of itself. Some experts argue that we don’t need as much as we’re being told. Not too surprisingly, some argue that we don’t get enough. Others put the focus on what time of day we should consume it. Nevertheless here’s a quote from the Food and Nutrition Board presenting dietary reference values for the intake of nutrients by Americans and Canadians.
It’s as follows:
- “Adults should get 45 percent to 65 percent of their calories from carbohydrates, 20 percent to 35 percent from fat, and 10 to 35 percent from protein. Acceptable ranges for children are similar to those for adults, except that infants and younger children need a slightly higher proportion of fat (25 -40 percent).” You can find the report here.
Crickets for Protein
I personally feel more full and satisfied once I eat some more protein oriented food. I’m sure it won’t come as a surprise that I get much of my protein from crickets. When spending so much time studying entomology I see the many benefits it brings, like helping with job creation in both rural and urban areas, contributing to the livelihood of women, and of course, keeping the earth in balance with nature. As a matter of fact, edible insects have about the same protein content as conventional meat.
I suggest you read one of our other articles regarding protein- “Protein Comparison between Beef and Crickets” I think you’ll find a lot of interesting information there.