Proteins | Where can we find proteins in food ?

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Proteins consist of a series of amino acids that are linked to each other and are considered the basis for the formation of proteins. They number approximately 20 amino acids. Proteins play an essential role in building and regenerating cells, transporting molecules throughout the body, and protect the body from viruses and bacteria.

Types of proteins :

 

Amino acids are divided into two types: non-essential amino acids that the body makes by itself, and the essential amino acids that the body cannot manufacture, as it must be obtained from food sources, the body needs all amino acids to maintain its health. Foods that contain the animal protein are often rich in many other
nutrients, such as vitamin B12, vitamin D, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), Heme- iron, and zinc. There are three types of protein in the food, the first is whole protein, which includes foods that contain all the essential amino acids, and they are available in animal sources such as meat, eggs, and cow's milk. The second type is an incomplete protein, and foods include one type at least of the essential amino acids, like peas, beans, whole grains. Finally complement proteins, which consist of two or more types of foods that contain incomplete proteins, which must be eaten together to obtain the complete protein, including bread with bean butter Sudanese, or rice with beans.

 

Animal sources : 

 

Protein is available in many animal sources, including the following:
1- Chicken breasts: 100 grams of lean chicken breasts contain 32.1 grams of protein.
2Tuna: 100 grams of tuna provides 29.9 grams of protein.
3Beef: 100 grams of beef contains 28.7 grams of protein.
4 Low-fat milk: 100 grams of low-fat milk contains 5.7 grams of protein.

5Grated Parmesan Cheese: 100 grams of Parmesan cheese provide 35.8 grams of protein.
6Eggs: 100 grams of eggs provide 12.6 grams of protein.
7Milk: one cup of milk contains 8 grams of protein.
8 Cheddar cheese: a single slice equivalent to approximately 28 grams of cheddar cheese contains 7 grams of protein.
9American cheese: a single slice equivalent to approximately 28 grams of American cheese contains 5 grams of protein.

 

Plant sources :

 

Here are the most important sources of plant protein:
1Lentils: half a cup of lentils contains 9 grams of protein.
2Chickpeas: half a cup of chickpeas contains 7 grams of protein.
3Tofu: approximately 85 grams of tofu contains 8 grams of protein.
4Nuts: half a cup of nuts provides 5 to 6 grams of protein.
5Quinoa: a cup of quinoa contains 8 grams of protein.
6Nutritional yeast: a quarter cup of nutritional yeast provides approximately 8 grams of protein.
7Tempe: approximately 85 grams of Tempe provides 13 grams of protein.
8Black Beans: a cup of black beans contains 10 grams of protein.
9Peanut Butter: two tablespoons of peanut butter provide approximately 7 grams of protein.
10 Mushrooms: five grains of medium size mushrooms contain 3 grams of protein.
11Seitan: which is made from gluten in wheat, and some spices, and when cooked with soy sauce becomes a complete protein, as a third of a cup of it contains 21 grams of protein.
12Ezekiel Bread: one slice of this bread provides approximately 4 grams of protein

 

What types of vegetables contain protein?

 

Some types of vegetables contain a good amount of protein, but these quantities may differ depending on the way they are cooked, here are some of the vegetables that contain protein:

1Watercress:

as one cup contains 0.8 grams of protein, this amount of protein constitutes 50% of the number of calories that the watercress provides. This type of vegetable is rich in many vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

2Spinach:

one cup of it contains 0.9 grams of protein, which constitutes 30% of the number of calories provided by spinach, and this type of vegetables is distinguished by its containing a compound called nitric oxide, which is considered beneficial for the health of the heart.

3Asparagus:

one cup contains 2.9 grams of protein. It is also a rich source of vitamins B, Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Magnesium, Manganese, and Phosphorous.

4Broccoli:

one cup contains 2.6 grams of protein and is also rich in flavonoids that are anti-inflammatory.

5Cauliflower:

the cup contains two grams of protein and is rich in many other nutrients beneficial to health.

 

what types of fruit contain proteins?

 

1- Raisin:

raisin contains grams of proteins per serving. It also contains calcium, iron, and potassium.

2- Peaches:

peaches contain a gram of proteins per serving, it is a good source of phenols that help to avoid chronic diseases and maintain a healthy heart. It also contains fibers that maintain normal blood glucose levels and reduce the risk of diabetes.

3- Bananas:

bananas contain 1.3 grams of proteins per serving, it is also a rich source of potassium that helps maintain normal blood pressure, as it contains 9% of the recommended amount.

4- Avocado:

avocado contains 4 grams of proteins per serving. It also contains potassium and healthy fats.

5- Guava:

guava is rich in protein compared to other fruits, as a cup of guava
contains 4.2 grams of protein, it also contains 8.9 grams of fiber per serving,
it also contains many nutrients including magnesium, potassium, vitamin A,
iron, vitamin B, vitamin E, and lycopene.

6- Dried apricots:

dried apricots contain 2.2 grams per cup. It is also a good source of both Vitamin A and Vitamin C. It also contains antioxidants that protect the body’s cells from the effect of free radicals that help the form of cancer cells, in addition to that it contains potassium which maintains normal blood pressure.

7- Berries:

the berries contain two grams of protein per cup, and also contain 7.6 grams of D fiber. It contains many nutrients including antioxidants, calcium, iron, vitamin C, vitamin A, magnesium, potassium, Vitamin E and folic acid.

8- Cantaloupe:

cantaloupe contains 1.5 grams of protein per cup, which is a good source of both Vitamin C and Vitamin A, which boosts the immune system, as well as antioxidants that protect body cells from free radicals.

9- Kiwi:

kiwi contains 2.1 grams of protein per cup, and it contains 185% of the recommended amount of vitamin C, 60% of the recommended amount of vitamin K, and 18% of the recommended amount of vitamin E, in addition to 5.4 grams of fibers.

10- Grapefruit:

grapefruit contains two grams of protein per cup, as it helps to lose weight, and is a good source of vitamin C, which boosts the immune system.

11- Dried Figs:

dried figs contain more protein than fresh figs, so if the goal of eating figs is to get protein, it is advised to eat it dried, not fresh.

12- Dates:

dates are an integrated food meal, because of their nutritional elements, and among the most prominent elements is the protein.

13- Oranges:

orange is one of the fruits frequently consumed for the purpose of losing weight, so a person can replace milk and meat with orange, and this will be enough to supply the body with the necessary amount of protein during the day.

14- Coconut:

coconut is a delicious and useful fruit that contains protein in a very high amount compared to other fruits, as it provides three grams of protein per hundred grams, in addition to that it is an anti-oxidant and fortifying immune fruit.

 

Herbs that are rich in proteins;

 

Herbs are not considered sources that are rich in protein, nor are they usually used in large quantities, as most of them are used as flavoring foods only, but we will talk about the number of proteins found in the most common types of herbs;
1Dried parsley: every 100 grams of dried parsley contains 22 grams of protein.
2Dried tarragon: every 100 grams of dried tarragon contains 23 grams of protein.
3Dried mint: every 100 grams of dried mint contains 20 grams of protein.
4Dried basil: every 100 grams of dried basil contains 14 grams of protein.
5Dried oregano: every 100 grams of dried oregano contains 11 grams of protein.
6 Dried and ground ginger: every 100 grams of dried grounded ginger contains 9 grams of protein.

 

Foods rich in protein, low in calories and fat :

 

It is advisable when eating protein to choose sources of low calories and fat, from these sources: low-fat meat, seafood, legumes, soy, low-fat dairy products, eggs, and nuts.

 

Why should we have proteins?

 

We should have proteins in the food because it has the following benefits for the body;

1– Help to lower blood pressure: it was founded that proteins have a positive effect in lowering blood pressure, especially vegetable protein.
2– Increased muscle density and strengthening: studies have proven that eating protein-supplements, in addition, to increase the duration of exercise and the number of repetitions, in addition, to increase resistance exercises, may increase muscle size, improve muscle mass in trained and untrained people, and may accelerate muscle mass increasing in both aerobic and anaerobic sports.
3– Contributing to reducing appetite: Studies have shown that increasing the protein from 15% to 30% in the diet, with the stability of the number of carbohydrates consumed, reduces calorie intake, which helps in losing weight significantly.
4– Protein contributes to the formation of enzymes and hormones secreted by the glands, such as the parathyroid gland, parotid, and insulin hormones.
5– The formation of red blood cells that carry oxygen to the cells of the body
6– Building new muscle tissue and regenerating worn out.
7– Facilitating digestion.
8– A source of calories: One gram generates 4 calories.

 

How much protein does the body need?

 

Protein differs from fats and carbohydrates in that the body does not have a stock for it to use when needed, and thus the body does not store it, some people may think that eating large amounts of protein leads to muscle building, in fact, exercise is the only way to build muscle, in addition, to eat moderate amounts of protein that supply the body with its needs. This amount is affected by a number of factors, including the level of physical activity, age, muscle mass, and a person’s health status. The amount of protein depends on human weight; where the recommended daily amount of protein is 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight, for example, the daily needs of a person who weighs 60 kilograms is approximately 48 grams.

 

Signs of protein deficiency in the body;

 

1Swelling of the cheeks: swollen cheeks are evidence of protein deficiency, because swelling of the cheeks is the result of swelling of the salivary or parotid glands due to a lack of protein.
2Eye swelling: protein deficiency can reduce the amount of protein plasma in the blood and lead to a problem in the liver that produces iron needed to produce hemoglobin.
3Hand swelling: swelling of the hands is associated with eye swelling and can also extend to other areas of the body. Protein has a vital role in maintaining the water balance in the body, and without it, the body may begin to store water incorrectly.
4Hair loss and split: hair and nails are the important points that show symptoms of protein deficiency. When hair begins to break apart, this means that the body does not get enough protein from the food, because the body tries to preserve the largest amount of protein and thus stops sending it to the hair and nails.
5 Brain confusion: protein deficiency can also affect the general condition of the brain because low energy and an inability to deal with stress lead to moods and an inability to respond effectively to stimuli.
6Dry skin: Lack of protein causes dry skin and rashes. Skin becomes more prone to sunburn, fading, and severe fatigue.

 

Diseases caused by protein deficiency in the body;

 

1Kwashiorkor, or what is known as protein malnutrition, is a disease that affects children due to severe protein deficiency. The primary signs that accompany the disease are feeling indifference, drowsiness, and feeling emotional. As for advanced symptoms, they are slow growth, loss of endurance and patience, and loss of muscle mass, Puffiness, asymmetric growth of hair, and the appearance of dark marks on the skin in irritated areas, not exposed to sunlight, in addition to prominent emphysema in the abdomen, which is one of the most common signs, Kwashiorkor disease affects the immune system, which makes infected children more vulnerable, it is also the leading cause of death among children around the world.
2Marasmus, which is one of the forms of severe protein deficiency, and its main cause is the low-calorie consumption and protein, which leads to very low energy levels, and therefore important vital processes may stop, and this disease affects adults and children, but most of the children who have it From developing countries, UNICEF estimates that nearly half of the death rate of children under the age of 5, which is equivalent to approximately 3 million children annually, is caused by malnutrition, and the symptoms associated with this disease are: loss of muscle mass, and fatty Body, failure of growth in children, persistent dizziness, lack of energy, dry skin, and hair breakage.

 

References: 

What Is Protein?

Vegetables High in Protein: 19 Veggies and Fruits and How to Eat More

 

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