Complete and incomplete proteins

By Lis Thorolvsen,

Eating your protein is essential

Protein is essential for the body, for tissue repair and maintenance. It is one of the macronutrients and a major building block of the human body as protein is part of every cell of the body from the skin, nails, hair, muscles, and blood. Proteins are made from small compounds called amino acids and although there are hundreds of the amino acids, the body only requires a small amount daily of that entire amino acids spectrum. Some of these most needed to be provided is the essential amino acids as it can only be obtained through the food, as the body is not able to synthesize or produce these, hence eating a well-balanced diet become important for optimum health.

The protein is grouped into two groups, the complete protein and the incomplete protein and the main difference between these is that complete protein contains all the essential amino acids required daily for the body and the incomplete protein only contain some essential amino acids.

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Tofu with sesame

The essential amino acids are leucine, lysine, isoleucine, phenylalanine, methionine, tryptophan, threonine and valine. The complete protein can be found in meat, eggs, grains, legumes and dairy products, while only plant-based proteins from foods like beans, grains, nuts, and soy are rich in some amino acids and lacking in others, so if you are a vegetarian it is important to know, that unless you plan well on how to obtain the full spectrum of the essential amino acids, you might be missing out and consequently obtain insufficient complete protein.

A complete protein there contains all of these essential amino acids are for example tofu, buckwheat, chia seeds, quinoa, fish and Spirulina, lamb and beef. Milk and egg proteins are also both high-quality complete proteins and all together each of these foods contain all of the amino acids required daily to build, repair and maintain your body.

An incomplete protein is nuts, seeds, legumes, vegetables, and grains, however, with the right combination of incomplete sources of protein, a meal can be turned into a complete protein meal by finding, for example, two sources of incomplete proteins their make up the nine essential amino acids. Such combination is for example; brown rice with peas, grains with legumes, yogurt with seeds and nuts.

The recommended allowance of protein for an average adult man needs about 56 grams daily and adult woman 46 grams, or to calculate it is 0.8 gram per each kilogram of body fat for sedentary adults, while for endurance runners and strength training athletes need 1.4 gram to 1.8 gram of protein per kilo gram of body fat. So, for example, a 68 kg sedentary person equals  54.4-gram protein daily.

As an example 100 gram skinless chicken breast contains 31-gram protein,100-gram codfish contains almost the double as the chicken, 63-gram protein, and 100-gram tofu contains 48 gram of protein.

If you are exercising on a regular basis, protein is important for building lean muscle mass and it is even more important for weight loss as energy from the right nutrients means additional power for your exercise regime and utilizing protein as a recovery booster, not only reduce the soreness from the muscle, but also support in building more muscle, hence supporting weight loss.

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Copyright 2017 Captain Lis wellness blog

Originally posted 2017-08-29 10:10:23.

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