The Body's Construction Workers

What is a Protein?

Protein is a substance made of amino acids that is a part of every cell, tissue and organ in our body. These substances are used to build, maintain, and replace tissues in the body. Proteins are found in a plethora of foods, mostly meat, fish, nuts, eggs, dairy products, and legumes to name a few. All of these foods listed above have their own special place on the food pyramid.

How Much Protein Do I Need?

The amount of protein needed per day varies on age and gender. Most growing male teens need around 52 grams a day, whereas girls the same age need around 46 grams a day. As you age, the protein you need stays around 56-60 grams a day if you're a male and 46-50 grams a day if you're a female.

Too little protein can lead to negative effects in the body, including muscle deterioration, tiredness, skin problems, and inability to heal after an injury. Too much protein can be bad as well. If you consume too much protein, you could get high cholesterol and put a strain on your liver and kidneys. Also, since the body can't store unused protein, it will accumulate as fat if there is an excess amount.

Interesting Facts

Protein is derived from the Greek word proteios meaning "primary" or "in the lead".

There are over 20 different Amino Acids, around 13 can be made by the body, but around 9 we can't make.

Protein in eggs is considered the highest quality protein of them all

Insects are higher in protein that many normal protein foods

Some people are allergic to proteins, including gluten