Why Protein is So Important!

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Nothing screams summer time quite like lazy afternoons, endless barbeques and taking multiple trips to the pool. But then you remember that laying out in the sun means slipping into that bathing suit that has been collecting dust all winter long. You think to yourself, if only you could tone up a little that dusty old swimsuit would look amazing. Lucky for you, eating protein rich foods can help with that!

Proteins are simply made up of long chains of amino acids. Our bodies convert protein into amino acids and use them in every cell, tissue and organ in our body. We are constantly building proteins and breaking down proteins but in order to build muscle, the body must be building more proteins than breaking down. However, it is important to look into the sources of protein.

There are two types of proteins – non-essential and essential. Non-essential proteins simply mean we do not need to consume these proteins via food since our bodies can make them. Essential proteins must be taken in by the diet. High quality sources, which are considered complete sources, supply cells with the essential amino acids our bodies require. These protein rich foods include meats, poultry, fish, eggs and dairy products. Vegetarian? No problem! The key is combining two sources of incomplete proteins, which include nuts, seeds and legumes. A good example of this would be brown rice and kidney beans.

So next time you are feeling the need for a sweet treat, don’t just reach for any cookie – reach for the Tough Cookie. One whole cookie contains a whopping 10 grams of protein, but with ingredients like peanut butter, whole eggs and skim milk it is totally believable! If you are going to eat a cookie, why not let it provide you with some lean mean muscle building goodness to look awesome in that dusty swimsuit.

 

For more information about protein, check out these links below:

CDC

http://www.cdc.gov/nutrition/everyone/basics/protein.html

 

Harvard Health

http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/protein/

 

My Plate

http://www.choosemyplate.gov/food-groups/protein-foods.html

 

 

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