Proteins: your building blocks

Protein provides the nutrients for muscles

Proteins: your building blocks

Protein provides the nutrients for muscles, organs, skin, hair and nails. Enzymes and hormones also consist of protein. Our body's defences only function to the best of their ability with protein. For this reason we must ensure we have a sufficient supply. This also applies to children. Our body needs an especially large number of nutrients for growth and for increasing muscles.

Regular Replenishment Is Important 

The protein in our body is being continuously depleted and replaced. This is why we need regular replenishment.

Milk, meat, fish and eggs are the most important sources of protein. Milk and milk products like curd, cheese and vegetarian food like pulses also contain protein. Vegetable proteins are poor in quality than animal proteins, not only because of their lower digestibility but also because they are limiting in one or more of the essential amino acids of human requirement. Cereal proteins are generally deficient in one essential amino acid Lysine and pulses or legumes contain low levels of Methionine.Combining these animal and plant sources of protein in your food is particularly good for you. Good combinations include rice and pulses/khichdi, pulses with chappati, muesli with yoghurt or milk, wholegrain bread with cheese etc. However, in spite of such supplementation, Indian diets deriving their proteins from cereal and pulse combinations (5:1) have a biological value of only 65% relative to egg protein.

Eating animal proteins also has its disadvantages, as they contain some undesirable substances such as cholesterol, purine and saturated fatty acids. And these can damage health in the long run. Lean sources of proteins like lean meats, boiled eggs or egg without yolk, skimmed or low fat milk like NESTLÉ SLIM Dahi, NESTLÉ SLIM Milk are good protein options.

Variety Is Good.

Our digestive system must first of all break down proteins from food into its component parts - amino acids, of which there are 20 different kinds. Amino acids travel via the blood to precisely where our body needs them. When they reach their destination, they are used very specifically to create a protein that the body needs. If one part of the protein is missing, the body must obtain some by taking protein from another location, or, for example, resort to using valuable muscle protein. Our tip: eat a varied diet so your body can always obtain the appropriate amino acids.

Protein for Athletes

Contrary to many claims, ambitious amateur athletes and even body-builders do not need additional protein. Admittedly, physical activity increases the depletion and construction of muscle protein. But our body is able to recycle the depleted protein as far as possible.

How much protein do you need?

Adults require approximately 55-60 g of protein every day. As children are growing, they need protein based on their body weight.

Age Protein (g/d)
 
  Children        1-3 years       16.7
4-6 years        20.1
7-9 years           29.5
  
  Boys 10-12 years        39.9
13-15 years 54.3
15-17 years 61.5
  
  Girls 10-12 years           40.4
13-15 years          51.9
15-17 years        55.5

As long as you regularly eat small portions of meat or fish, drink milk and now and again eat yoghurt or cheese, your protein needs will be covered.