Protein is a very essential macronutrient for women. it is absolutely essential for the overall wellness and health of women.
Proteins are made up of components called amino acids. The protein that we eat is broken down into its unit components (amino acids) in the body.
Protein is source of energy
It gets digested/ broken in the body to release energy. 1 gram of protein provides 4 Cal of energy.
Serve as building blocks/bricks and cement of the body
Just like how bricks and cement are required to make a building, amino acids(proteins) are needed to build organs, tissues and cells in the body.
Bricks and cement are used to repair damages in the building, the same way the body uses amino acids(proteins) to heal wounds, tears or damages.
The amino acids from food is also needed to build many special proteins in the body for:
- Immunity and Immune system
The immune system is the army which fights germs like bacteria and viruses to protect the body from illnesses.
This army is made up of cells(containing proteins) and other components (made of proteins). The cells and components communicate and work together to protect the body.
- Hormones and hormonal balance
Hormones are a group of messengers which are produced by different organs/ compartments in the body. These messengers are all made up of proteins.
They help all the organs in the body to communicate with each other so that the body can function efficiently.
Hormonal balance is crucial, i.e they have to be produced in the right quantities at the right time for the body to function properly.
Enzymes are a group of special proteins which are required for digestion of food and destroying toxins in the body.
- Weight management
Protein helps address appetite control which is a major challenge for weight loss.
It offers satiation when consumed in small amounts or feel full for a long time. This in-turn reduces calorie/ overall food intake to result in weight loss and help manage weight.
It is also needed to build lean muscle mass and reduce fat mass. Lean mass boosts metabolism to lose weight.
- Maintain and grow muscles and bone
Muscles are made up of building blocks proteins/ amino acids. Proteins help repair, build and maintain muscles in the body.
Protein is required to increase bone mineral density and reduce bone loss.
- Healthy hair
It is required for healthy hair follicles. A hair follicle anchors each hair into the skin.
Proteins protect hair from becoming dull and brittle.
Biotin and Keratin are 2 proteins that are required to stimulate hair growth, make it strong and healthy.
- Healthy skin
Eating protein can strengthen and rejuvenate the skin.
Collagen is a protein that makes up 75 to 80% of the skin. This used to make skin healthy and elastic. It is also needed to heal wounds on the body.
- Healthy nails
Protein is needed for strong nails.
Keratin is a protein that is needed for the integrity of nails. It protects them from damage making them resilient and strong.
Do these foods and quantities help meet the protein needs?
The average woman needs 0.8 g of protein per 1 kg body weight.
An average Indian woman who is sedentary, does moderate or heavy work and weighs 50kg and needs to consume 40g of protein/ day.
The requirements for proteins increases during pregnancy for growth and development of the baby and also during lactation depending on the weight of the woman. Intake can also be changed based on age, health condition and activity level(more for athletes/ intense exercise).
What are the sources of protein?
Protein is made up of components called amino acids. There are a total of 20 amino acids in nature. 9 out of the 20 are essential amino acids that are not manufactured in the body. They can only and must be supplied through the diet/ food.
The remaining 11 amino acids are non-essential and can be made in the body.
There are two kinds of food protein sources
Complete and Incomplete proteins
Complete proteins contain all essential amino acids. Foods from animal sources are complete proteins.
Chicken – 38 g in 1 cup of chopped
Eggs– 17 g protein in 1 cup of boiled
Milk – 8 g protein in 1 cup
Nuts and grain are incomplete proteins.
Lentils – 18g protein in 1 cup
Rice – 4.3 g protein in 1 cup
Peanut butter – 65 g protein in 1 cup
Whole wheat toast – 3.6 g protein in 1 slice
If you are vegetarian or vegan you can combine 2 incomplete protein sources to make a complete protein meal. Examples include:
Lentils(daal) + Rice and Peanut butter on toast.
Can result in muscle degeneration, hormonal imbalances, hair, skin and nail health problems, prone to falling ill, etc.
So, what can a woman do to fill the gap/ meet the body’s requirement for protein?
A single solution that is convenient, provides all the above health benefits, natural and nourishing.
&Me’s Protein and Wellness shake. It has been thoughtfully designed to solve a woman’s daily nutrition, immunity, energy and hormonal needs. It contains 16.5 g of plant protein and has 45+ ingredients that meet 30% of a woman’s daily nutritional needs. It is preservative free and full of chocolat-ey goodness!!