Protein is vital to the human body. It plays an important role in producing and repairing cells, protecting the body from harmful pathogens and promoting the body’s growth and development. Each protein molecule is made up of a series of amino acid chains. These chains form the identity of the individual molecules, including what role they play in maintaining the functionality of the human body.
Without these molecules, our muscle mass would dramatically decrease, our hearts and lungs would fail to function and we would likely cease to exist. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that prioritising a diet high in protein is a must!
Ideal Amount of Consumption
It is recommended that we consume 0.8 grams of protein for every 1 kg of body weight each day. If you want to avoid all the math and protein tracking, you can instead aim to have a form of protein that occupies a quarter of your plate for each meal.
Recommended protein intake can vary, however. For example, for people who exercise frequently, it is advised that they increase their daily consumption to 1.1 to 1.7 grams per kg of body weight, depending on how much exercise they do.
It is possible to overdo it though. Consuming more than 2 grams of protein per kg of body weight is considered excessive and can have detrimental effects on your health such as weight gain, calcium loss and increased risk of developing cancer.
Sources of Protein
Having a varied diet will usually provide you with all the protein you need. If you are looking to up your intake, however, these foods are particularly high in protein:
- Lean Chicken Breast
32 grams of protein per 100 gram serving.
29.9 grams of protein per 100 gram serving.
- Beef (Skirt Steak)
28.7 grams of protein per 100 gram serving.
- Firm Tofu
17.3 grams of protein per 100 gram serving.
12.6 grams of protein per 100 gram serving.
9 grams of protein per 100 gram serving.