Why do I put emphasis on including protein as part of your healthy nutrition plan? Because it is protein that…
- enables vitamins and minerals to perform their jobs properly
- is required for tissue growth and repair; forming internal organs, muscles, connective tissues (ligaments, tendons), skin, hair and nails
- is a key component of hormones and enzymes which regulate all body processes, and a key component of our immune system particularly for the formation of antibodies; and
- is the structural basis of chromosomes (genetic coding); hemoglobin (component of blood) is a protein.
Protein foods fall into two categories… they are considered either complete, or incomplete. ‘Complete’ means that all 9 of the essential amino acids are present. ‘Amino acids’ are what the basic chemical building blocks of protein is called; ‘essential’ means that we cannot make them from other compounds, we must take them in as food.
All animal-sourced proteins are complete – the meats, poultry, eggs, fish, seafoods and dairy products. In addition, there are certain plant-based foods that are a complete proteins.
|Bison||Chicken, legs||Halibut||Lobster||Cheese, cottage|
|Deer||Goose||Mahi mahi||Prawns||Hemp seeds|
* this list isn’t to be considered all-inclusive
Conversely, incomplete proteins can be combined in order to create a complete protein meal, as is done with a rice and beans dish. This is a separate topic of discussion…