Protein is an essential building block for the body. It helps to transfer oxygen throughout the body, create new cells and keep them healthy, fuel energy, build and repair muscle, ensure the optimal function of enzymes, build the structure of hormones, and create protective antibodies to fight illnesses and infections.
Protein is made up of different combinations of amino acids. There are eight essential amino acids that we must consume through food as the body does not make them. Our bodies use amino acids to build our tissues, muscles, organs, skin, and hair. Moreover, amino acids help to regulate metabolic processes in the body. Not all protein is created equal and there are both complete and incomplete types in reference to the amount of amino acids they contain.
Protein can be obtained from animal and plant sources. Animal based protein contains all of the essential amino acids and they are better absorbed by the body. When choosing protein, look for high quality sources and include a variety in your diet to avoid nutritional deficiencies. Some excellent sources of protein to try are wild fish, eggs, poultry (chicken and turkey), grass fed meat, bone broth, and organic dairy products. Meat is not only a great source of protein, but it helps you to feel full and satiated for longer.
Two kinds of animal based proteins have been gaining popularity as of late: bone broth and collagen. Both are great additions to your wellness routine. Bone broth is very healing (particularly for the gut) and contains an abundance of nutrients, gelatin, and collagen. Collagen helps to support connective tissues and the skin’s elasticity. Adding in a collagen supplement or bone broth to your diet may be something worth experimenting with.
There are a variety of wonderful plant derived proteins to try. A plate filled with plants can provide you with an adequate amount of protein along with many other health benefits. Some examples are spirulina, nuts, seeds, legumes, quinoa, collagen, hemp seeds, and almond butter. Whether you are combining plants to obtain an optimal amount of protein intake, or you consume animal sources, we always encourage a diet that consists of an abundance of plants. With that being said, it is always wise to monitor how you feel based on your digestion and energy levels to determine which forms of protein work best for you.
While nature provides us with a variety of protein sources, one may wish to choose a supplemental version as well. These exist in the form of protein powders or imitation meats. There are many different protein options on the market including animal (i.e whey) and plant (i.e. hemp and pea) based. Look for fermented protein powders without added fillers or artificial ingredients to encourage easier digestion and better absorption.
We suggest limiting or avoiding the consumption of processed meats and imitation meats. Processed meats such as cold cuts and sausages often contain preservatives such as nitrates and sulphites. Imitation meat products such as fake meats are processed and contain artificial ingredients which can harm the health of your body.
Always choose high quality food sources, organic if possible, and experiment with a variety of choices to see what feels best for you. Do your body good and consume a variety of protein (preferably) from whole real food sources, consuming powder forms only as supplementary to your well balanced diet!