By Kavita Devgan | June 22, 2015
From peas and broccoli to cauliflower and potatoes—a list of vegetables that you should include in your diet to get more of the body-building nutrient
Proteins are the building blocks of life. The basic structure of protein is a chain of amino acids, which are organic compounds that repair body tissue, help break down food and perform other body functions like regulation of enzymes and hormones.
The protein intake varies for each individual, depending on factors like activity levels, age, muscle mass and their state of health. “A common formula used to gauge how much protein is needed by the body is 0.8g of protein per kilogramme of body weight. An average man weighing 70kg will need 56g protein a day, and a woman weighing 60kg will need about 48g a day,” says Taranjeet Kaur, metabolic balance coach and senior nutritionist at AktivOrtho, an orthopaedic rehabilitation centre in the Capital.
Another important factor to understand is the quality of protein consumed. There are 22 types of amino acids, which can be divided into essential and non-essential amino acids. Essential amino acids cannot be made by the body, and so need to be consumed through food.
“While there is no doubt that the proteins we get from animal products (meat, fish, eggs, dairy) are of better quality than what vegetarian sources tend to have, it is a big myth that vegetarian foods, particularly vegetables, are completely devoid of any protein,” says Amreen Sheikh, dietitian, Wockhardt Hospitals, Mumbai. “Those consuming a vegetarian diet can still get all their essential amino acids by eating a wide variety of foods, by making smart protein food choices and including enough vegetables with grains, legumes or seeds,” she adds.
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