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What you need to know about Protein

Protein is crucial to good health. In fact, the name comes from the Greek word proteos, meaning “primary” or “first place.”

Proteins are made up of amino acids that join together to form long chains. You can think of a protein as a string of beads in which each bead is an amino acid. Here are 9 important functions of protein in your body.

1)Growth and maintenance

Protein is required for the growth and maintenance of tissues. Your body’s protein needs are dependent upon your health and activity level. People recovering from an injury or surgery, older adults and athletes require more protein as well.

2) Immune booster

Proteins help form immunoglobulins, or antibodies in our blood to fight infection. Once our body has produced antibodies against a particular bacteria or virus, our cells never forget how to make them. This allows the antibodies to respond quickly the next time a particular disease agent invades our body. As a result, our body develops immunity against the diseases to which it is exposed.

3) Provides Energy

Protein contains four calories per gram, the same amount of energy that carbs provide. Fats supply the most energy, at nine calories per gram.

However, the last thing your body wants to use for energy is protein since this valuable nutrient is widely used throughout your body. Protein can serve as a valuable energy source but only in situations of fasting, exhaustive exercise or inadequate calorie intake.

4) Transports and Stores Nutrients

Transport proteins carry substances throughout your bloodstream — into cells, out of cells or within cells. The substances transported by these proteins include nutrients like vitamins or minerals, blood sugar, cholesterol and oxygen. For example, hemoglobin is a protein that carries oxygen from your lungs to body tissues.

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