Protein in a Nutshell [What Proteins are and we need them for]

Advertising on TV and the Social Media talks consistently about eating “plenty” of proteins and going on “low carb and high protein diets”. So here is some information about what proteins are, how much protein we really need and what it does in your body to gain a better understanding about the infamous proteins…

What are Proteins? [Structure]

Proteins are made of chains of molecules called amino acids and are the smallest unit a protein can be broken down into. The medium sized chains are called polypeptides and the longest chains are called proteins.

Protein primary structure
Image Source:


What are Essential and non-essential proteins?

Non-Essential Proteins

Are proteins that our body can make themselves without any further aid from our part. So you do not need to worry about eating them.

Essential Proteins

These are important, or essential because our body can NOT make them. They need to be ingested by us via food… It is true that vegetarian sources of proteins are “incomplete” and therefore we need to ensure that we eat them all.

Protein Rich Breakfast
Add chia seeds, oats, nuts and seeds to your fruit to boost your protein intake!


Functions of Proteins in our body

What is all the fuss about proteins for? Easy! We need proteins to make muscles, bones, tissue, skin, hormones, enzymes and for our DNA. So for a lot of important stuff!

16% of our body consists of proteins and our body can’t make proteins from carbohydrates or fat and we are not able to store them for a long period of time. Hence we need to eat proteins EVERY DAY!


How much Proteins do I need to eat?

A general guideline from my studies you can follow is, if you

  • do not exercise you need 0.8g per kg of your body weight
  • exercise up to 3 times p/wk you need 1-1.5g per KG
  • exercise more than 3 times p/wk you need +2g per KG

Example of how many proteins to eat per day

You weigh 75 kg and don’t exercise then you would need 75kg X 0.8g = 60g of protein per day.

Protein Smoothie
Add chia seeds, goji berries, nuts and seeds into your smoothies to increase your daily protein intake!


Ensure the quality of your proteins

It’s important to ensure that you eat good quality proteins and that they are as natural, organic and as fresh as possible. Especially if you consume meat! As the meat produced for the masses are pumped with toxins thanks to the feeding of antibiotics, growth hormones and unnatural foods. Many items in the supermarkets are highly processed and added with trans-fats, salt and sugar.

Don’t know the ingredients on the packaging…

Then don’t buy the products! For example the ingredients in protein shakes such as:

“Konjac Glucomannan Microencapsulated Conjugated Linoleic Acid [Safflower Oil Rich in conjugated linoleic acid, Glucose Syrup, Sodium Caseinate (Milk), Anti-Caking Agent (Silicon Dioxide), Emulsifier: Soya Lecithin”

You are better off eating a banana and raw nuts than consume this. Just stick to nature. 

Nuts and Seeds Snack


General sources of proteins

Meat, eggs, fish and dairy are popular sources of proteins but as mentioned above ensure that they are organic, grass fed and naturally raised.

Vegetarian Sources of Proteins

Organic legumes, nuts, seeds, grains and tofu. Swap or add these to balance your diet naturally!

Learn more about Vegetarian & Vegan Protein Sources Here!

Tofu Sweet Sour


Conclusion about Proteins

Our body needs all the macronutrients (carbs, proteins and fats) to be healthy. The balance and the quality are off in todays diets and we truly need to find the balance again. Lower your carb intake and increase your protein intake according to your body’s needs and make sure you only eat the “good” stuff in all food groups and keep it as natural as possible.

I hope this blog helped you understand what proteins are and what we need proteins for as well as the importance about the infamous Proteins 🙂

Protein indian beans




5 thoughts on “Protein in a Nutshell [What Proteins are and we need them for]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s