Is your hairline receding day by day? Well, may be you are not eating enough protein. Protein is the primal life substance for your bodies and is responsible for the state of your nails, skin, hair, teeth and tissue. Even the haemoglobin molecule that makes your blood red is mostly protein. The haemo or iron-containing fraction is a mere five per cent, and the protein or globin fraction is an astounding 95 per cent. That is why many cases of anaemia do not respond to iron tablets alone, if underlying protein deficiencies also exist.
Types of Proteins
Proteins are of two kinds – structural and functional.
- Structural proteins are found in the material of muscle, bone, hair, nails, skin, blood, connective tissue and other areas,
- Functional proteins are required in the formation and function of a variety of hormones, digestive enzymes and antibodies. Proteins are also found in the nuclei of cells, which transmit hereditary characteristics and so are responsible for continued protein synthesis within the cell. Thus proteins and the amino-acids that make up proteins, are at the very core of our existence.
Where do Proteins come from?
Proteins are composed of long chains of building blocks called amino-acids. The sequence of these amino-acids determines the job a particular protein does, and its character. There are 20 or so amino-acids. About 12 of them can be synthesised by the body and are classified as the non-essential types. The remaining eight have to come from the food we cat and these are the essential types.
Your body can get these essential proteins by eating a diet rich in meat, fish and dairy products. Vegetables and pulses provide relatively low quality protein, supplying only a proportion of the eight essential amino-acids. It is possible, though, to combine two vegetable foods so that they form the eight essential amino-acids. A high protein diet can also be achieved by a combination of meat and vegetables.
Dangers of a High Protein Diet
But if you think stuffing yourself only with chicken, fish, meat and eggs will result in a high protein diet, think again. These diets work by totally eliminating the intake of carbohydrates. This means that the body does not have enough fat to break down, (both protein and fat are broken down to sustain the life process), thereby throwing it out of gear. Incomplete oxidation or burning of fatty acids and certain proteins results in the formation of acidic ketone bodies. This condition is referred to as ketosis. No one can live for very long in a continuous ketotic state because ketosiss produces nausea and limits the intake of food.
Remember that moderation is the key to healthy eating.