Getting the facts straight on protein
Firstly, you may be interested to learn that each and every cell in your body – all 50 to 75 trillion of them – is made of protein, formed by a combination of amino acids, which could best be described as ‘the building blocks of life’. So your body’s ability to repair and produce new cells is largely dependent on consuming enough of the right amount of protein foods, in the right combinations.
What’s more, a lack of protein in your diet will directly impact your body’s ability to build and maintain healthy muscle mass, so you may want to consider the fact that our body ages at the rate we lose muscle – not such a good thing if your keen to stay lean and firm for as long as possible!
As part of the preveantive health assessement I would carry out on patients, I had a device that would measure their ratio of fat to muscle. Most people came in well under their optimal muscle mass and above the desired fat mass – even if they appeared thin. I nick named this group ‘the fat skinny’s’, because although they looked thin, they had a higher fat mass than they did muscle. The down side to this situation- primarily the acceleration of the ageing process.
Up until the age of 30 our body is in a state of ‘cellular regeneration’ but beyond this our body enters a state of ‘cellular degeneration.’ In other words, after the age of 30 our body’s ability to repair and regenerate new cells – including muscle, begins to slow down. This is unfortunately part of the natural ageing process, BUT never fear, as you can take steps to influence the rate at which you lose muscle.
The first step is to ensure you are eating enough quality protein in your diet as well as to maintain healthy digestive function. The other is to engage in more resistance exercise (weights, pilates, yoga and water running) vs cardio (areobic type exercise) in order to build and maintain muscle mass. But remember – for your body to be able to build and maintain healthy muscle mass, you must first provide it with sufficient dietary protein.
Dietary Protein Sources
Just like carbohydrates and fats, not all sources of protein were created equal, so it’s important you choose from quality dietary protein sources. Just as important is ensuring you are digesting protein effectively, as this will ultimately determine your body’s ability to access and utilise protein, so you can reap the overall health benefits.
Plant based protein powder – is a great way to top your protein intake. Vital Protein make one from yellow peas. It comes in plain, vanilla and real chocolate flavour and contains nothing artificial or added sugar.