What are proteins?
Cells, tissues, organs- the building blocks of the human body. The human body is a work of art, and every day we find more about this interesting yet complicated structure. However, if there is one thing that we know with absolute surety is the importance of nutrients for the effective and healthy functioning of the human body. One such and arguably the most important nutrient is protein. That is exactly why protein powders are such a huge craze right now.
What are the benefits of proteins?
Proteins are made up of smaller blocks of amino acids. There are around 20 different types of proteins that form a long chain to form proteins. The benefits of protein are huge.
Some of the most important benefits of protein are:
- Strengthening of Muscular Health
- Improved Immune System
- Improved Nervous System
- Fluid Equilibrium in the body
- Balanced Hormones
- Hair and Skin Care
- Cell & Tissue Regeneration, Improved Bone health
The list doesn’t end here. As scientists figure out more and more about proteins, we find out more benefits about the proteins. And this has lead to multiple questions. The most frequent being, which is better: plant source or animal source.
There are a variety of protein supplements in the market. One can also buy it online where different products can be reviewed and compared. Do check out some of the best coupons for PharmEasy and buy even at much-discounted prices.
Difference between Plant & Animal Proteins
The major debate about proteins sources has been in existence for a while. The traditional sources of plant-based protein (soy, tofu, chickpea, lentils, pulses, etc) are being suggested over animal-based proteins like meat, milk, egg, etc. The reasons for such are:
- Meat contributes to vascular damage, especially in people with diabetes.
- Meat has pro-oxidant effects which increase cardiovascular disease due to heme iron.
- Meat has components such as arachidonic acid and carnitine, which are anti-inflammatory.
- Animal protein consumption increases weight gain.
- Meat promotes the growth of unfavorable bacteria. This leads to the inflammation of endothelium and increases the chances of atherosclerosis.
- Diets high in animal protein also promote cancer, due to the higher content of amino acid content. This increases IGF-1 to dangerous levels, which leads to the growth of tumors.
So, why should you prefer plant-based protein? Plenty of reasons!
- Nuts and seeds have the perfect amount of protein required for a cardioprotective diet.
- They reduce total and LDL cholesterol.
- The fat-binding fibers are not absorbed by the body and are carried into the stool.
- Some plant-based protein foods are rich in arginine and glutamic acid. These aid in the production of nitric oxide and are required for maintaining favorable blood pressure.
- They increase favorable blood glucose levels.
- Plant-based protein help in better vascular functions and reduces oxidative stress.
What Are Protein Powders? Why Is It Important?
Protein powders/supplements are made up of powdered forms of protein (long chains of amino acids) made from ingredients like soy, egg, dairy and other performance-enhancing ingredients like creatine, vitamins, and minerals. When you mix them with water or milk, they turn into a shake/drink. Since it is not always possible to have the required or recommended protein intake per day, protein shakes are generally recommended by trainers/dieticians. For people who work out, protein is very important as it gives them a boost while building their muscles and helps them develop stronger resistance. If they do not take-in the required amount of protein they need, they cannot build their muscle mass or recover from injuries that they might sustain.
What Kind Of Protein Powder Should I Choose?
Both kinds of proteins are important for the body. Both have their benefits. However, if we go by research, plant-based proteins do indeed improve overall health better. They also increase the chances of better cardiovascular health. Not only do they contain less fat but many athletes (if not most) turn towards plant-based proteins for building muscle mass and recovering better from injuries. In fact, some of the most popular protein supplements used by athletes are plant-based. Although it is up to you to choose what kind of protein you want, we would highly recommend plant-based proteins for the reasons mentioned above. The benefits of plant-based proteins are massive.
How To Choose Your Protein Powder?
Choosing a healthy and trust-worthy protein powder can be a task. We decided to add a few tips to select a protein powder for you!
- Check where the protein source is from- For overall health improvements, it is very important to know where your protein source is from. Don’t take protein rich in red-meat or fatty substance. This might lead to cardiovascular hazards in the long run.
- No heavy sweeteners and preservatives- The whole idea of a protein supplement is to add muscles and strength while losing weight. To lose weight, choose shakes with no added sugars or dextrins/maltodextrins, which are basically made from bad starch.
- Check the BCAA ratio- BCCA stands for Branched-Chain Amino Acids. It is basically the ratio of leucine, isoleucine, and valine, and these protein building things are important for the body’s maintenance and growth.
- Check the hallmark/seals- Buy protein powders that have been stamped and approved by the medical association and proper health organizations.
Final Verdict: If you want to benefit in the longer run, develop the minimum disease and improve overall health, we suggest you choose the plant-based protein. However, at the end of the day always consult a doctor and/or a qualified dietician before you take a final decision. Stay healthy!
Originally written by – Shubhagata Choudhury
Electrical Engineer turned content writer at GrabOn, with piqued interests in economics, finance, and global politics. A big-time movie buff and a passionate football fan.