Varieties of Protein
It is well established that protein is an essential macronutrient that we need and it is even argued that it is the most essential nutrient because we can’t make it on our own. We need to eat protein. While it is nice to keep things simple, I want to expand a little on the benefit of eating a variety of protein sources.
“Protein is composed of up to 20 different amino acids. Every protein source contains some or all of those amino acids in different proportions, so each source of protein really is different. … Each one plays a different role in the body, from building and repairing various tissues, performing vital metabolic processes, acting as progenitor for essential compounds, and even regulating gene expression. We need amino acids to live,” Mark Sisson explains.
While our bodies can convert some proteins into the amino acids we need, there are 9 essential amino acids we must get from the food we eat. Animal-based proteins contain adequate amounts of all the essential amino acids. Animal derived proteins like eggs and dairy also have all the amino acids covered. Plant proteins are incomplete and that’s why there is a need to combine certain plants to make sure the essential amino acids are covered.
Now we could just leave it at that, but our bodies are so amazing and complex. Muscle meat without the connective tissues leaves us a bit unbalanced when it comes to other amino acids. We need the conditionally essential amino acid glycine. Glycine is found in animal skin, tendons and bone broth. I know I personally prefer to make bone broth and supplement with some collagen peptides in my smoothies. So if we want to maintain our ligaments, tendons, and cartilage, keep our skin taut and firm, and balance out our muscle protein intake, we would do well to add in some nourishing bone broth.
As they say, “Variety is the spice of life,” it is also applicable to our diets. Enjoy different sources of protein and it will help nourish all parts of your body, not just build those awesome muscles. I’ll include some links for further reading if this has piqued your interest.