Today’s post talks about the final building block of a real foods diet. The final important macro nutrient, protein, is broken down by the body into amino acids that are then used to build new proteins with specific functions, such as catalyzing chemical reactions, facilitating communication between different cells, or transporting biological molecules around the body. Proteins are the building block of hair, skin, nails and organs. Protein can be obtained through both animal and plant sources. However, most individual plant proteins do not contain all of the necessary amino acids to form a “complete” protein so eating multiple plant proteins together helps insure you are getting all the amino acids necessary. Protein can be found in nuts, seeds, yogurt, legumes, beans, grass fed beef, chicken, turkey, fish, eggs and milk products. Most people need about 4-6 servings of protein a day depending on body size and activity level. A serving size is 15 grams of protein and is equal to about 3-4 oz (about the size of a deck of cards) of animal protein or about 6 oz of vegetarian protein like beans.
Photo from Flickr.