Exploring the sense and nonsense of food and health

Athletes, Football and Protein

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An interesting approach to why having inadequate protein in our diets can have short-term and long-term detrimental effects, maybe even on our favorite football team records. Why? Simply check out these examples of functions of protein in the body (and don’t forget the vitamin B12):

  • Serves as a structural material in muscles, connective tissue, organs, and hemoglobin
  • Maintains and repairs protein-containing tissues
  • Serves as the basic component of enzymes, hormones, and other biologically important chemicals
  • Serves as an energy source
  • Helps maintain body fluid balance
  • Helps maintain acid-base balance in body fluids

Complete proteins are found in animals and do provide all nine essential amino acids needed for protein synthesis.

Animal products such as meat, eggs, and milk provide all of the nine essential amino acids as well as soy proteins.

Some combinations of plant foods that provide complete protein(all 9 essential amino acids):

  • Rice and black beans
  • Hummus and bread
  • Corn and black-eyed peas
  • Bulgar (whole wheat) and lentils
  • Tofu and rice
  • Corn and lima beans
  • Tortilla with refried beans
  • Pea soup and bread

Source: Judith Brown, Nutriiton Now, 7th Edition


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