Many of the structural and functional components of our cells are made up of various proteins. Proteins are fairly large molecules that are comprised of smaller units called amino acids.
Weather a protein is a complete protein or not simply depends on whether it contains all the different types of amino acid or not. If it has all 20 amino acids then it is considered to be complete. Out of these twenty amino acids, our body can on its own synthesize 12. The other 8 amino acids are required to be availed from external sources such as our diet (plant based diet OR animal based diet, both are equally good).
These 8 amino acids that we must get in our diet are called essential amino acids. Different amino acids carry out different functions in our body. Some of these functions are cell repair, muscle growth, immune functions, enzyme regulation, etc.
Most common source of protein
Animal Sources of Protein
Meat and Fish
Chicken, breast, skin off, roasted, 100g: 34 g of protein
Lamb, chops, 100g: 28g of protein
Beef, 100g: 27g of protein
Snapper 1 x fillet (approx. 170g): 45g of protein
Salmon 1/2 x fillet (approx. 180g): 39g of protein
Tuna, tinned, 85g: 22g of protein
Ham, 100g: 17g of protein
Bacon whole rasher, grilled, 100g: 22.2g of protein
Sausage, beef, grilled, 100g: 13.9g of protein
Sausage, pork, grilled, 100g: 16.8g of protein
Dairy and Eggs
Eggs, 1 x large, poached: 6g of protein
Milk, cow’s, full fat, 100mL: 3.5g of protein
Milk, cow’s, skimmed, 100mL: 3.7g of protein
Cheese, cheddar, full fat, 100g: 24.6g of protein
Fetta, goat/sheep, 100g: 17.4g of protein
Ricotta, reduced fat, 100g: 10.1g of protein
Cream cheese, full fat, 100g: 11.1g of protein
Haloumi, 100g: 21.3g of protein
Yoghurt, natural, full fat, 100g: 6g of protein
Plant Sources of Protein
Red lentils, 100g: 6.8g of protein
Yellow split peas, 100g: 6.6g of protein
Quinoa, 100g: 4g of protein
Chickpeas (garbanzo), tinned, 100g: 6.3g of protein
Cannelini beans, tinned, 100g: 6.2g of protein
Kidney beans, tinned, 100g: 6.6g of protein
Tofu, firm, 100g: 12g of protein
Tofu, silken, 100g: 8.1g of protein
Nuts and Seeds
Almonds, raw, 25g: 6g of protein
Walnuts, raw, 25g: 4g of protein
Brazil nuts, raw, 25g: 3.6g of protein
Cashew nuts, raw, 25g: 5g of protein
Peanut butter, no salt or sugar, 1Tbs: 6g of protein
Pumpkin seeds, raw, 25g: 6.1g of protein
Sunflower seeds, raw, 25g: 6.7g of protein
Bread and Grains
Bread, white, 100g (approx 2 slices): 9.7g of protein
Bread, wholemeal, 100g: 9g of protein
Bread, gluten free, 100g: 9.8g of protein
Bread, rye, light, 100g: 9g of protein
Oats, whole, raw, 100g: 2g of protein
Pasta, white, 100g: 4.2g of protein
Pasta, wholemeal, 100g: 4.9g of protein
Rice, white, 100g: 2.7 of protein
Rice, wholegrain, 100g: 2.9g of protein
Pearled barley, 100g: 2.9g of protein
Polenta, cooked in water, 100g: 2.6g of protein
Effects of Protein Deficiency
Thinning or Brittle Hair
Since hair is made up of protein, lack the amount of protein may cause hair loss and thinning or brittle hair. If you become deficient enough, your hair will even begin to fall out.
Skin may flake and go dry resulting into rashes.
Healing and tissue repair issue
Amino acids are required for healing of wounds. For healing and repair the body uses amino acids to make new tissue and repair the existing ones.
Difficulty in sleeping due to low serotonin, which may result due to lack of certain amino acids.
Edema is a collection of fluid under the skin, which most commonly affects the legs, feet, and ankles but can occur anywhere on the body. Protein is essential for maintaining a balance of water in your body; without it, you may store water improperly.
Severe weight loss is one symptom of a protein deficiency. It may be attributed to muscle wastage, as your body breaks down your muscles in an attempt to get protein from them.
Ridges in Nails
Another sign of lack of protein in the diet is, ridges or white lines in both finger and toe nails. Ridges that run from top to bottom on the nail can indicate an ongoing protein deficiency, while a ridge that runs transverse may indicate a deficiency that has now passed.
Skin that loses pigment and burns more easily in the sun can be caused by a lack of iron, as well as protein. Frequently, foods that are rich in iron also contain protein, and protein is necessary for the body to utilize iron properly. Anemia or lack of iron may result in pale skin.
Lack of protein may make a person feel tired and lethargic.
in the following ways;
By causing low blood sugar
By causing anemia
Fainting caused due to low sugar, or the need to break muscle tissue to get nutrients
Other related Symptoms
Some psychological problems connected are;
Rapid mood changes, Feeling constant irritation
Issues with resolving conflict
Lack of drive to do more
Effects of Excess Protein
Excess protein may result in Weight Gain
Your body does not store proteins. If you give it more than it can use then it will covert proteins to fats, resluting in weight gain.
High sugar levels help feed pathogenic bacteria and yeast, such as Candida albicans (candidiasis), as well as fueling cancer cell growth in the body.
A protein overload is known to trigger an important biochemical pathway called the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), which has a significant role in many cancers.
When you take only as much protein as the body needs, mTOR remains dormant, which keeps cancer growth inhibited.
Stress kidney and liver
Filtering excess protein, stresses kidneys and liver by putting them in an overdrive.