Protein is in every cell in the body. Our bodies need protein from the foods we eat to build and maintain bones, muscles and skin. We get proteins in our diet from meat, dairy products, nuts, and certain grains and beans. Proteins from meat and other animal products are complete proteins. This means they supply all of the amino acids the body can't make on its own. Most plant proteins are incomplete. You should eat different types of plant proteins every day to get all of the amino acids your body needs.
It is important to get enough dietary protein. You need to eat protein every day, because your body doesn't store it the way it stores fats or carbohydrates. How much you need depends on your age, sex, health, and level of physical activity. Most Americans eat enough protein in their diet.
- Vary Your Protein Routine (Department of Agriculture)
- ClinicalTrials.gov: Dietary Proteins (National Institutes of Health)
Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Article: Decreased Neuromuscular Function and Muscle Quality along with Increased Systemic Inflammation...
- Article: Association between dietary protein intake, diet quality and diversity, and obesity...
- Article: Associations between High Protein Intake, Linear Growth, and Stunting in Children...
- Dietary Proteins -- see more articles