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: Protein-Added Healthy Lunch-Boxes Combined with Exercise for Improving Physical Fitness and...
- Article: Association of Dietary Protein Intake with Muscle Mass in Elderly Chinese:...
- Article: Month-of-Birth Effect on Muscle Mass and Strength in Community-Dwelling Older Women:...
- Dietary Proteins -- see more articles
- The Structures of Life (National Institute of General Medical Sciences) - PDF