Used in the body for
Our cells are made mainly of Proteins, Muscles, Skin, Hair and Nails are all made from proteins. As all of our body is made of proteins, we need a lot of them to grow. So proteins are very important in a young persons diet.
As we get older our cells continually die and are regenerated so we require protein all the way through our lives, to repair the body. Childrens diets should be full of protein in order to promote good growth and healthy cells.
Found in the following foods
Protein is present in most foods, however some foods have more protein than others. Look at the previous paragraph and it should be obvious that meats are very high in protein. Milk, which is used by mothers of all mammals to feed their young, is very high in protein. Other sources besides meat and milk, would be eggs, nuts, beans and peas (foods like beans and peas are called pulses).
We also need proteins to make Enzymes, these are biological chemicals that help us to do certain tasks, they are required in tiny amounts. We will meet an enzyme later in the next section on digestion.
Carbohydrates and protein have the same amount of energy but we don't use protein for energy.