- NUTRITIONAL WELLNESS
- KNOW YOUR SERVING
- BODY SMART
- MEAL PLANNING
- TIPS & TRICKS
- UNDERSTANDING FOOD LABELS
Protein provides the nutrients for muscles, organs, the skin, hair and nails. Enzymes and hormones also consist of protein. Our body’s defences only function to the best of their ability with protein. For this reason we must ensure we have a sufficient supply. This also applies to children. Our body needs an especially large number of nutrients for growth and for increasing muscle.
Regular replenishment is important
The protein in our body is being continuously depleted and replaced. This is why we need regular replenishment. Milk, meat, fish and eggs are the most important sources of protein. Plant foods such as grains, potatoes and pulses also contain protein. Combine these animal and plant sources of protein – as combinations of protein are particularly good for you. Good combinations include muesli with yoghurt or milk, wholegrain bread with cheese, and potatoes with Quark or eggs. Even vegans, people who do not consume any kind of animal product whatsoever, need not worry about lacking protein. Adequate knowledge and skilful combination of plant foods can ensure sufficient intake of protein.
Variety is good.
Our digestive system must first of all break down protein from food into its component parts – into amino acids, of which there are 20 different kinds. Amino acids travel via the blood to precisely where our body needs them. When they reach their destination, they are used very specifically to create a protein that the body needs. If one part of the protein is missing, the body must obtain some by taking protein from another location, or, for example, resorting to using valuable muscle protein. Our tip: eat a varied diet so your body can always obtain the appropriate amino acids.
Athletes & protein
Contrary to many claims, ambitious amateur athletes and even body-builders do not need additional protein. Admittedly, physical activity increases the depletion and construction of muscle protein. But our body is able to recycle the depleted protein as far as possible.
How much protein do you need?
Adults require approximately 0.8g of protein per kilo of bodyweight every day. If you weigh 60kg, then a daily protein intake of approximately 48g is sufficient. And this is contained in for example: 1 portion (200g) of potatoes, 4 slices (180g) of wholemeal wheat bread, 1 pot (150g) of natural yoghurt and 3 slices (90g) of low-fat cheese. As children are growing, they need – based on their body weight – more protein than adults. As long as they regularly eat small portions of meat or fish, drink milk and now and again eat muesli, yoghurt or cheese, their needs will be covered. But what if your child doesn’t like milk or even cheese? Provide some mashed potato for lunch or, in between meals, some semolina pudding with raspberries – you can conceal a lot of milk in these.
By the way: in Germany there is no such thing as protein deficiency as a general rule. Rather, we actually eat too much protein on average. This can also have its disadvantages, as animal protein also contains some undesirable substances such as cholesterol, purine and saturated fatty acids. And these can damage our health in the long term.