Essential proteins: What you should know Essential proteins: What you should know

Between 10 and 15% of our total energy intake should come from proteins.

The human body requires some of the amino acids that make up proteins for its proper functioning. Their functions in the system include promoting the growth and repair of cells, forming the hormones needed for reproduction, contributing to the functions of blood cells and the correct absorption of nutrients.

Some of the foods of animal origin with the best source of protein are meat, fish, eggs, milk, cheese and yogurt, which provide proteins with high biological value. That is to say, they contain the essential amino acids, in the quantity required by the body.

There are also vegetable sources of protein such as legumes, cereals, nuts, seeds and vegetables, but they all have a very low biological value. Therefore, in the case of people who follow a strict vegetarian diet, it is important for them to balance their food in the best way, including sources of protein such as dairy or eggs, or if their diet is entirely vegetable, they must combine different sources of protein to ensure the levels of amino acids that the body needs, especially in periods of significant growth, such as pregnancy or childhood.

Here are three of the protein-rich foods recommended according to your type of diet:

1. Chicken
It is one of the most wholesome meats, since it is a healthier source of unsaturated fatty acids (polyunsaturated and monounsaturated) for the body. “Chicken is a protein with high biological value. Its lean parts have a low fat content, which due to its muscle fiber is much easier to chew, since it is tenderer and thus, it is also digested quickly and absorbed much easier,” says Gloria Ines Garcia, a nutritionist and dietician from Universidad Javeriana.

2. Cottage cheese
It is an ideal dairy product you can eat alone, as well as in multiple preparations, replacing other creams with high fat levels. In addition, its protein content is greater than that of common yogurt or other similar products. Combine it with foods that give you strength and contrasting flavors.

3. Eggs
Their protein content with high biological value is almost similar to that of meat, in addition to being rich in nutrients, so they can be the ideal source of protein for non-vegan vegetarians. They fit perfectly in any meal of the day: breakfast, lunch, dinner.

4. Quinoa
It has a high protein level, similar to that of eggs and milk. It is a cereal that can be combined with different foods and contains fiber and vitamins, and brings a lot of energy thanks to its starch content.