With so many new protein diets, and a focus on including more protein in your diet, do you know what protein actually is and what it does in the body? 

Proteins are molecules that exist in all cells of the body. They consist of amino acids which are often referred to as the building blocks of life. Because protein exists in all cells and tissues, it is essential for growth and repair and the maintenance of good health. Proteins also work as neurotransmitters. Haemoglobin, a carrier of oxygen in the blood, is a protein.

Ingesting protein is essential as some necessary amino acids cannot be manufactured by the body and thus we must consume it in our diets. During digestion, the body breaks down the protein we eat into individual amino acids, which contribute to building, strengthening, repairing or replacing things, such as tissue. Protein helps replace worn-out cells, transports various substances throughout the body, and aids in growth and repair.

Evidence suggests that it’s the form in which we ingest protein, rather than the amount, that likely makes a difference to our health. Eating protein means that we are also eating everything else in that protein ‘package’. The ‘protein package’ might also include fats, fibres, sodium and more. The key to ensuring you eat sufficient high-quality protein is to include different types of proteins in your diet. 

Good sources of protein include fish, poultry, dairy, nuts and seeds and soy products. Products infused with extra protein could also add to your daily intake although it is important to include variety in your diet.

Danone has launched a Protein-powered yoghurt that delivers 10g-20g of high-quality protein per serving. Flavours include strawberry, banana and vanilla in a drinkable format, and peach & mango, blueberry, vanilla, strawberry and plain in the spoonable format.

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