Protein is such an important part of our diet as it is used in many metabolic processes in our body.
Much of the body is made of protein, and these proteins take on a myriad of forms. They represent cell signaling receptors, signaling molecules, structural members, enzymes, intracellular trafficking components, extracellular matrix scaffolds, ion pumps, ion channels, oxygen and CO2 transporters (hemoglobin). That is not even the complete list! (6)
There is protein in bones (collagen), muscles, and tendons; the hemoglobin that transports oxygen; and enzymes that catalyze all biochemical reactions. Protein is also used for growth and repair. Amid all these necessary functions, proteins also hold the potential to serve as a metabolic fuel source. Proteins are not stored for later use, so excess proteins must be converted into glucose or triglycerides and used to supply energy or build energy reserves. (6)
What is protein used for?
Protein is a source of energy but its main role in the body is growth and repair. It helps in the formation of muscles, hair, nails, skin and organs, such as the heart, kidneys and liver. We all contain a significant amount of protein. For example, a 76kg man is made up of 12kg of protein (16%). (1)
A continuous turnover of protein (synthesis and breakdown) maintains the functional integrity and quality of skeletal muscle. Hormones are important regulators of this remodeling process. Anabolic hormones stimulate human muscle growth mainly by increasing protein synthesis (growth hormone, insulin-like growth factors, and testosterone) or by decreasing protein breakdown (insulin). (2)
There are literally dozens of hormones made from peptides, which are the building blocks of protein. Far too many to list here, but they include sex hormones, insulin, growth hormones, thyroid, adrenal and pituitary hormones to mention just a few. (3)
Hormones in the gut
There are more than 30 peptide hormones currently identified as being expressed within the digestive tract, making the gut the largest endocrine organ in the body. The regulatory peptides synthesized by the gut include hormones, peptide neurotransmitters and growth factors. Indeed, several hormones and neurotransmitters first identified in the central nervous system and other endocrine organs have subsequently been found in endocrine cells and/or neurons of the gut. (3)
How much do we need?
According to the New Zealand Nutrition Foundation, we need the following amounts of protein. (4)
Protein sources during your DETOX program
During your Detox program the protein sources vary depending on which program you are following. The 14 day program does not allow for any meat or eggs, so is more restricted. Let’s start there and add in more protein sources as we go. A great source of protein information in the US Department of Agriculture National Nutrient Database
14 Day Detox Plan (Deep Cleanse)
- Vegetables – Most green leafy and root vegetables contain about 10-15% protein, so you will get most of what you need there if you eat a good volume of vegetables.
- Yogurt contains about 5% protein, so a cup of yogurt should provide about 7gm protein
- Milk also contains about 5% protein, so a cup of milk should provide about 7gm protein
- Protein power – Either Whey, pea or rice protein powders can be used. Whey Protein Isolates are the purest protein source available. Whey protein isolates contain protein concentrations of 90% or higher. (5)
30 Day Detox Plan (Gentle Cleanse)
You can use all the protein sources above plus these:
- Eggs – Each egg contains up to 6gm protein
- Fish – Fish is about 10% protein so a 150gm fillet will give you 15gm protein
- Hummus – Also about 10% protein. Use about 2 tablespoon
Protein Sources During Your SLIM Program
- Soy products – There have been many reported benefits related to soy proteins relating to health and performance (including reducing plasma lipid profiles, increasing LDL-cholesterol oxidation and reducing blood pressure). (5)
- Nuts – Mixed nuts contain about 20% protein. I would only recommend a small handful of nuts every other day as they can be difficult to digest.
- Chicken – contains about 30% protein. Although I do recommend a 90% vegetarian diet, a little fish, chicken and eggs are good for that extra protein, especially if you’re looking to build lean muscle.
- Lentils and Dahl- These are about 25% protein. Soak and cook slowly and make lentil or dahl soup.
Protein for Weight loss
Protein is another great tool for weight loss or weight maintenance, as it takes longer to digest than refined carbohydrates. When eaten with other foods it causes the stomach to release a meal more slowly into the intestines, lowering the Glycemic Index and the amount of blood sugar taken into circulation. This means less sugar is stored by the body and therefore less fat is generated.
Protein, like fat, creates a sense of satiety or fullness which helps reduce the total quantity of food eaten. Good protein along with good fat gives the body many of the nutrients it needs for proper metabolic function. If the body has all the nutrients it needs then false hunger signals are not generated and this helps reduce destructive eating habits.
The “Complete Protein” myth
There is a myth that vegetarians don’t get enough protein or that vegetables need to be combined to get the complete protein. This has proven to be untrue. You can find out more about this topic in my article “Super vegetarian Diet”
I recommend protein sources such as organic eggs, raw nuts, beans and legumes, pulses, raw farm milk, soft cheeses, fish & chicken, mushrooms, eggplant and leafy greens. A good vegetarian diet is preferable, and will also provide adequate protein. We also recommend herbs such as Spirulina, Barley grass, and the Ginsengs.
In protein drinks, we recommend pea protein and rice protein as they are more beneficial than the traditional whey proteins.
Protein During Your BodiTune Programs (Sachets or Capsules)
You can eat any of the protein sources above during the BodiTune programs.
I hope you have found this page helpful.
Brett Elliott ®
(1) New Zealand Nutrition Foundation. https://www.nutritionfoundation.org.nz/nutrition-facts/Nutrients/protein
(2) Hormonal regulation of human muscle protein metabolism. PUBMED https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9240936
(3) The Medical Biochemistry Page. https://themedicalbiochemistrypage.org/peptide-hormones.php
(4) New Zealand Nutrition Foundation. https://www.nutritionfoundation.org.nz/nutrition-facts/Nutrients/protein
(5) Protein – Which is Best? PUBMED https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3905294/
(6) Protein Metabolism. http://philschatz.com/anatomy-book/contents/m46493.html