Everything you eat consists of the following main components:
- Organic nutrients (proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins).
- Inorganic substances (mineral and other chemical materials, elements, water).
There are also three main functions of the food:
1. Energetic, i.e. energy supply of the body. Carbohydrates and fats are mainly spent to perform this function, if they are not enough, so it goes to proteins. 2. Plastic, i.e. supplying the body with constructing materials for building and renewal of the cells and tissues. Proteins are mainly used for this purpose, but it is also performed by fats and less by carbohyrates. 3. Bioregulatory, i.e. involving in the formation of enzymes and hormones, regulating our body activity. Here again the main role goes to proteins, vitamins and also to fats.
So each nutrient performs some important function in human organism, and I suggest to take more detailed look over three basic ones: PROTEINS, FATS AND CARBOHYDRATES. Let’s start?
Proteins (from the greek “protos” which means “The First”) are the basic and essential part of the body. About 85% of dry tissues mass (excluding water-contained part) consist of proteins.
In our body they perform quite important functions (it’s not a full list):
1. They serve as main construction material in our body.
2. They serve as carriers of vitamins, hormones, fatty acids and other substances.
3. They ensure normal functioning of immune system.
4. They secure condition of "heredity unit".
5. They are catalysts for all biochemical metabolic reactions in our body.
In case of insufficient energy resources in body, proteins may also be utilized to resolve the problem (1 g of protein oxidation release around 4,1 kcal of energy), but using them for this purpose is the same as burning 100 dollar bills for igniting the fire. Human body constantly needs proteins for creating new cells instead of destroyed ones. Also proteins are the only source of nitrogen, and without nitrogen human body cannot synthesize other proteins (which exist in huge quantities).
!!! IMPORTANT !!!:
Proteins consist of amino acids, 8 from 20 of them are indispensable, i.e. our body cannot synthesize and we need to consume them from food.
Biological value of proteins in a particular food is determined with two main characteristics: quantity of indispensable amino acids and of assimilating. Proteins of animal origin have higher biological value (eggs, meat, fish, milk products), proteins of plant origin (nuts, beans, flour, vegetables and fruits) - lowew value. However, in order to get all indispensable amino acids and ensure body needs, it is necessary to consume various protein products.
The lack of proteins in diet leads to their breakdown in tissues, when body own's proteins and nitrogen are used for current needs. The following analogy can be given. Let’s say you are building a house and at one moment you have a shortage of bricks. But since you have to continue your work according to the schedule, you choose to take some bricks out from already built walls toconstruct new ones. The disruption of nervous system normal activity begins starting from this point, hormonal imbalance also appears, followed by body weight loss with muscles breakdown and fatty adjournment inside internal organs (instead of broken bricks our body makes patches from wood).
At the same time excessive protein intake causes overload of liver and kidneys, the last of which involved in the removal and disposal of their metabolites (decomposition products). It also increases the risk of forming the allergic reactions. Processes of putrefaction in the intestines are strengthened – disorder of digestion in the intestine. Here goes a simple logic conclusion from all of this: it is better to split the consumption of protein meals throughout your day's diet, than eat one big portion at a time.