ROLE OF PROTEINS IN OUR BODY

proteinThere are three types of nutrients that are essential as energy sources for the human body:

  • Proteins
  • Carbohydrates
  • Fats

 

One gram of protein or carbohydrate contains 4 calories, while one gram of fat has 9 calories.

Proteins are large molecules consisting of amino acids which our bodies and the cells in our bodies need to function properly. The human body’s muscles, skin, bones and many other parts contain significant amounts of protein. In fact, protein accounts for 20% of total body weight.

What are Proteins?

The human body is made up of approximately 100 trillion cells – each one has a specific function. Each cell has thousands of different proteins, which together make the cell do its job – the proteins are tiny machines within the cell.

Amino acids and proteins – Proteins are made up of hundreds or thousands of smaller units called amino acids, which are attached to one another in long chains. There are 20 different types of amino acids that can be combined to make a protein.

Imagine there are 20 different types of bricks, and a much larger number of different types of houses which we could name according to the way we combined the bricks (their sequence). The bricks are the amino acids and the houses are the proteins.

These 20 amino acids can be arranged in millions of different ways to create millions of different proteins, each one with a specific function in the body. Amino acids are organic molecules – they are made out of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen and sometimes sulphur.

Functions of Proteins

  • Make antibodies for our immune system.
  • Make hormones, which help cells send messages and coordinate bodily activities.
  • Muscle contractions – actin and myosin, two types of proteins, are involved in muscle contraction and movement.
  • Make enzymes. An enzyme facilitates a biochemical reaction.
  • Carry things – hemoglobin, a protein, transports oxygen through the blood.
  • Store things – ferritin is a protein which stores iron in the liver.
  • Protein builds, maintains, and replaces the tissues in your body.

 

How much protein is required?

  • Infants (7 – 12 month) – 11 grams per day
  • Infants (0 – 6 month) – 9.1 grams per day
  • Teenage boys (14 – 18 yr) – 52 grams per day
  • Teenage girls (14 – 18 yr) – up to 46 grams per day
  • Adult men – approximately 56 grams per day
  • Adult women – approximately 46 grams per day
  • Pregnant or lactating (breastfeeding) women – about 71 grams per day

 

Examples:

  • 1 cup of milk has 8 grams of protein
  • A 3-ounce piece of meat has about 21 grams of protein
  • 1 cup of dry beans has about 16 grams of protein
  • An 8-ounce container of yogurt has about 11 grams of protein

 

Health Problems that can be faced in case of Protein Deficiency

  • Growth problems
  • Wasting and shrinkage of muscle tissue
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatty liver
  • Swollen belly
  • Swollen legs
  • Anemia
  • Weaker immune system, leading to a higher susceptibility to infections and diseases

 

Sources of dietary protein

  • Meat
  • Poultry
  • Fish and fish eggs
  • Insects
  • Dairy products – Milk, curd, cheese..
  • Seeds and nuts
  • Soy products
  • Eggs
  • Grains, vegetables and legumes also have protein

 

What are the Types of Proteins?

ProteinProteins are made up of amino acids. Some of these amino acids can’t be made by our bodies, so these are known as essential amino acids. It’s essential that our diet provide these.

In the diet, protein sources are labeled according to how many of the essential amino acids they provide:

  • A complete protein source is one that provides all of the essential amino acids. You may also hear these sources called high quality proteins. Animal-based foods; for example, meat, poultry, fish, milk, eggs, and cheese are considered complete protein sources.
  • An incomplete protein source is one that is low in one or more of the essential amino acids. Complementary proteins are two or more incomplete protein sources that together provide adequate amounts of all the essential amino acids.

 

Top 10 Foods which contain Protein

sources of proteins

  1. 100g Turkey Breast contains 30g protein.Chicken Breast (58g) provides 17g protein. Chicken Leg (69g) provides 18g protein. Chicken Thigh (37g) provides 9g protein.
  2. 100g Fish (Tuna, Salmon, Halibut) contains 26g protein.
  3. 100g Cheese (Non-fat Mozzarella) contains 32g protein. Low-fat Cottage Cheese (contains 5g per 28g), Low-fat Swiss Cheese (contains 8g protein per 28g), Low-fat Cheddar (6g per protein 28g), Parmesan (10g per 28 g), Romano (9g per 28 g).
  4. 100g Pork Loin (Chops) contains 25g protein.
  5. 100g Lean Beef and Veal (Low Fat) contains 36g protein.
  6. 100g Tofu contains 7g protein.
  7. 100g Beans (Mature Soy Beans) contains 17g protein.
  8. 100g Eggs (Especially Egg Whites) contains 13g protein.
  9. 100g Yogurt, Milk, and Soymilk contains 6g protein. 1 cup skim milk (245g) provides 8g protein, 1 cup soymilk (243g) provides 8g protein.

100g Nuts and Seeds (Pumpkin, Squash, and Watermelon Seeds, Peanuts, Almonds) contains 33g protein. Other nuts and seeds high in protein (grams proten per ounce (28g)): Peanuts (7g), Almonds (6g), Pistachios (6g), Sunflower Seeds (6g), Flaxseed (5g), Mixed Nuts (4g).

Advertisements

Uprooting The Emotion Of Worry

 What is a good definition of worry?

worryWorry is a process of imagining the worst possible outcome or result or future in a particular situation and creating a living and active image of it in front of the eye of your mind, and then using the energy of that negative image to flow inside your consciousness so as to completely overpower or weaken your spiritual and as a result your physical self to evoke fear in the self.

When people are asked about this process, a person who is attached to this process and is involved in the process very regularly the whole day in different types of situations, one who is a habitual worrier, responds “But it’s important to worry, it’s good to worry. If we don’t think of different possible negative outcomes, how will we prepare for them?” It’s important to realize that the belief, that by worrying, we prepare for the worst in the future is a false one. This belief causes us not to realize the truth that all worry is simply an incorrect and fruitless creation. It is a wrong use of the positive, constructive and imaginative capacity of our mind and intellect which, instead of empowering the mind and intellect, weakens it.

Preparing for the future is important and necessary, but very often while doing that, we enter the territory of worry, which leaves us, defeated or weakened. There is an extremely fine line between proactive preparation (necessary preparation in advance) on the one hand and worry on the other. The preparation can be done without creating an excessive number of possible negative outcomes in the mind.

happyOn the other hand, imagining possible positive outcomes or results will have a double effect of not only keeping the negative outcomes away from us (even if there is a possibility of them occurring), but will also attract the positive results towards us. But to ensure that both these processes happen, it’s important not to attach possible negative results to the same, even to the minutest extent, otherwise the probability of positive futures becoming a reality reduces.  Worrying is another word for this attachment process.

Worry is a type of mental habit, which arises from the belief that it’s good to worry. This belief gets acquired during our childhood. And then it keeps getting strengthened from our life experiences. We start from this belief. That attracts negative circumstances; as a result the belief gets strengthened further, because you think that with life full of so many negative circumstances, it’s important to think of negative outcomes beforehand. You don’t realize that these negative situations occurred in the first place largely due to this belief. When we are faced with a negative situation, again we worry because we hold that belief. Again it’s the same result. In this way, we are caught in a vicious cycle. How do we come out of this cycle? By changing this belief to – ‘it’s not good to worry’. Once we do that, there is no guarantee that negative situations will completely stop arising in our life, because we have performed negative actions in the past (either in this birth or past births), which need to be settled in our present, but the extent of negative situations will be minimized. And even if they do come, they will bid goodbye sooner, if we have a worry-free consciousness.

How to find best oil for cooking…

When it comes to cooking you can heat foods in a gentle and healthy way with stable fats OR your can destroy the health properties of foods in a dangerous way with unstable fats. So what’s the best oil to cook with???

oilsIn India, since time immemorial, the oil you use in your kitchen is largely dependent on where you come from. In Kerala, it’s coconut oil, in Andhra and Rajasthan, it’s sesame oil, in the east and north they use mustard oil and in central India and Gujarat groundnut oil is used. Different cultures eat differently and the type of oil fits beautifully into the food landscape of that region.

But all that changed in the 80’s with the scare of cholesterol and heart disease. Overnight ghee got a bad name and we were told that we should avoid transfats and sunflower oil became popular. That was in the 90’s.  But today it’s an altogether different story. You have new types of oil spilling across the grocery shelves from around the world and each new bottle label brings with it a new health hope.

One of the most important thing to keep in mind is – that oil behaves differently when heated, it changes texture, color, taste as well as it’s nutritional properties. Continue reading

Freeing Myself Of My Inner Darkness

meditationBreathe deeply… Become serene and feel a sensation of peace and wellbeing inside yourself… Now have a conversation with yourself…

I sit down comfortably, like an observer in silence. I stop paying attention to everything around me: objects, people, responsibilities, places… I centre my mind on the present moment… The serenity, the peacefulness, wrap around me… In this calm I can see the dark corners of my inner being… They are like shadows… I see the fears, the anxieties, the guilt, the bitterness, the selfishness, the unhappiness… They are weaknesses that lie in some corner of me… I accept that there are these dark areas within me… I observe them and I realize that I am not that darkness, I am not that weakness; it is not real; it is like a shadow…

I focus now on what is real; all my energy concentrates itself in the centre of my forehead and I visualize the energy centered like a point of light… It is a star of love, of peace, of wellbeing, of contentment…

I only have to access these original qualities and allow these energies to strengthen my soul… To do so, I continue to observe with calm, with patience… I don’t allow my mind to judge or analyse what is happening to me… Everything that has happened to me forms part of the past… I have learned from my mistakes… I forgive myself… I forgive others…

I observe feeling who I am… I am a being of light, situated just above the eyebrows; a peaceful being that radiates light, like a small candle that lights up a dark room and dissipates (removes) the darkness that there is in my inner room…

Aware of whom I am; I open myself to receive the presence of a benevolent (generous) golden-white Being of Light that radiates infinite love, peace and happiness… It is an ocean of love that can dissolve all my fears and melt the pain and suffering that there is within me, the soul…

I open my heart and I go towards this ocean, saying to it “Here are my fears, here are my dark areas. They are yours. They are no longer useful to me. I hand them over to you. I absorb your love and allow the light of your love to reach each dark corner of my inner being. I feel how your love touches my fears, my weaknesses – they dissolve and I am freed.”

The weaknesses no longer have power over me… God is with me. He accepts me as I am, he comforts me, there is nothing to fear and I feel secure; in an immense peace, in the light of being… I maintain the divine presence of the Supreme Soul in my being; a presence that dissipates (removes) the darkness and brings out my inner beauty…

What are the Sources of Knowledge?

Known is a drop, Unknown is an Ocean

Knowledge is power if we know. But do we know the different sources of knowledge? As we are exploring about mind, its good to know about these different sources of knowledge.

Inspiration, revelation, insight, intuition, ecstasy, divine sight and eternal bliss are the seven planes of knowledge. There are four sources of knowledge, viz., instinct, reason, intuition and super-intuition or Atma-Jnana (Self Realization).

Instinct

When an ant crawls in your right arm, the left arm automatically moves towards the right arm to drive away the ant. The mind does not reason there. When you see a scorpion in front of your leg, you withdraw your leg automatically. This is termed instinctive or automatic movement. As you cross a street, how instinctively you move your body to save yourself from the cars!

Instinct is found in animals and birds. In birds, the ego does not interfere with the free divine flow…

View original post 417 more words

Freeing Oneself from Hatred

hatredRage has many offspring (children), such as hate, anger, intolerance, insistence, irritation, obsession, sarcasm (taunt), envy, the abuse of authority, impatience, the lack of forgiveness. Generally it explodes when we want to control another or when our expectations have not been fulfilled.

Hate destroys your concentration and kills the capacity to act with dignity and excellence. You hate by justifying yourself in the other. You had expectations of them and they have let you down. They have wounded you and broken your heart. You answer this wound with revenge. You have to make them pay for it. You think that way you will do justice. This hate keeps you tied to the person that you hate. Instead of accepting them, forgiving them and letting go of them, you tie yourself to them more, nourishing and increasing the pain and the conflict.

Can hate be justified? Can it improve things? Can hate be healthy in any circumstance? Hate affects your health; it poisons your heart, kills your inner peace and dries you of love and happiness; you stay isolated in your aloneness, filled with that rage.

Take a moment to reflect upon the last time that you hated someone. It might be difficult to see that your rage is created by no one but yourself. Although it seems that the behavior of the other person is responsible for your emotional state, the truth is that the hate is your reaction. Each response that you create might be a conscious choice. You forget that you have the choice because it seems that the hate comes out of your inside in a natural way. In reality, you are allowing yourself to act driven by your automatic pilot, where your subconscious habits, which are based on your beliefs and your perception, influence, shape and control your conscious thoughts and actions. That is the sign of mental and emotional laziness; in that state, your intelligence sleeps and it is impossible to think with clarity and take precise decisions.

It is said, “It is impossible to get angry and to laugh at the same time,” Rage and laughter cannot exist side by side and you have the sufficient power to choose either of the two. Each time that you choose to get angry due to the behavior of another person, you are depriving them of their right to be what they choose.

To free yourself from hatred, you will have to take four important steps:

peace1. Understand that hate is not healthy. When you have a feeling of loss you feel sad. This feeling of sadness, because of the situation, generally gets created inside you before the feeling of hate, anger or frustration. Understand your emotions by observing them closely.

2. Accept that you are responsible for your own rage.

3. The other is free to act as they like, you can’t change them, but you can improve your response.

4. Be prepared to observe, challenge and change the beliefs and perceptions that you base yourself on and that create your emotional pain. Some of these beliefs give force to your rage and block your learning. For example, when you think that it is good that you are angry, the belief is that to feel rage is the natural and normal reaction amidst certain situations. Another belief is that anger causes the adrenaline to flow in you and you consider that it is a healthy addiction, that it makes you feel alive, that having sudden surges of adrenaline makes you feel energetic and strong. You use any excuse to feel bad and, thanks to that excuse, your level of adrenaline rises!

Emotional suffering indicates to you that you have to change something in you, but you don’t change anything. You ignore the messenger and the stress that you create continues to grow. Finally, it turns into such a habit that, if you relax and de-stress, you feel uncomfortable! You have got used to your stress. Become aware of the need for you to evaluate your beliefs and their impact on your life. That way you will be more prepared to change and improve your habits. This is the first step to achieving it.

Amla, Gooseberry Wonders

Health Benefits of Amla

amla-gooseberry

Amla or Gooseberry is a vibrant green colour fruit recognized by its succulent, sour and bitter taste. Studies have shown that amla or the Indian gooseberry is packed with nutrients and can actually help you live a longer healthier life.

Amla is an indispensable part of Ayurvedic and Unani medicines. Amla or Gooseberry has many nutritious benefits and has been found to be the most abundant source of Vitamin. It contains more than 80% of water besides protein, carbohydrates, fibre, minerals and vitamins Minerals and vitamins mainly include calcium, phosphorus, iron, carotene, Vitamin C and B complex. It also contains gallic acid, which is a potent polyphenol. The fruit of this plant is round shaped with vertical stripes and has a hard seed inside. It is greenish yellow in color and tastes sour. The fruit is fibrous in nature. The fruit is sometimes eaten along with salt.  Amla is rich in natural vitamin C.

Let us have a look at the nutritional and health benefits of Amla.

NUTRITIONAL BENEFITS OF AMLA/GOOSEBERRY

Amla is a low calorie fruit. It provides only 60 calories for 100 grams of its intake. Amla contains mostly water which constitutes 80% of it. It is a rich source of carbohydrates and dietary fibre. It is one of the major providers of Vitamin-C and contains minerals like calcium, phosphorous and iron. Amla is also a rich source of antioxidants. Its nutritional benefits are :

  1. Rich source of Vitamin C.
    Amla is a source of Vitamin-C. So much so, that one small amla has as much Vitamin C as 2 medium oranges. Vitamin-C in amla makes it beneficial for skin health. It helps in reviving the skin texture and makes it smooth and glamorous. Vitamin-C helps in proper digestion thereby flushes out toxins from the body. This results in reducing skin blemishes and pigmentation and provides a rejuvenating and healthy skin. Acne and pimples can be avoided by its consumption.
  2. It is high in Antioxidants.
    Antioxidants prevent hair from premature aging and graying. Amla oil contains essential fatty acids that help in promoting hair growth. Head massage using amla oil increases blood circulation in the scalp thereby improving hair growth. It even helps in strengthening hair follicles and acts as a conditioner. Dandruff and dry itchy scalp can be avoided by applying it.
  3. It is rich source of fiber. Continue reading