Dietary proteins support a wide range of processes in your body, including organ function, enzyme support, and muscle protein synthesis. They’re made up of a combination of twenty different amino acids: Your body breaks down proteins into individual amino acids and uses them like all-purpose building blocks. Amino acids can power new protein creation, serve as fuel, and support tissue production. Nine of these twenty amino acids are considered essential, which means they need to be consumed through diet. If you're looking for a healthy, delicious, streamlined way to up your protein intake, our life stage-specific pea protein powder, Essential Protein, features a complete amino acid profile—nixing the need for food combining or additional supplementation.
The National Academy of Medicine recommends taking in .8 grams of protein per kg of body weight each day—that adds up to about 7 grams per 20 pounds of body weight. Nutritious sources of protein include: (4,5)
- Eggs, dairy, and meat
- Some vegetables, including broccoli, corn, and asparagus
- Whole grains
- Beans, seeds, and nuts
- Soy products, such as tofu
Healthy fats are an important part of a balanced diet. Fats help your body store energy, transport fat-soluble vitamins, and protect your organs.
Your daily caloric intake should be 20% to 35% from fat, although you should focus on unsaturated fats and limit saturated and trans fats whenever possible. Foods that can supply you with the fats you need are: (2)
- Meat, fish, and dairy
- Oils, such as coconut oil and olive oil
- Nuts and seeds
Macronutrients vs. Micronutrients
All of your daily nutrient requirements can either be classified as macronutrients or micronutrients. As we saw above, macronutrients make up the bulk of your daily food intake and are needed in large amounts to keep your body functioning.
Micronutrients, like vitamins and minerals, are needed in significantly smaller amounts. If you eat a diet with balanced macronutrients, there is a higher chance that you are getting many of the micronutrients that you need from the food that you eat—though not all, which is why we recommend filling the gaps with a quality multivitamin, like Essential for Women or Essential for Men.*
- Food and Drug Administration. (n.d.). Nutrition Glossary. Retrieved from FDA
- Manore, M. (2005). Exercise and the Institute of Medicine Recommendations for Nutrition. Current Sports Medicine Reports. 4(4):193–198. doi: 10.1097/01.csmr.0000306206.72186.00
- Carbohydrates. (2019, May 22). Retrieved from Harvard School of Public Health
- National Academies of Medicine. (2002/2005). Dietary Reference Intakes for Energy, Carbohydrate, Fiber, Fat, Fatty Acids, Cholesterol, Protein, and Amino Acids (Macronutrients). Retrieved from National Academies
- Protein. (2019, October 28). Retrieved from Harvard School of Public Health