The importance of protein

The last of the macro’s

Macronutrients are an important source of energy for the body and in this chapter we’ll look at what roles they play to better understand each Macronutrient individually.

Macronutrients are made up of Fat, Protein and Carbohydrates and affect many processes such as:

Our metabolic function Our hormone production Our body composition Our ability to absorb nutrients and digest food Our immune system health and many more!

We took a look at Carbohydrates and Fats in earlier chapters so lets look at Protein for now.

Proteins are made up of both carbon and hydrogen molecules but unlike carbohydrates and fats, they also contain nitrogen as part of their amino groups.

The smallest unit of Protein is the Amino Acid (many of you would’ve heard of these) and these are similar to the monosaccharide or fatty acid that we’ve spoken about previously. When amino acids are joined together they form a Peptide chain which go on to make the primary protein structure.

Most proteins however aren’t just long chains of amino acids. These chains form secondary, tertiary and quaternary structures.

When we consume food, most proteins are found in complex secondary, tertiary and quaternary forms but once digested, are broken down into amino acids and small peptides. We hope this makes sense as it can be a little tricky to get your head around.