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Protein: Definition, Function, and Sources

Protein is often mentioned in school subjects, health information, product advertisements, and even doctor’s advice during consultations. However, many of us still don’t truly understand what protein is, what its benefits are for our bodies, and where we can get it from. We’ve tried to summarize this for you with information from trusted and credible sources. Let’s take a look at the following explanation!

What is Protein?


According to a scientific journal from the National Library of Medicine, protein is an essential substance in our bodies made up of chains of amino acids linked together. There are many structures that form proteins, but what is crucial for our health is the amino acids.

Out of the 20 amino acids, 9 are called essential because our bodies can’t produce them on their own, so we have to get them from food. Therefore, it’s important to pay attention not only to the amount of protein we eat but also to its quality, especially the essential amino acids that are vital for our health.

Protein Functions


According to an article reviewed by Dr. Sienny Agustin, protein is an extremely important substance for the human body and has several vital functions, including:

  • Firstly, as an alternative energy source when carbohydrates and fats are insufficient, especially during fasting or prolonged food shortages.
  • Secondly, protein is a building block for creating and repairing body tissues such as muscles, bones, skin, and hair.
  • Thirdly, protein helps the body fight infections by forming antibodies, which protect against harmful microorganisms.
  • Fourthly, as enzymes, proteins regulate various biochemical reactions in the body, such as muscle contractions and food digestion.
  • Lastly, some proteins function as hormones that send signals and regulate biological processes in the body, such as blood sugar regulation by insulin.

Additionally, proteins balance pH and fluid levels in the blood, and act as transport vehicles for chemical compounds in the body.

How Much Protein Do We Need Every Day?


According to The National Academy of Medicine, adults are advised to get at least 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day. For example, for someone weighing 70 kg, it is recommended to consume about 56 grams of protein daily, while for someone weighing 100 kg, it is recommended to consume around 80 grams of protein daily.

Recommended Protein-Rich Foods


Based on a scientific journal from the National Library of Medicine, here are recommendations for protein-rich foods that we can consume daily:

  • Plant-based protein sources: Legumes (beans and peas), grains, and other plant-based protein sources. These are recommended for their health and environmental benefits.
  • Fish, Seafood, and Poultry (chicken, turkey, duck): These are good choices as animal protein sources as they tend to be lower in saturated fat and cholesterol compared to red meat.
  • Eggs: A good source of protein with a balanced nutritional profile.
  • Dairy products in moderate amounts
  • Red meat (beef, lamb): should be consumed in limited amounts due to its high content of saturated fat and cholesterol.

Processed meats like bacon, sausages, and instant meat products should be avoided as they contain unhealthy additives.

By prioritizing healthier protein sources that meet our body’s needs, we can maintain a balanced diet and obtain optimal nutritional benefits.

Tilapia Fish, an Easily Available Protein Source

Let’s start consuming more fish in our diet! Fish is a rich source of protein and low in cholesterol, making it an excellent food choice for heart health and overall well-being. One example is tilapia.

Tilapia is a delicious and highly nutritious protein source. Even more practical, you can try fresh and ready-to-cook tilapia fillets from Regal Springs Indonesia. With tilapia fillets at home, you can easily prepare healthy and tasty dishes without hassle. So, let’s make a good decision for our health by regularly including fish in our diet!