Why Proteins Are Important
Need we ask why proteins are so important in the diet? It is from proteins that the living protoplasm within the cells is build. This wonderful living material is constantly absorbing and expending energy. Part of this energy is needed for the growth of the cell itself. The rest is expended on the work the cell does, and the heat it produces. That is what keeps us warm and alive. And as long as we are alive and good health, those cells of ours will maintain more or less the same temperature, regardless of the weather. To do this, they must have an adequate supply of proteins and carbohydrates.
Protein materials are built up first of all in plants and trees. Tiny factories in the leaves and roots are constantly at work, changing the simple chemicals of nature into more complex substances, such as proteins, carbohydrates, and fats, ready for use in the human body. Carbohydrates and fats provide energy for all the cells of the body. Proteins are needed for growth and repair of the cells. Proteins are by far the most complex group of substances known to science today.
Fortunately, we don’t have to understand all about the chemistry of foods and cells before we order out meals. The subject is too vast, and there are too many intricate details for anyone to fully comprehend them all. But this need not trouble us. We can leave that to the scientists, with all their microscopes and delicate equipment. The important thing is to be sure we have sufficient proteins in our diet, for these are the food substances that build a strong, healthy body.
Proteins are needed continually to repair worn out tissues. They are essential for building strong bones and muscle in growing children, and are needed all though life. We can never stay well unless we have an adequate supply of protein in our diet.