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How To Be Healthy: Protein - Body Builder
( Published 1962 )
In order for the human body to be healthy and strong and to have the stamina necessary for long life, it must have a liberal supply of basic foods and-just as important -it must be able to use them efficiently. Some foods are required for growth; others coordinate the ordinary bodily functions. One of the common causes of old-age symptoms is nutritional deficiency over a long period of time. Certain bodily functions become less vigorous as we grow older, and the aging person needs more of all nutriments than the younger one. This is particularly true with regard to protein. A man over fifty may require twice as much protein daily as does his grandchild.
Protein is the most vital of the food elements needed by the body. It is the foundation of protoplasm, the fundamental life-substance, from which all living organisms are formed. From the time you are born, every day of your life, you need protein to sustain life and growth, to form new tissues and cells, and to renew and rebuild those affected by the severity of daily living. The hemoglobin in your blood is 95 percent protein; your tissues, organs, skin, hair, and nails are mainly protein. Your bones and nerves are made of protein, as are the fluids secreted by the body-hormones and enzymes.
The body does not actually use proteins as such, but breaks them down into their components, which are called amino acids. These substances are found only in proteins; carbohydrates do not contain them. The digestive system separates the proteins in food into their component amino acids, which are then used by the body in many ways. Scientists have identified twenty-three different acids in food proteins. Only ten of these have been designated as indispensable, and must be secured from the food we consume; the body is able to develop the additional thirteen. Some nutritionists regard these essential amino acids as more important to health than vitamins and minerals, because it is obligatory to have them if you are to live out your normal term of years. They are a sort of blueprint for the structure of the cells.
Not every kind of protein will form good tissue. Animal proteins, such as meat, fish, eggs, and poultry, are known as complete proteins, since they include all ten of the essential amino acids in exact proportions for human nutrition. Vegetable proteins (with the exception of a very few foods, such as soybeans, sunflower seeds, and peanuts) do not contain all these essential acids in the correct amounts.
You will improve your health and lengthen your life in direct proportion to how faithfully you supply your body with complete protein, as well as with vitamins and minerals. When you know how to control the quality of your blood by a daily intake of the right kind of food and the right kind of liquid, you will possess a tremendous power over your health and life for good or ill.
When a protein deficiency exists, the liver becomes more liable to injury by toxic agents, resistance to infection is diminished, and wounds do not heal promptly. Edema, or waterlogging, is one of the commonest symptoms of a severe protein deficiency. Such a deficit is also one of the causes of anemia, high blood pressure, and retardation of growth. People who do not eat enough protein may not be actually sick, but they never feel truly well. The individual who complains of being tired all the time may very well be suffering from acute protein deficiency.
There is general agreement among leading nutritionists and food experts that a high-protein, high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet is essential for good health. The fact that virtually 60 percent of the protein consumed is changed into glucose in the body makes it unnecessary to use sugary foods, because a high-protein and high-fat diet will maintain normal blood-sugar levels.
Every day, make at least two thirds of your protein intake animal protein; the other third should be made up of fresh raw fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. The emphasis should be on meat, fish, poultry, eggs, milk products, and soya products, since these are the only complete proteins. Seafood is also abundantly supplied with complete protein, in addition to the B vitamins and highly important minerals. This type of diet not only supplies the needed vitamins and minerals, but also moderates the tendency to head colds, pneumonia, and other respiratory ailments; helps disperse the intestinal gases caused by unabsorbed carbohydrate; and has a remarkable ability to protect the liver from damage.
The National Research Council has set an official recommendation that forty to one hundred grams of protein be eaten daily by growing children, depending upon their age. Seventy grams is suggested for mature persons. This is the lowest quantity necessary to provide protection against disease. The majority of nutritionists, however, urge a mu ch higher daily intake. About twice the minimum, or one hundred forty grams, is usually recommended for superlative health and to bring about maximum resistance to illness.
The following table, listing the amount of protein in various foods, will help you estimate your daily consumption of this vital nutrient.
FOOD QUANTITY GRAMS OF PROTEIN
Bacon 3 slices 6
Brewer's yeast 1 heaping tablespoon 20
Cheese, American 1 1/3 ounces 12
Cheese, cottage 1/2 cup 20
Chicken 4 ounces 18
Codfish 4 ounces 16
Eggs 1 6
Fish 4 ounces 21
Hamburger 4 ounces 19
Lamb chops 2 20
Lamb, roast 4 ounces 22
Lima beans 1/2 cup 8
Liver, beef or calf's 4 ounces 23
Milk, powdered 1/2 cup 35
Peas, dried 1/2 cup 12
Pork chops 4 ounces 23
Steak 4 ounces 30
Turkey 4 ounces 24
With these facts in mind, let us take a closer look at some of the most important protein foods available. The first of these is meat.
The most significant thing about protein is quality, not quantity. This means protein containing all the principal amino acids in the right proportions. As stated previously, all the proteins containing the ten requisite amino acids are called first-class or complete proteins, and inasmuch as the organs of the body are practically entirely composed of protein, fresh meat is the most immediately available source of amino acids.
Another valuable food element in meat is its vitamin and mineral content (it is rich in iron). All meats, but especially the organ meats, are high in the B-complex vitamins.
In some places there is a prejudice against meat, but this originated in the days when an erroneous theory was proposed that meat and meat products caused dangerous toxic effects in the intestines. Properly cooked meats do not introduce harmful bacteria into the body, nor do they produce toxic effects in the digestive tract. As a matter of fact, animal protein has a much higher degree of digestibility than vegetable protein; so much so that meat is now a recommended food for babies.
In a healthy person, 97 percent of the protein in meat consumed is completely digested, while only 85 percent of the protein in cereal is digested, only 83 percent of vegetable protein, 78 percent of legume protein, and 85 percent of the protein in fruits.
Meat has been called "the wonderworking blood-builder and regenerator: assuager of epilepsy and migraine; the substance that favors rapid healing of wounds and of burns, that brings life to those dying of pernicious enemia, that protects the liver against injury from alcohol and disease, that helps overcome stammering, that cures pellagra, that aids recovery from tuberculosis, a nutritional necessity for the steady drinker and smoker."
We should never forget that the ability to live well on a simple routine diet of meat and water is the common inheritance of mankind. It is only in the last five or six thousand years, since the Egyptians introduced cereals into the diet and man turned to agriculture, that trouble with tooth decay commenced.
It has been shown that decay in the teeth of the Eskimos was unknown before carbohydrates (sweets) were introduced to his diet.
Arctic explorers have lived healthfully for as long as two years on meat; fat and lean, and nothing else. Vilhjalmur Stefansson, the famous arctic explorer, universally accepted as an authority on Eskimo life, with one of his companions, Karsten Andersen, spent a year (from February 1928 to March 1929) at Bellevue Hospital in New York, living on an exclusive diet of meat. At the end of the year, both men were physically active, mentally alert, and manifested no evidence of ill health.
Mr. Stefansson relates, in several of his books on life in the arctic, how almost all Eskimos are strict meat eaters, rarely eating any plant foods. As a result, arthritis, cancer, diabetes, tooth decay, and other degenerative diseases are virtually unknown among these people. They likewise have almost incredible powers of endurance. They eat heartily of walrus meat, including the fat, but are scarcely ever overweight.
Meat has always been man's principal food and, as a rule, all meats contain the same amounts of the necessary amino acids. Brains, heart, kidneys, and liver, however, have a higher content of these vital acids.
It has long been known that liver of every type is an effectual source of complete protein, vitamin A, vitamin B-12 (it contains twenty to fifty times as much as muscle meats), and vitamin C-all indispensable to the body. It is also plentifully supplied with the minerals calcium, phosphorus, iron, copper, and iodine.
Of all natural protein foods, fresh liver is assuredly the most complete. Its substantial percentage of copper (which conserves iron), its full measure of all the amino acids, its reserve of all the other trace minerals, and the desirable B-complex elements unquestionably place liver as second to none of the build-up-your-energy foods.
Today, we know that liver is the most wholesome meat one can obtain. Desiccated liver, which is a concentration of whole liver in powder form, is a close second to fresh liver. Two heaping tablespoons are equivalent to one serving, or one quarter pound of meat, and supplies 121h grams of high-quality protein.
Its numerous functions are amazing. For example, even small amounts of liver help the body eliminate DDT and strychnine and will neutralize the effects of cortisone, the sulfa drugs, and many other dangerous chemical substances. It has a powerful effect in regulating at least some of the functions of the reproductive system. It also helps relieve fatigue.
Using desiccated liver is a simple, easy way to get an unfailing supply of the vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and other constituents so abundant in fresh, uncooked liver. It is also available in tablet form. It is advisable to have liver at least once or twice a week.
No one can live without fats. Why? First, fats contain fatty acids and vitamins essential for health. Second, fats are a centralized source of heat and energy, which the body requires for its mode of operation. Third, fats provide reinforcement, because they slow down the rate at which food is digested. Fourth, fats, when stored in the body in reasonable amounts, produce an energy reserve, a cushion for vital organs, and insulation against excessive temperatures. And last, but not least, they improve the flavor of a meal.
Possibly by this time you are wondering about the relationship between meat and meat fat and the muchtalked-about cholesterol. Be assured, however, that meat fats have little effect on the cholesterol level. Even if meat fat did step up cholesterol, it is not generally recognized that cholesterol is an integral part of all living cells. Cholesterol is also closely related to vitamin D, which prevents rickets and is part of the bile acids and sex hormones.
Man has eaten fish and other products of the sea since prehistoric times. Fish is practically a perfect food, and all over the world it constitutes a major part of man's diet. It is an excellent source of high-quality protein, vitamins, and minerals. It is low in fats, and the fats present are furnished liberally with polyunsaturates. Where fish and other seafood are a substantial part of the dietary, goiter and anemia are virtually unheard of.
Many foods today are robbed of their vitamins and minerals by processing, and, in addition, contain residues of insecticides. Fishes and other marine life feed on primitive substances, developed and sheltered by nature so that man cannot interfere.
The expectant mother can benefit her unborn child through the plentiful quota of calcium, copper, fluorides, iodine, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus contained in all seafoods. Anyone desiring to preserve their arteries in a good state of health can do so by eating fish and other marine foods frequently.
Popular kinds of fish and other seafoods are clams, crabs, fresh mackerel, flounder, haddock, halibut, lobster, oysters, scallops, shrimp, sole, trout, and tuna. The meat is tender and up to 95 percent digestible.
Eggs are another superior protein food that is known to be of the highest biological benefit, the most perfect protein in the human diet. They contain all the amino acids in generous amounts-even more liberally than meat. One or two eggs a day are recommended for everyone.
Eggs also offer more and finer valuable nutrients for producing and sustaining body tissues than any other food -more vitamin A, thiamine (B-1), D, E, and niacin than most foods. Further, they supply a full measure of minerals, such as calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus.
It is true that eggs do contain cholesterol, but they are also an excellent source of lecithin, inositol, choline, methionine, threonine, and other effective cholesterolcontrolling agents, which assist in keeping cholesterol in solution in the bloodstream.
Powdered milk is an elementary food, an exceptional source of protein, calcium, riboflavin (this B vitamin is one of the principal factors in delaying the aging process, and many other nutrients. It is one of the most concentrated, economical, tasteful, and best assimilated of all protein foods.
The outstanding merit of powdered milk consists in its abundance of fat-free protein, vitamins B-1 (thiamine), B-2 (riboflavin), B-6 (pyridoxine), B-12, choline, inositol, niacin, pantothenic acid, para-amino-benzoic acid, biotin, and folic acid, plus all the minerals necessary for human health. An analysis of powdered milk indicates that it contains a high concentration of the minerals calcium, chlorine, cobalt, copper, iodine, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, sulphur, and zinc: more than most other foods.
Since a great many older people are not up to normal levels in protein, calcium, riboflavin (B-2), and other vitamins of the B-complex, powdered milk serves as an ideal rejuvenator for the heart, brain, and nerves, and generally to strengthen the failing body.
An inexpensive, effective way of getting increased quality protein in the diet is to add a couple of tablespoonfuls of powdered milk to custards, sauces, soups, scrambled eggs, hamburgers, and similar foods. Only one-half cup will deliver thirty-five grams of high-grade protein to the diet, which is equivalent to the protein in six eggs.
A BASIC DIET
It is better for your health to keep your meals simple. Meat, fish, or eggs; one or, at the most, two side vegetables; and a beverage, is suitable fare for most people. If you want a dessert, eat fresh fruit or cottage cheese, or, better still, combine the two. By adding appropriate vitamin and mineral supplements, you can assure yourself of proper nourishment.
Beans, cheese, eggs, fish, fresh vegetables, fruits, lentils, meats, nuts, poultry, seeds, and whole grains are the foods that build stamina and endurance. When too much sugar and starch is consumed, instead of these protective foods, malnutrition and nervous collapse are not far off. Wholesome food preserves health and also prevents or aids in the cure of disease. Unless you follow a sound basic diet, vitamin and mineral supplements cannot do all the work.
The more I study and observe, the more convinced I become that planned nutrition can prevent premature aging. People grow older very rapidly on refined and nonvital low-protein diets. If one will apply the known facts, the specter of old age may be held off for many years.
No doubt you have heard all your life the admonition to chew your food well. What may surprise you is the fact that protein foods such as those mentioned above need little chewing for good digestion. Organized observation conducted to put this theory to the test has indicated that protein foods that are swallowed in sizable, compact portions will be digested very much better than will the same foods that have been overcooked, ground up, or masticated thoroughly. The stomach acids do the actual work of digesting these proteins.
The chemical agents called enzymes are minute catalysts, all made of protein and containing all the essential amino acids. Those intricate chemical elements, which are produced within our bodies, are indispensable factors for life itself and are necessary for carrying on the work of the cells.
Enzymes accomplish astonishing tasks of biological composition and perform an infinite number of lifesustaining chain reactions with remarkable efficiency. In other words, they break down food as it passes through the alimentary canal and are responsible for its digestion, thereby aiding in the changing of food into blood, tissue, and energy.
Enzymes are only available in raw, uncooked foods, as their potency is cancelled out by heat. Be sure to include in your diet same or all of the following foods:
apple cider vinegar brewer's yeast cabbage
fruits, raw garlic honey
meat (medium cooked)
milk, unpasteurized nuts
vegetable oils (unrefined)vegetables, green leafy
In concluding this section on quality proteins, I would suggest that the beginning of nutritional wisdom is to keep your menu plain and nutritious. In this way, you will obtain a balanced food assortment, containing substantial amounts of proteins, vitamins, minerals, and enzymes, while permitting the digestive processes to operate harmoniously. This is the type of diet that has proved successful in my own case-and in that of many persons I know-in improving or restoring health.