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Table of Contents
From the Greek word proteios meaning “primary”, protein is a kind of organic compound that is essential to all living cells. It is found in almost every body part or tissue, such as bones, hair, muscle, and skin.
See the fact file below for more information on the protein or alternatively, you can download our 27-page Protein worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
Properties and Importance
- Proteins are made of amino acids linked together by peptide bonds.
- Sequencing of amino acids in the protein affects the chemical properties functions in the body of living organisms. However, physical properties of a protein are usually an outcome of their enormous size.
- Amino acids are the building blocks of hair, muscles, organs, skin, and tissues. But our body doesn’t store amino acids, instead it makes them either from scratch or by altering others.
- There are nine essential amino acids. They cannot be produced by the body and must be included in the food we eat.
- There are at least 10,000 different proteins in the human body.
- There are three main types of protein.
- Globular proteins start, regulate, and protect many chemical reactions in the body. Antibodies, enzymes, globulins, and hormones are examples.
- Membrane proteins aid in moving nutrients and substances, including signals, through a cell’s membrane.
- Fibrous proteins are found in bones, ligaments and muscles. They define the structure of skin, hair and nails.
- Protein is also involved in copying and building new DNA — the blueprint of an organism’s body.
- Some antibiotics and vaccines that fight diseases are protein-based. And some of the clothes and shoes we use are protein-based.
- The amount of protein a person needs depends on their age, gender, weight, and their activities throughout the day.
- Protein is essential for the proper growth and development of kids.
- Children 1 to 3 years old require 13g of protein every day. 4 to 8 year old children need 9-13g. And those that are 9 to 13 should have a minimum of 34g of protein per day.
- Once digested, protein is broken down into its component amino acids, which can be reused to make other proteins that you need.
- Not all proteins that come from food are equal. There are two types of protein from food: complete proteins and incomplete proteins.
- Complete proteins are food sources with proteins that contain all essential amino acids and can be readily used by the body to make new protein. Most animal-based food such as meat, chicken breast, and fish are complete proteins.
- Incomplete proteins usually come from plants. At least one of the essential amino acids is missing in incomplete proteins. Examples of these food sources are rice, nuts, and legumes.
- A medium egg contains about 6g of protein, which is considered to be of the highest quality.
- Dairy products are rich in protein and calcium that strengthen your bones. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics reports a cup of cheese has 14g, 1 cup of milk contains 8g, and 1 cup of yogurt has 13g of protein.
- Fish and seafood also provide plenty of protein. These foods are also usually low in fat. Some good choices would be canned light tuna, catfish, pollock, and salmon.
- Insects that are served as exotic delicacies in some countries contain high amounts of protein that are greater than the amount found in usual protein sources.
- Plant-based sources of protein include grains and legumes. One of the best sources in this group for high protein is beans. Eating half a cup of beans provides as much protein as eating 3 oz of broiled steak. These foods also supply dietary fiber good for the digestive system.
- Proteins from different foods vary in nutritional value. Studies have shown that the kind of food source of protein is more important to our health than the amount we intake.
- High-protein foods travel more slowly through the digestive system, making you feel full for a longer time after your meal.
- Digesting protein also burns more calories than digesting carbs.
- Protein also keeps blood sugar levels steady, thus avoiding hunger pangs and frequent snacking.
- Other benefits we get from protein:
- Improves health of muscles and bones
- Strengthens immune system and prevents illnesses
- Increased nervous system health
- Helps maintain the right amount of fluids in the body
- Aids in keeping hair and skin healthy
- Botulinum toxin A, produced by the bacteria Clostridium botulinum, is considered to be the most powerful poison in the world. This poison is so toxic that studies say 1/5 of the population of the world could be killed with just a teaspoon of it.
- Even though proteins are generally beneficial to animals and humans, incorrect amounts can lead to health problems and disease.
- When taken in greater amounts than needed, protein (which is also an energy source like carbohydrates and fat) can cause weight gain.
- Another problem that arises from high-protein diets is high cholesterol. Although a number of studies show that protein may help in losing weight, high-protein diets often emphasize eating more meat. Meat contains saturated fat that can raise blood cholesterol levels when consumed in large amounts. This is why the American Heart Association does not encourage high-protein diets.
- Uric acid, a waste product produced in the breakdown of protein, also increases with an excess of protein in the body. High uric acid levels often lead to chronic kidney disease and high blood pressure.
- In infants and very young children, severe deficiencies in protein and calories often result in dehydration and weight loss. This disease is known as Marasmus.
- It can lead to starvation and can cause death due to the lack of nutrients essential to the body.
- Children with Marasmus are bony with too little muscle tissue. Although more common in children, Marasmus can also affect adults.
- Another form of severe protein deficiency is Kwashiorkor. This illness often affects young children too, mostly in developing countries.
- Because Kwashiorkor causes the body to retain fluid in the face, arms, hands, lower legs, and feet, a person with this disease can have a swollen appearance.
- Even though malnourished, a person with Kwashiorkor may not have low body weight because of the retained fluids in the body.
- Kwashiorkor can lead to death and needs to be diagnosed and treated immediately.
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the protein across 27 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Protein worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the protein which is a kind of organic compound that is essential to all living cells. It is found in almost every body part or tissue, such as bones, hair, muscle, and skin.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Weigh Protein
- Protein Mishap
- Protein Bits
- Potentially Healthy
- Correct Me If I’m Wrong
- Chains in Protein
- Check Your Protein
- Protein Cook
- Family Protein Bonding
- Protein Exchange
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Link will appear as Protein Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, September 26, 2019
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.