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close up of hot dogs on a grill

Why Is Protein Important for Your Body?

close up of hot dogs on a grill

Protein is an essential nutrient for everyone, not just athletes. Whether you consume protein in the form of meat or are vegetarian or vegan, protein is important because it helps you maintain good health. This guide details what protein is, why it’s so vital, and what foods you should consume to get enough protein each day.

What Is Protein?

Protein is one of three macronutrients (the other two are carbohydrates and fats). Macronutrients are chemical compounds that humans consume each day that provide us with most of our energy.

Amino acids form the building blocks of protein. These acids are the most commonly used molecule in your cells. Over 10,000 types of protein exist in everything from your organs to muscles to skin and hair.

Why Is Protein Important for Your Body?

Your body produces most of the amino acids it needs to stay healthy. However, there are nine types we can’t produce we need to consume through diet. Protein is important because humans can’t survive without these nine types.

Protein has a wide variety of purposes in your body:

  • Fuels growth and maintenance of tissues (muscle building)
  • Causes biochemical reactions like digestion and blood clotting
  • Some proteins are hormones, the chemical messengers in your body
  • Some proteins are fibrous and provide structure to your cells, like collagen and peptides that make up your hair, skin, and nails
  • Helps form antibodies to fight infection
  • Provides energy

So, why is protein important for your body? Because it plays a part in dozens of different processes. Your body literally cannot function without it.

What Foods Are High in Protein?

five plates of various protein-rich foods

Fortunately, there are practically endless foods you can consume to get adequate amounts of protein. You don’t need to start drinking protein shakes every day unless you’re older or doing regular strength training.

Here are just a few ways to ensure you have a balanced diet with enough protein:

  • Lean meats like beef, chicken, or fish
  • Dairy products like yogurt and cheese
  • Eggs
  • Tofu, tempeh, or seitan
  • Legumes like beans, lentils, or edamame
  • Grains like quinoa or whole grain rice
  • Now that you know why protein is important for your body and what foods to eat, how do you know how much you need?

    How Much Protein Do You Need?

    Your recommended daily amount of protein will vary widely. It depends on your age, activity level, weight, health conditions, and more. Learning your appropriate amount of protein is important because if you eat too much, your body stores the excess as fat. If you eat too little, it can cause health issues.

    If you’re unsure, it’s best to consult your doctor to figure out how much protein you need each day. In general, however, the guidelines are roughly 10–35% of your daily caloric intake should be protein-based.

    Protein for your body is even more important if you strength train. Why? Because when you lift weights, you’re creating microscopic tears in your muscles. Protein is the substance your body uses to repair those tears and build your muscles back stronger than they were. Without adequate protein intake, your body can’t repair the tears and you don’t recover or get stronger.

    Only the Highest Quality Protein from Den’s Hot Dogs

     product shot of three of Den’s Hot Dogs options

    We’ve long known just how vital it is to have quality protein in your diet. That’s why we use only the highest quality meats in our hot dogs, pizzas, and pastas.

    When you shop Den’s line of natural hot dogs, you’re getting meat that’s free from antibiotics, hormones, and flavor enhancers. We use only uncured, minimally processed meat in every product so you can rest assured you’re getting the best.

    Keep in mind why protein is important for your body and shop our line of products today. Just one of our hot dogs has 11 grams of quality protein, and one of our chicken meals has a whopping 24!

    Get your convenient, ready-to-heat-and-eat meals from us today. You can also get in touch with us, we’re happy to answer your questions.