Complete, or high quality proteins, are packed with specific amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. There are about 20 different ones. Your body needs them all, but can only make some. The rest have to come from your diet. Those are known as “essential” amino acids. Complete proteins have all nine essential amino acids. Eggs, cheese, meat, soy, and quinoa have complete proteins.”Incomplete” protein sources are low in one or more essential amino acids. They have lower amounts of some essential amino acids. However, you can still get all the amino acids you need even by eating a variety of incomplete protein sources.
Some women worry about plant-made estrogens found in soy. However, the American Cancer Society says there are no known dangers to eating soy. Eating soy may even lower the risk of breast cancer. Experts say soy protein is a good low-fat option instead of high-fat, animal-based proteins, like red meat.Soy comes from soybeans. You can find it in soy milk, tempeh, edamame, and tofu. Whole soy gives you all the essential amino acids, just like protein from animal sources. It is also used instead of meat in some vegetarian dishes.
Our bodies don’t store proteins the way they store carbs and fats. That’s why you need a steady supply of protein every day.
Protein can help repair muscles after working out. Many studies show that having high-protein foods or drinks soon after exercise helps build and restore muscle. But protein is only part of the story. The key nutrient to strengthen muscles is carbohydrates.
One reason people like whey protein is because it’s low in fat. Whey has proteins that are easy to digest. Some studies show that whey protein may also be good for your immune system.