Are there any age groups or people that protein is particularly important for?
Yes – when we are growing (childhood and teen years), when we get older, pregnant and breastfeeding women, and athletes.
Our protein needs change throughout our life – they are closely linked to age and body size. Our needs increase from infancy (14g per day) peaking in our teens (45-65g per day) and then taper off or slightly decline as we become adults. A teenage male needs about 10g more when he’s in his twenties. Our needs increase again as we get older – when you are 70 you need around 25% more than you do as a younger adult.
You probably already know it’s important to get enough protein from the food you eat. It’s well known that protein is important for growth and development in children, and for building, repairing and keeping our bones & muscles healthy. It also helps with other body tissues such as hair and skin.
Protein is made up of many amino acids, and some have other very important, but lesser talked about functions too. They are part of our enzymes, hormones, and antibodies meaning they help us move, digest food, develop and grow, and fight bugs.
Protein also helps keep you satisfied for longer after a meal.
Many foods contain protein, but in varying amounts. Eggs, cheese and meat provide protein; even vegetables and breads too. However, typically, animal products are the best sources.
Fish is a particularly good source, as it contains many other nutrients that are good for you whilst also being low in saturated fat and high in unsaturated fats. Fish also contains all nine ‘essential’ amino acids. While our bodies can make some amino acids, we need to get others from the foods we eat.
How much protein does fish provide?
One palm-sized serving (one large or two small fillets) typically provides around 20g of protein. For different types of fish, per 100g the amount of protein varies from around 13-29g.
Protein is the main building material for our bones and our muscles. Healthy bones and muscles are strong bones and muscles. It’s like having a strong frame for your house hidden under all the prettier parts around the outside.
Protein is made up of hundreds of tiny pieces called amino acids. When you eat good amounts of protein and absorb all these amino acids in your gut, your body cleverly assembles many of them into long chains. These create useful strong structures that help look after your bones or that may be sent to help build up your muscles.
Now, more than ever before, fish and seafood are being highlighted as important sources of protein. Eating patterns that regularly include legumes, nuts, fish & other seafood are generally linked to better health and Kiwis are now being encouraged to enjoy more of these foods.
And here’s some more good news:
Almost our entire Sealord range* provide a good source of protein. This means that every time you serve up a portion of our Sealord fish you get 10g of protein (or even more!). And that’s good stuff. Every day we should aim to eat about 50g of protein so our fish is a pretty easy way to meet the mark.