Protein - I'm not a Body Builder do I even need it?
Protein! Hasn’t that just exploded as a topic in recent times!
We’re all familiar with it, we hear protein and we instantly think giant, jacked, buff dude eating chicken, brown rice and sweet potato out of a Tupperware container, stinking out the whole 2 meter diameter around him. We’ve all been there right?… No?… no one else?… ok… just me then ha ha.
For most of us this is not our life- nor one that most of us want long term, so does that mean if we’re not in the gym pumping iron do we still need protein?
100% definitely yes. While most of us associate protein specifically with muscles, it plays a vital role in many other aspects of a healthy functioning body. A 76kg man is roughly about 12kg of protein (15%), while half of this is skeletal muscle mass, the other half is distributed to components of structural tissues like blood and skin . Protein is made from long chains of Amino Acids, of which 9 are essential and must be ingested through diet as we can not synthesise them ourselves. 
Protein can be sourced from both plants and animals. While animal sources provide a more bioavailable (easier to digest) and complete protein source, all necessary amino acids can be sourced from plants with a bit of extra attention to detail.  Interestingly it is the protein component of some foods (milk, peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, soy, fish and shellfish) that cause the allergic response for some humans. 
Minimum recommended daily protein intakes are 0.75g/kg (for women 19-70yrs) & 0.84g/kg (Men 19-70yrs), with the amount increasing for over 70’s, pregnant and breastfeeding women . Those part taking in regular physical activity (especially athletes) are recommended to have an intake of around 1.2-2g/kg of body weight. 
The best way to get the best bang for your buck with protein is to have around 30-45g per meal over the period of the day. Some of the best readily available sources are meat, poultry, fish, some cereals, as well as dairy, nuts, seeds, beans, legumes & tofu. [1,3]
On the whole protein is an extremely important component to a healthy lifestyle throughout the whole lifespan.  Stay tuned for some exciting recipes high in protein and even higher in noms.
NHMRC. Nutrient Reference Values for Australia & NewZealand. Australian Government, September 2005. (https://www.nrv.gov.au/nutrients/protein)
Caspero. A. MA, RD. Protein and the Athlete - How much do you need? July 17, 2017 (https://www.eatright.org/fitness/sports-and-performance/fueling-your-workout/protein-and-the-athlete)
NHMRC. Eat for Health, Educator Guide. Australian Government, 2013. (https://www.eatforhealth.gov.au/sites/default/files/files/the_guidelines/n55b_eat_for_health_educators_guide.pdf)