Protein is an essential nutrient for the body, an essential source of energy and nutrients. We make our own proteins by breaking the food we eat into its elements, amino acids, and making new proteins out of it. So we need these elements, the amino acids. Proteins play an important role in tissue formation (muscles, tissues), water binding, and the regulation of acid-base balance. In addition, they are components of many substances and are required for the formation of several compounds.
The components of proteins are amino acids. We know 20 types of amino acids, of which 9 are essential, so-called essential amino acid. These cannot be produced by the body but must be fed into our body, while the non-essential can be produced by our body with the help of essential amino acids.
The following amino acids are essential:
- phenylalanine: pl. casein of milk. It has known antidepressant and analgesic effects.
- isoleucine: contained by eggs, soy protein, seaweed, turkey, chicken, lamb, cheese and fish.
- leucine: is used in the liver, adipose tissue and muscle tissue, in the latter two seven times more than in the liver. It can also be found in mushrooms.
- methionine: found in large amounts in sesame seeds, fish, meat, some plant seeds. Spinach, potatoes and boiled corn are outstanding in vegetables.
- threonine: contains large amounts of lumps, poultry, fish, meat, lentils and sesame seeds.
- tryptophan: found mainly in chocolate, oatmeal, dried dates, milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, red meats, eggs, fish, poultry, sesame seeds, chickpeas, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, peanuts.
- valine: found in cottage cheese, cheeses, fish, poultry, peanuts, sesame seeds, mushrooms and lentils.
Mushrooms are an excellent source of protein, including white and brown mushrooms and oyster mushrooms. Research shows that the amino acid composition of mushrooms is similar to that of animal proteins, making it a great meat substitute for vegetarians as well. In terms of amino acids, mushroom is rich in leucine, valine, glutamine, glutamic and aspartic acid.
We call complete proteins proteins that contain all 9 essential amino acids, so they can provide the body with the body’s amino acid needs as the only source of protein, that is, they contain the right amount and proportion of essential amino acids for our body. Examples include milk, eggs, fish and mushrooms.
The main symptoms of protein deficiency are:
- weight loss because the body breaks down and consumes its own proteins,
- liver damage,
- negative nitrogen balance,
- decrease in serum protein,
Mushrooms are therefore a great source of protein because they contain most of the amino acids that make up proteins and have a structure similar to animal proteins, making them ideal for vegans and vegetarians to provide the body with the amount of protein they need.