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Like other biological macromolecules such as polysaccharides and nucleic acids, proteins are essential parts of organisms and participate in virtually every process within cells. Many proteins are enzymes that catalyze biochemical reactions and are vital to metabolism. Proteins also have structural or mechanical functions, such as actin and myosin in muscle and the proteins in the cytoskeleton, which form a system of scaffolding that maintains cell shape. Other proteins are important in cell signaling, immune responses, cell adhesion, and the cell cycle. Proteins are also necessary in animals' diets, since animals cannot synthesize all the amino acids they need and must obtain essential amino acids from food. Through the process of digestion, animals break down ingested protein into free amino acids that are then used in metabolism.

The best-known role of proteins in the cell is as enzymes, which catalyze chemical reactions. Enzymes are usually highly specific and accelerate only one or a few chemical reactions. Enzymes carry out most of the reactions involved in metabolism, as well as manipulating DNA in processes such as DNA replication, DNA repair, and transcription. Some enzymes act on other proteins to add or remove chemical groups in a process known as posttranslational modification. About 4,000 reactions are known to be catalyzed by enzymes. The rate acceleration conferred by enzymatic catalysis is often enormous-as much as 1017-fold increase in rate over the uncatalyzed reaction in the case of orotate decarboxylase (78 million years without the enzyme, 18 milliseconds with the enzyme).

The molecules bound and acted upon by enzymes are called substrates. Although enzymes can consist of hundreds of amino acids, it is usually only a small fraction of the residues that come in contact with the substrate, and an even smaller fraction-three to four residues on average-that are directly involved in catalysis. The region of the enzyme that binds the substrate and contains the catalytic residues is known as the active site.

Dirigent proteins are members of a class of proteins which dictate the stereochemistry of a compound synthesized by other enzymes.

It's recommend that on average you consume at least 50 grams of protein a day. But it's important to make sure you are eating food high in protein in order to get the maximum benefits. Be sure check out our protein rich foods list for great ideas on how to incorporate protein into your diet.

High quality protein in food is important to keep your energized, full between meals, and keep your body functioning. Most protein sources come from animals such as dairy, eggs, and meat. However, if you choose a vegan diet you can get just as much protein from one-half cup of beans as a 3 oz steak.

Just as it's important to check the fat, sodium, and sugar content of foods, it's also important to check the protein content of foods. Foods containing protein help you to feel full in between meals, energized throughout the day, and it's beneficial towards muscles, growth, and your body's well being. We've put together a list of high protein foods and ways to easily enjoy them in your diet.

High Protein Foods List

Beans- As mentioned before, one half cup of beans contains as much protein as a 3 oz steak! Beans are a cheap, easy solution to just about any meal. Try black beans in a taco for lunch or a side of lima beans with your dinner.

Eggs- One egg contains 6 grams of protein. Eggs also contain many vital vitamins and minerals and all of the essentialamino acids. An egg over-easy is a great breakfast or try a poached egg with spinach for dinner.

Dairy- Milk, cheese, and yogurt are all protein rich foods. Milk contains about 6.3 grams of high quality protein! Dairy products also contain calcium, which is great for strong bones and teeth. Add milk or yogurt to a smoothie and have some cubes of cheddar cheese as a snack- cheddar contains 25 grams of protein for every 100 grams.

Seafood- Seafood is a great way to get healthy, high quality protein. Fishes such as salmon contain Omega-3 Fatty Acids, which is great for the heart and brain. Try salmon with brown rice and kale for an extremely healthy, protein charged dinner.

Poultry- Lean white meats such as turkey or chicken (without the skin) are high in protein low fat foods. Either a turkey sandwich or a chicken salad would be a perfect lunch to get you through the rest of the day without being hungry.

Soy- Soy is a great form of protein for vegans or vegetarians. Studies have shown that 25 grams of soy protein can reduce the risk of Heart disease. Try edamame beans as a pre-dinner snack or a glass of soy milk in the morning with breakfast.

Beef- A lean cut of beef is an excellent source of high quality protein. Beef contains about 25 grams of protein and has zinc, iron, and vitamin B12. Try a lean cut of beef with crisp iceberg salad or oven roasted potatoes.

Make sure to buy fresh, healthy food choices to ensure the maximum benefits of high quality protein. If you eat every meal with a bit of protein you'll feel less hungry throughout the day and be less tempted to overeat or snack on junk food. You'll also notice your energy levels rising and if coupled with exercise, you'll eventually have tone, lean muscles. High quality protein is important in any diet and with so many choices of protein to choose from the meal possibilities are endless.

Sources : Wikipedia and Weight Loss for All.com

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Q: What are the functions of protein and what are the food that is good source of protein?
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