The Wealth of Health

We all have grown up listening to the slogan “Sunday ho ya Monday, roz khao ande”, and most of us have wondered about the significance of eggs. Well, the answer is the high amounts of protein found in eggs, which makes them a wholesome source of nutrients. So, National Protein Day is celebrated on February 27 to bring awareness to the essentiality of this macronutrient.
The logo of National Protein Day Image Source: The Right to Protein (India)

The logo of National Protein Day Image Source: The Right to Protein (India)

Our body consists of cells. Protein is the necessary building block of these cells, not only for the growth and regeneration of new cells but also to repair the damaged ones. The intention of marking National Protein Day is to bring to the fore the consequences of health issues due to the deficiency of protein. The observance of the day was declared in the year 2020 based on the worldwide initiative titled “Right to Protein” by health experts to bring home the fact of its necessity in the daily diet of the citizens of India.

Imagine getting wounded for some reason and the bleeding does not stop. Sounds horrible, right? Well, we all know that in the average body, the bleeding stops after some time. This is due to the boon of proteins which helps blood clotting at the exposed areas and thus help stop the bleeding. Even our wounds heal due to the regenerative function of proteins to repair damaged cells and grow new ones. Considering the recent pandemic, protein is also an imperative and core necessity for a strong immune system.

Some other functions of protein include providing structure to the cells and tissues that help in body growth, transporting and storing nutrients in the bloodstream and initiating chemical reactions that facilitate digestion and coordination between organs and tissues.

Knowing the above functions of this macronutrient, we can understand the reason why health professionals have initiated the cause to make the vegetarian diet sufficient in its protein content. According to RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance), the minimum need for protein for 1 kg of body weight is 0.8 gms. However, health experts insist that the given measure is just to survive, but for the proper functions of proteins to be carried out, people need to intake double the measure.

Indians are well known for their obsession with food, but unfortunately, the food we relish is more taste-oriented rather than health or nutrition-oriented. We all know that a complete food menu must include a high content of proteins rather than just fats or carbs, and many of us are fortunate enough to intake the required nutrients. But, there are underprivileged people around us who may know the requirements of food but not the right amount of nutrients required in it, or they do not have the means to afford regular healthy food.

The theme of National Protein Day 2022 is Food Futurism, which entails launching a drive to make Indians aware of food science which charts out the basic requirements of our body that differ according to age, height, gender, etc. Another essential purpose is to tackle the Indian myth associated with the quantity of food — more quantity, more health. Thus the need is to differentiate the basics of nutrient-rich sustenance and to highlight the importance of working towards a protein-sufficient future.

A huge percentage of the Indian population is ignorant of basic food science. To bridge this gap in health science and the common citizen, the day intends to promote a confluence of food scientists, dieticians, nutrient experts, biologists, etc, to bring awareness to people of the consequences of not having food with the right dose of nutrients like protein every day.

Food futurism involves a vision to make India hunger-free in collaboration with scientists to create food security through innovations in food and agricultural structures and fresh opportunities to resolve misconceptions of food and GMO anxiety (Genetically modified organisms) through informed dialogues and health debates. Providing access to proper levels of protein in food to every citizen as a part of their constitutional right to health is the mission of the day.

For non-vegetarians, eggs, chicken, fish, etc, are excellent sources of protein, along with milk and dairy products such as cheese, butter and curd. Vegans who avoid dairy products can find their dose of protein in broccoli, lentils, chickpeas, sprouts, almonds, oats, etc. It is high time we start eating food to supplement our protein necessities instead of indulging only in tasty and yummy eatables.

In a nutshell, to create a healthy India, the citizens must have the right to nutritious food for a healthy body, just as their right to education for a healthy mind. So the drive to cater to the rights of every citizen to have sufficiency in protein-rich food is imperative and must gain support from every stratum of our society. The day revokes the tagline ‘Healthy India, Wealthy India’. So, celebrate growth and celebrate life on National Protein Day.

Protein-rich Food    Image Source: National Day Calendar

Protein-rich Food Image Source: National Day Calendar


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