The human body needs 20 amino acids, but cannot produce 9 of the essential amino acids and needs to be consumed by food sources of protein.
Proteins are measured in two different ways: low-biological value (LBV) and high-biological value (HBV) and each food source of protein are given a biological value. Additionally, there are two types of protein sources: animal and plant. Animal food sources provide high-biological value as they contain more amino acids. However, plant food sources provide low-biological value as they lack one or more of the essential amino acids.
Children and adolescents require up to 80% more protein in their daily diet than adults as the protein allows them to grow and gain skeletal muscle. This is essential for young children, as a protein deficiency would result in lack of growth.
Animal food sources of protein:
Plant food sources of protein:
- Leafy greens