Human Body Facts
Type of Food: Nutrient
Sources: Meats, diary products and vegetables
Energy Produced: Up to 17 kJ per gram
Purpose: Support human body growth and maintenance
Male Dietary Needs: 56 grams (ages 19 to 70)
Female Dietary Needs: 46 grams (ages 19 to 70)
19 Protein Facts for Kids
Protein is one of the essential nutrients that the human body requires to function.
Protein is considered one of the building blocks of life.
The human body uses protein to grow and maintain itself.
Every cell in the human body contains protein, including skin and hair.
Protein is a major structural component of every type of cell found in the human body.
Protein contains nine amino acids the human body can’t make.
The nine amino acids the human body needs from protein are histidine, lysine, isoleucine, leucine, methionine, tryptophan, threonine, valine, and phenylalanine.
According to US dietary guidelines a male between the ages of 19 and 70 needs 56 grams of protein per day.
According to US dietary guidelines a female between the ages of 19 and 70 needs 46 grams of protein per day.
Athletes and body builders need a higher intake of protein to meet energy and muscle growth demands.
There are many different food sources that are rich in protein, like chicken, pork, salmon, beans and dairy products.
A chicken breast (three ounces) contains 25 grams of protein.
A pork chop (three ounces) contains between 21 and 22 grams of protein.
A salmon filet (three ounces) contains 16.9 grams of protein.
Black beans (1 cup, 172 grams) contains 15.2 grams of protein.
Plain, low fat yogurt (1 cup, 8 fluid ounces) contains 12.9 grams of protein.
One large egg (100 grams) contains 12.4 grams of protein.
Milk (1 cup, 249 grams) contains 8.14 grams of protein.
There are many insects, like mealworms, that pound for pound have more protein than other food sources.
More Food Facts
Pictures of Protein Rich Foods
A picture of steak, a food with a good source of protein.
Credit: Erin Collins / CBC
A picture of chicken, a food with a good source of protein.
Credit: Tree Hill Farms
A picture of scrambled eggs, a food with a good source of protein.
Credit: Leah Maroney
A picture of salmon, a food with a good source of protein.
Credit: Nathan Congleton / TODAY
A picture of cheese, a food with a good source of protein.
Credit: Hilmar Cheese Compnay
A picture of milk, a food with a good source of protein.
Credit: Dairy Farmers of Canada
Additional Resources on Protein
Protein and Amino Acids
– Learn about protein and amino acides on the USDA SNAP-Ed Connection website.
Benefits of Protein
– Discover many of the benefits of protein on the USDA ChooseMyPlate website.
Protein (nutrient) - Wikipedia
– Find more facts about protein on the Wikipedia website.