The human body needs proteins to function properly. Let’s examine some fundamental differences between proteins and peptides. Proteins are the building blocks for cells and tissues and they are also vital for the growth of new cells. Peptides refer to the smaller units used to make proteins. In the process of digestion, proteins are broken down into peptides which are then absorbed by the body cells and used to nourish the body.
What is a protein?
Proteins refer to complex molecules made up of strands of amino acids in specific sequences known as polypeptides. Proteins are found in every cell in the human body and they are necessary for maintaining the muscle mass, and also supporting the functioning of enzymes, hormones, blood cells and the overall immune health.
For proteins to be absorbed by the body, the complex strands of the proteins needs to be broken down into smaller proteins known as peptides. Peptides are nothing but short protein chains comprising of short sequences of amino acids.
What are peptides?
As discussed above, peptides are simply short chains of amino acids linked together by amides or peptide bonds. Peptide is a general term for a compound made of two or more amino acids and they can be further classified into proteins and peptides.
Sources of proteins and peptides
Despite that fact that the body breaks down proteins into peptides, there are certain foods which contain peptides as well. For example, gluten found in wheat and casein found in milk are all peptides. In addition to grains and milk, the other sources of peptides and proteins include beans, seafood, seeds, nuts, vegetables, poultry and meat. High quality proteins such as poultry, meat and seafood have all the essential amino acids needed for all the proteins required by the body.