The importance of proteins is evident when we look at the etymology of the term. It comes from the Greek protos, meaning “first.” Even ancient humans recognized how essential proteins are to the diet and to health. (1)

Proteins are composed of chains of peptides (or polypeptides) that fold together to form 3D structures. The building blocks of protein are amino acids, which contain nitrogen and a carboxylic acid on one end (-COOH), giving it the ability to give off a hydrogen ion (H+) and become acidic in solution.