Are you getting enough protein with your diet and eating pattern? While you can keep an eye on your calorie, sugar, and salt intake, you also need to make sure you're getting enough protein. It plays a key role in creating and maintaining every cell in our body. Namely, it nourishes our cells and our body, whereby protein is essential for all living organisms.
Protein comes from a variety of sources, including meat, milk, fish, soy and eggs, as well as beans, legumes and nut butter. When proteins are digested, they leave behind amino acids, which the human body needs.
Protein consists of amino acids, commonly known as the so-called building blocks, because they are connected in long chains. It is also considered a "macronutrient," meaning that you need relatively large amounts of it to stay healthy.
How do you find out that you are not getting enough protein?
One indication that you do not have enough protein in your body is that you are usually hungry.
Research shows that foods high in protein are much more satiating than foods that contain large amounts of other nutrients.
A high-protein meal will keep hunger at bay for hours compared to a meal consisting mainly of carbohydrates. Another indication is swelling.
According to multiple studies, swelling (also called edema) is one of the most common signs that you are not getting enough protein, especially if it affects your abdomen, legs, feet, and hands.
One possible explanation: the proteins circulating in your blood - especially albumin - help prevent fluid from building up in your tissues. However, there can be multiple causes for swelling, so consult your doctor if in doubt or if it bother you excessively.
Why your body needs protein
Protein is the building blocks of organs, muscles, skin and hormones. Your body needs proteins to maintain and repair tissues. Meanwhile, children need it to grow.
Studies show that eating protein can also help you lose weight and belly fat, while increasing muscle mass and strength. A high-protein diet can also help lower blood pressure, fight diabetes, and more.
Here are five compelling reasons to make sure you're getting enough protein every day:
Protein is an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage and skin. In fact, your hair and nails are mainly made up of proteins.
Your body uses it to build and repair tissue.
Red blood cells contain a protein compound that carries oxygen around the body. This helps provide your entire body with the nutrients it needs.
About half of the dietary protein you consume every day goes to making enzymes, which help digest food and make new cells and substances in the body.
Protein plays an important role in hormone regulation, especially during the transformation and development of cells during puberty.
How protein helps you stay in shape
Eating high-protein foods has many health benefits, including:
- Accelerated recovery after exercise and / or injury
- Reduce muscle loss
- Build muscle mass
- Helps maintain a healthy weight
- Curbing hunger makes you feel fuller
In short, 3 main reasons for protein as a best friend
Get rid of that hunger: feeling welcome fuller
This is one of the great things about protein. Research indicates that it takes longer for your body to digest protein than carbohydrates. So while your system is slowly doing its thing, breaking down that chicken breast or protein shake you've just enjoyed, you'll enjoy a greater sense of accomplishment.
Important for your immune system
Health experts reveal that insufficient dietary protein can lead to a weakened immune system. They show that proteins are essential for building components of our immune system, such as immune cells and antibodies. They therefore play a crucial role in building our body's defenses against pathogenic bacteria and viruses.
It's really good for you
High protein diets have been shown to lower blood pressure while controlling body fat levels, all of which are very important to your overall health. But how do you increase your protein intake?
What can you eat to get protein?
The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for protein is 46 grams for women and 56 grams for men. However, many health and fitness experts believe that you need more to function optimally.
List of top 15 food sources for your protein:
- Chicken breast
- Cottage cheese (cottage cheese)
- Greek yoghurt
- Low fat beef
- Protein Supplements
- Pumpkin seeds
- Fish (all types)
Protein is essential for the maintenance and repair of body tissue. It can also help you lose weight.
A wide variety of foods provide protein. Plant-based foods, such as lentils, are a good option for vegans and vegetarians.