Importance of Protein
If you are a fitness buff you already know how important protein is to help you reach your health and fitness goals. Without it you won’t be able to lose weight or pack on that much needed muscle. And while losing weight and gaining muscle are two wonderful benefits, the truth is protein can do much more than that. Every cell, tissue and muscle in your body is made up of protein.
It is an essential nutrient your body needs in order to function and operate at optimum levels. When you aren’t getting enough protein in your diet your skin, hair, muscles and joints can all suffer as a result.
- Protein is an essential nutrient that your body needs to function and operate at optimum levels. It is necessary for every cell, tissue, and muscle in your body.
- Protein can do much more than help you lose weight or gain muscle. It can fight age, help keep your bones healthy, protect your skin, protect you from stress, and is good for your hair.
- When you don’t get enough protein, it can lead to serious health issues such as weakness, tiredness, skin problems, and an inability in your body to repair and create new cells.
- Your daily protein intake depends on your lifestyle, and the average person should consume 2 to 3 servings of protein every day, with about 15% of your total caloric intake coming from protein.
- The best sources of protein are usually animal products, but vegetarians can get their protein from a variety of different sources such as nuts, seeds, rice, pasta, fruits and vegetables. It is important not to consume too much protein as it can put stress on your liver and kidneys.
Here Are 5 Commonly Overlooked Reasons Protein Is Important:
#1 – It Fights Aging
Yes, you read that right. Protein actually has the ability help you fight aging. As you get older your body starts to lose muscle mass. One way to prevent it from happening is to make sure you get plenty of protein in your diet. Protein will help you reserve your muscle. You also need to make sure you are exercising on a regular basis. After your workout, you can grab a protein shake to start the process of repairing and rebuilding your muscles.
#2 – It Helps Keep Your Bones Healthy
Women in particular are at risk of developing bone diseases, such as osteoporosis. When you have osteoporosis your bones are weak and become more susceptible to fractures and breaks. And this is where protein comes in. Protein not only helps your bones grow but it also improves calcium absorption. As we were all taught at an early age, your bones need calcium to grow strong. The better your body is able to absorb calcium, the stronger your bones will be.
#3 – It Protects Your Skin
Every single day your skin takes a serious beating. It has to deal with the heat, the cold, dangerous UV rays and so much more. Over time, if you aren’t taking care of your skin the right way, these conditions can take their toll. A diet high in protein can help protect your skin and keep it looking young and vibrant as you get older.
#4 – Its Protects You From Stress
When you are stressed a million different things start to happen on the inside of your body. In fact, your hormones get out of whack and havoc starts to ensue. While your body will try to fight back and prevent oxidative damage to your cells, sometimes it is simply unable to keep up. Protein can act as a buffer and keep cell damage at bay. Your goal should be to get up to 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. This way when stress hits, your body will have what it needs to fight back.
#5 – Its Good For Your Hair
If you are a woman there is a good chance you want your hair to grow to its fullest. And while most people will spend thousands of dollars every year on products to put on their hair, the reality is healthy hair starts from the inside out. All of that starts with a well balanced diet. What you put in your body ultimately plays a major role in how strong and healthy your hair is able to grow. If you are experiencing slow hair growth or your hair has stopped growing altogether, chances are you have a deficiency in protein.
What Happens When You Don’t Get Enough Protein?
Since protein is used by every cell in your body, when you don’t get enough of it, it can lead to serious health issues. Everyday your body is losing protein as you go through your daily activities, so in case you aren’t replenishing it everyday you will eventually end up with a deficiency. When you don’t get enough protein you will feel weak and tired all throughout the day. It can also lead to skin problems and an inability for your body to repair and create new cells.
How Much Protein Do You Need On a Daily Basis?
While each and every one us should be consuming protein on a daily basis, our individual needs will vary depending on the type of lifestyle we lead. For example, someone who is a serious athlete would need more protein than someone who occasionally works out.
This is because a serious athlete participates in grueling workouts on a regular basis. They are constantly tearing down their muscles and need plenty of protein to help rebuild and repair them. According to expert nutritionists, the average person should consume 2 to 3 servings of protein every single day. Overall, about 15% of your total caloric intake should come from protein.
How To Get Plenty of Protein In Your Diet?
The best sources of protein are usually animal products. Meats such as chicken, poultry and fish are all really great sources of protein. The key is to stick with the lean sources of protein. While other animal products such as pork and red meat provide plenty of protein, they are also full of unhealthy fats. If you are a vegetarian you will need to get your protein from a variety of different sources. Great alternatives of protein include nuts, seeds, rice, pasta, fruits and vegetables.
Is Too Much Protein Bad For Your Health?
As the saying goes, too much of anything can be a bad thing. Yes, protein is important to your overall health. However, that doesn’t mean you should overdo it. When you consume too much protein it puts stress on both your liver and your kidneys.
The role of your kidneys is to get rid of waste. Too much protein in your system can lead to high levels of nitrogen which can be harmful to your body. Your kidneys will then go to work trying to remove the excess protein. The problem is this process will cause your kidneys to go into overdrive and work even harder. As a result, you may end up with a kidney disorder or serious kidney damage. That is why we recommend you to read about protein intake here.
Why is protein important for the body?
Protein is important for the body for several reasons. It helps build and repair tissues, supports the immune system, produces enzymes and hormones, and plays a role in maintaining fluid and pH balance in the body.
How much protein do I need per day?
The amount of protein a person needs daily varies depending on age, gender, weight, and activity level. However, the general guideline is to consume at least 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day.
What are some good sources of protein?
Good protein sources include meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy products, legumes, nuts, and seeds.
Can you consume too much protein?
Yes, consuming too much protein can be harmful to the body. Excess protein can put a strain on the kidneys and liver, and it can also lead to dehydration and loss of calcium from bones.
What are the signs of protein deficiency?
Signs of protein deficiency include muscle weakness, fatigue, slow growth, thinning hair, and a weakened immune system.
Is it possible to get enough protein on a vegetarian or vegan diet?
Yes, it is possible to get enough protein on a vegetarian or vegan diet by consuming a variety of plant-based protein sources such as legumes, nuts, seeds, tofu, and tempeh.