Getting sufficient protein in your daily diet couldn’t be more important. While many people pay close attention to their salt, sugar, and calorie intake, they rarely take a look at how much protein their consume, yet it has a vital part to play in both the maintenance and creation of the cells in the human body, fueling them and powering us. Eating protein each day is essential, since protein cannot be stored in the body. It keeps the cells in good condition and, therefore, is a key element of any daily health maintenance plan.
Why Does My Body Need Protein?
Amino acids make up protein in long chains. Protein is a macronutrient, and that means that fairly large amounts of protein are needed to remain healthy.
There are five reasons why you need to consume sufficient protein each day:
1.Protein is the key building block for your muscles, bones, skin, and cartilage.
2.The body uses protein to build tissue and repair it.
3. A protein compound is contained in red blood cells that carries the oxygen through the body, supplying the whole body with vital nutrients.
4.Around 50% of protein consumed every day is used to make enzymes that help to digest food, and make new body chemicals and cells.
5.Protein has a vital part to play in regulating hormones, particularly during the development and transformation of cells when going through puberty.
How Does Protein Keep Me In Shape?
There are a number of fitness benefits that come with consuming foods that are high in protein. They include:
- Reduced muscle loss
- A faster recovery after injury or exercise
- Build up of lean muscle
- Curbing hunger
- Helping to maintain a healthy bodyweight
Also, protein helps us to feel full for longer, reducing the need to snack. This helps reduce weight while ensuring the cells have all the nutrients they require. The body requires protein in order to function properly and remain healthy. There are over 10,000 types of protein found in the tissues, muscles, organs, skin, bones, and hair. It’s also a vital element of the processes which fuel energy and transport oxygen through the body. Protein also helps in making the antibodies that combat illnesses and infections, helping to keep the cells healthy while creating new ones.
How Much Protein Should I Consume?
If you don’t consume sufficient protein, you can suffer from health problems. As an example, tissue may break down, causing muscle loss. However, consuming too much protein could lead the body to store any excess in the form of fat. Depending on how old you are, you need a different amount of protein each day.
- For those aged under 4 years, 13g of protein is sufficient.
- Those aged 4-8 years should consume 19g of protein.
- Children aged between 9 and 13 need 34g of protein.
- Girls and women aged 14 or over should have 46g of protein.
- Boys aged between 14 and 18 require 52g of protein.
- Men aged 19 years and over should have 56g of protein.
In short, everybody should make sure that between 10% and 35% of their total calorie intake each day is protein. More calories are needed if you’re going to be very active, but your protein percentage should remain in the same ranges.
Once you reach the age of 40, you may begin losing muscle mass and you might then require more protein.
Which Foods Are Good Protein Sources?
Some of the best protein sources include:
- Lean pork or beef
- Dairy produce
It’s also possible to get the entire amount of protein your body needs from purely plant-based sources including:
- Legumes such as lentils, peas, and beans
- Grains such as corn, rice or wheat
You should reduce the amount of protein that you consume from processed meat sources such as cold cuts, sausage, or bacon.
How Do I Include More Protein In My Daily Diet?
Many people get the majority of the protein they consume each day from animal sources like fish, eggs, and meat. If you’re a vegan, you need to ensure you’ve consumed sufficient plant-based sources of protein to obtain all the essential nutrients your require while meeting your dietary requirements. Some easy ways to increase your overall protein intake while ensuring you’re adhering to a healthy diet include:
Aiming to consume protein that is at least the same size as a deck of cards in each meal.
Eating lean sources of protein such as shellfish, fish, chicken, eggs, and egg whites.
When snacking, have 7g of protein with it. Some good options include carrots with cheese sticks and peanut butter dipping sauce with apple slices.
Eat Greek yoghurt rather than regular yoghurt since it contains more protein.
Eat snacks that contain both protein and healthy fats such as almonds and cashew nuts.
If you’re struggling to consume sufficient protein because you aren’t keen on foods that are rich in protein or struggle to find protein-rich foods you enjoy, it’s important to follow the tips above. Failing to eat enough protein each day can lead to developing unhealthy eating behaviours – for example, consuming carbohydrates in large amounts.
If you can consume more protein, you can more easily maintain a healthier lifestyle and remain in good overall health. Working with a nutritionist is a good way to help you identify protein rich foods that you enjoy and that you can include in your diet.
How Does A High Protein Diet Affect You?
There are some weight-loss eating plans such as the Keto diet and the Atkins Diet that require you to consume lots of fat and protein while severely limiting your carb intake. While these diets work well over short periods, they aren’t ideal for long term living. If you focus solely on fat and protein, you won’t be able to get all the vital nutrients your body requires, and that could result in unhealthy and unwanted side effects such as dizziness, fatigue, constipation, bad breath, and headaches.