Protein is an important part of a healthy diet. Being a macronutrient, it is required for the proper functioning of our bodies. It helps build and repair muscle, skin, hair, and nails. Protein also plays a role in hormone production and cellular function.
There are many different sources, including meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy products, legumes, and nuts. Protein is present in less than one-third of the foods we eat regularly. It’s necessary to include protein to stay healthy. So we bring to you 15 reasons why protein is important so you incorporate it into your diet.
15 Benefits Of Protein That Impact Our Health
Protein is used in various functions – building and maintaining muscle tissue, synthesizing hormones, transporting nutrients through the bloodstream, and repairing cells.
1. Protein Builds Muscle Mass
Protein builds muscle mass, thanks to its amino acid content. Amino acids also help stimulate protein synthesis, which is the process of creating new muscle tissue. They also help build muscles by repairing damaged proteins in muscle cells.
The body needs protein to build and repair muscle tissue after strenuous weight training sessions at the gym. Without enough dietary protein, it’s difficult for your body to synthesize hormones and enzymes that can help you develop a toned, muscular physique.
2. Protein Helps And Prevents Muscle Loss
Muscle loss is natural. It happens to protect your body from viruses and germs. Protein also helps to prevent muscle loss as we age.
As we get older, our muscle mass naturally decreases as a result of inactivity and the natural aging process. Physically inactive persons are at a higher risk – with some studies reporting a 3 to 8% reduction in lean muscle mass every decade. The rate of decline increases progressively after the age of 30, and it is even more severe in persons aged 60 or older.
However, a diet rich in protein can help reduce this muscle loss and keep our muscles strong. It is essential for athletes and people who engage in physical activity because it helps muscles recover and grow stronger.
3. Protein Helps With Bone Formation
The notion that protein increases the acid burden in the body, causing calcium leaching from your bones to balance the acidity actually harms your bones. Most long-term research, however, suggests that protein has significant advantages for bone health.
It is especially crucial for women, who are particularly susceptible to osteoporosis after menopause. A diet rich in protein and activity is an excellent method to avoid it.
4. Protein Helps Control Blood Sugar Spikes
If you have diabetes, controlling the rate at which food breaks down into glucose is crucial for managing your blood sugar levels. Low glycemic index proteins like fish, chicken, legumes, and dairy can also help keep blood sugar levels stable.
Protein is essential for blood sugar control. It slows digestion and the prevention of post-meal blood sugar spikes, as well as feelings of satiety. Furthermore, it may help prevent overeating and promote fat loss – two things that are good for healthy blood sugar levels.
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5. Protein Reduces the Risk of Heart Disease
The number one cause of death in the United States is heart disease. A diet high in saturated fat and cholesterol is a major risk factor for heart disease. However, a diet high in protein can help reduce this risk.
Eating a high-protein diet may lower blood pressure because it can improve the body’s use of insulin. Plus it increases the amount of calcium in the cells that line the blood vessels.
6. Protein Reduces Hunger Pangs
Protein also helps reduce hunger pangs between meals, which leads to unhealthy snacking habits and weight gain. Protein takes longer to digest and leaves the stomach more quickly than carbohydrates or fat, giving your brain a chance to signal that you are full.
Increasing protein to 25% of calories reduced food cravings by 60% and late-night snacking by half in one research on overweight men.
In a study of obese adolescent girls, eating a high-protein breakfast helped to reduce cravings and late-night snacking.
7. Protein Helps Reduce Weight Loss
Protein can help you stay satiated for long periods because it takes the body longer to digest protein compared to carbohydrates and fats..
Eating a meal containing 20-30 grams of protein may help prevent that late-night ice cream snack after dinner that often leads to weight gain.
Protein helps reduce weight loss by increasing feelings of satiety, or fullness. This means that people who eat protein-rich diets are less likely to overeat and will be more successful at losing weight.
8. Protein Works As An Antibody
Antibodies are found in nearly all living organisms as a way to fight off disease and infection.
Protein is made up of amino acids, which are the building blocks of our immune system. These amino acids stimulate the production of antibodies to strengthen our immune system against pathogens such as bacteria and viruses.
Hence protein helps to create these antibodies. Sick people with a weakened immune system must ensure that their diet has adequate protein as a way to recover.
9. Protein Helps Fight Cancer
Protein can help fight cancer by helping to repair DNA damage from exposure to carcinogens, such as tobacco smoke.
It also triggers the production of IGF-1 which is a growth factor that stimulates cell proliferation and inhibits apoptosis (cell death). In addition, protein helps our bodies produce new cells that replace old or damaged ones, which also prevents cancer.
10. Protein Maintains Our Skin, Hair & Nails
Protein is not only vital for building muscle, but it’s also necessary for maintaining healthy skin, hair, and nails. The body uses protein to produce keratin, the main component of hair and nails.
Collagen is a significant structural protein in the body’s various connective tissues, including skin, blood vessels, and tendons. It keeps our skin supple and smooth.
A lack of protein can lead to dry, brittle hair and nails prone to breaking. Protein-rich foods can help keep your hair, nails, and skin healthy and looking their best.
11. Protein Helps Fight Inflammation
Chronic inflammation is linked to several diseases, including cancer and arthritis. Protein can help fight inflammation by reducing the production of inflammatory cytokines.
Protein also helps keep our cells healthy and properly functioning. When the body is under stress, it produces damaging free radicals that can damage cell membranes.
Protein minimizes this damage by acting as an antioxidant and reducing the effect of free radicals on cells.
12. Protein Regulates The Hormones That Control Metabolism
Metabolism is the process by which the body uses food to produce energy. The hormones that control metabolism are sensitive to changes in protein intake.
A diet that is high in protein and low in carbohydrates can help regulate the production of these hormones and keep your metabolism running smoothly.
13. Protein Is Necessary For Pregnancy
Protein is necessary for the development of the fetal brain and nervous system. It also helps form the placenta and umbilical cord. Neural tube defects are birth defects of the brain and spine. They occur during the first few weeks after conception, often before a woman even knows she is pregnant.
Protein deficiency can cause a low IQ child to be born undersized.
A pregnant woman needs more protein to ensure a healthy pregnancy and to support the growth of her baby.
14. Protein Is Crucial For Oxygenation
A lack of protein can lead to anemia, which is a condition that results in a shortage of oxygen-carrying red blood cells. It can cause fatigue, weakness, and shortness of breath.
Protein is also essential for the formation of hemoglobin, which plays a role in transporting oxygen from the lungs to other tissues.
15. Protein Provides Essential Nutrients
Protein provides our body with essential nutrients needed to carry out daily functions and keep us healthy. Without adequate protein intake, our bodies cannot properly use carbohydrates or fat as fuel.
A diet that is high in protein and low in carbohydrates can help you lose weight and improve your health. When it comes to good health, protein is key!
Why Protein Is Important – Conclusion
Protein is essential for a healthy body. It provides us with essential nutrients to carry out daily functions that keep us healthy. Protein deficiency can cause health problems like anemia, weight gain, and poor muscle development. We must eat enough high-quality protein every day to keep our bodies healthy.
A sophomore in engineering, I’m a budding writer and an adventure enthusiast. My passion leads me on to try my hands on different things. I enjoy music, food, and good company. Making my way through life in my own ways, you’ll find me holding a camera and capturing what this world has to offer.