8 Reasons Protein Is so Good for Your Body
Everyone knows that if you want to grow up big and strong, you’ve got to eat your veggies and your proteins. Protein is what builds muscles and helps us recover after workouts, but protein also offers so much more!
Protein is a macronutrient (contrast to micronutrients like vitamins and minerals). Protein is a crucial part in every cell of your body. Not only does protein build muscle, it also makes hormones and other naturally occurring chemicals, and it’s even responsible for hair and nail growth! Basically, your body needs a lot of protein to function most efficiently.
Here are a few of the many reasons you should add more protein to your diet:
1. For Your Overall Health
Protein does more than build muscle in the body. It is in the nucleus of every single one of your cells. For cells to grow and heal and divide, they need protein in their nucleus.
2. For Your Beauty
Thin hair and ridges in your nails may be indicators of a protein deficiency. Hair and nails are largely made up of protein, and therefore, their health and appearance overall is a direct reflection of the protein levels in your body.
3. For Your Brain
If you’re having a hard time focusing or ever feel like your brain is ‘fuzzy,’ fluctuating blood sugar may be the cause of your troubles. Try adding more protein to your breakfast. A protein rich breakfast can help regulate blood sugar.
4. For Your Rumbling Stomach
In addition to helping with focus, more regulated blood sugar can curb cravings and help you resist extra snacking throughout the day.
Protein is a crucial part in every cell of your body.
5. For Your Skinny Jeans
Healthy weight loss and maintenance require a diet with enough protein. Protein may boost metabolism, and anyone working out or engaging in physical activity is going to need a little more of this nutrient in their diet. Protein is also shown to help with fluid retention in the body and can help reduce water weight.
7. For Your Muscles
In addition to fueling the body and helping build muscles, protein promotes healing. Muscles and tissues in the body repair faster and grow stronger. More protein means less soreness after workouts, but also aids in healing cuts and bruises quicker.
6. For Your Immune System
Not only will injuries heal faster with protein; the immune system’s cells require protein to work efficiently. If you’re getting sick often, it may be a signal to add more protein to your diet.
8. For Your Body’s Overall Balance
Protein contributes to the body’s production of its natural chemicals that regulate health and maintain balance. The production of enzymes and hormones relies on protein as well.
Vegans, those recovering from serious illness or injury, athletes, those on weight loss diets, and the elderly are all types of people at risk for protein deficiency. The good news, though, is that protein is pretty easy to come by.
Eating real (rather than processed) foods is a simple and effective way to get more protein. Lean meats, poultry, and fish are good sources of this macronutrient. Plant-based sources of protein include nuts, whole grains, and beans.
Finally, “more protein” isn’t a very specific goal. The amount of protein a person needs depends on a number of factors including weight, age, and activity levels. However, a good rule is .36 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight (so a person who weighs 175 pounds should be eating around 63 grams of protein throughout their day).
The moral of the story? More protein in your diet means a healthier you! What are your favorite sources of protein? Share in the comments below, and feel free to ask any questions you may have.