Do you have enough protein in your diet? Protein is a nutrient found naturally in our bodies which must be supplemented with proper nutrition. Research suggests a sedentary adult should consume 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. On average, this looks like about 56 grams for sedentary men and 46 grams for sedentary women. It is important to consider how much you are getting in your diet as protein is required for the regeneration and maintenance of cells in our bodies and provides us with energy.
Protein is made up of amino acids, which are known as “building blocks” since they are linked in long chains. It’s also been dubbed a “macronutrient,” implying that you need relatively large amounts of it to maintain good health. We don’t “store” protein in our bodies so it is critical to replenish it on a daily basis through our diet.
Here are five compelling reasons why you should make sure you’re getting enough protein every day:
1. Oxygenate: Red blood cells have a protein component that delivers oxygen to all of your tissues. This aids in the delivery of nutrients to your entire body.
2. Repair: Protein is used by your body to build and repair tissue.
3. Regulate: Protein is necessary for hormone regulation, particularly during puberty when cells grow and transform.
4. Protein: is a fundamental component of bone, muscle, cartilage, and skin. Your hair and nails are mostly made up of protein.
5. Digest: Enzymes, which assist with the digestion of food and the formation of new cells and body chemicals, are made from half of your daily protein intake.
6. Fitness: Protein may assist you in maintaining your fitness.
Nutritionist Vicki Witt says protein can have many health and fitness advantages, including speeding up recovery after exercise or injury, reducing muscle loss, helping to maintain a healthy weight, building lean muscle and curbing hunger by making you feel fuller for longer.
An often overlooked benefit of optimising your diet’s protein levels is the affect it can have on your mood.
“Proteins are made up of amino acids,” explains the naturopathy and hormone experts from Healthful, “Essentially these amino acids play a critical role in producing neurotransmitters in the brain”.
Eating protein has been linked to increased dopamine levels and therefore better mood and motivation.