Protein….How Much Do You Really Need?

By on 02/09/2017

proteinProtein is one of the most basic and essential nutrients our body needs, and yet most people are clueless about how much they actually need to be consuming daily and why.

Protein affects our physical health, our brain health, our mental health, and even our appearance since our hair and nails are made mostly of protein. When you’re deficient, you will look and feel bad. Too much protein and you will gain weight. Get it right, and you will actually feel great and lose weight.

Why does protein matter?

Protein keeps your metabolism high, your muscles strong, your blood sugar balanced, your hormones balanced, builds your neurological functions and aids in digestion.

Symptoms of low protein

  • Craving sweets – While it may sound counter-intuative to crave sweets when low on protein, consider this: protein regulates your blood sugar. Without enough protein, your blood sugar can spike and plumit, causing sweet cravings. Unchecked, this could even lead to diabetes.
  • Trouble losing weight – When low on protein you are more sucseptible to cravings for carb rich foods, as your body is looking for quick energy. What it actually needs is protein though, which helps regulate the burning of carbs for sustained energy throughout the day. Simple carbs only offer shorts bursts of energy and then you crash. Also, muscle mass is needed to boost metabolism and burn fat faster. No protein means less muscle mass, which means less calories burned daily.
  • Foggy head – Your mind needs a steady flow of energy to maintain function. Without protein, your blood sugar fluctuates causing an ebb and flow of carbs and energy to your brain. The result is laggin mental alertness.
  • Weakness – Without enough protein your body cannot maintain a healthy muscle mass which causes weakness as well as a drop in metabolism. protein deficiency weak nails
  • Hair loss and weak nails – Since your hair and nails are made mostly of protein, without enough in your system, they become weak and brittle. Your hair may start to fall out faster, or in larger quantities and your nails will thin out and break/peel easily.
  • Sickness – Get sick often? Your immune system requires complete proteins to function properly. Deprive it and you will get sick more frequently.

Healthiest sources of protein

Animal proteins are the most effective way to get protein into your system. Chicken breasts, turkey, salmon, tuna, and other non-fatty meats as well as eggs and dairy are the most popular known source of protein. various protein sources

…But don’t overlook your veggies! 

Many veggies also offer a good amount of protein. Veggies highest in protein content include: soybeans, edamame, lentils, broccoli, peas and asparagus.

Experts say you should aim to consume .36 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight. So if you weigh 150 pounds, aim to eat 54 grams of protein daily. That equates to roughly 1-2 servings of protein rich veggies and 3 ounces or 1/4 of a pound of lean meat daily (Not McDonalds!). This is completely doable and full of health benefits. Look good, feel good, be amazing!

About modernhealthproject

Hi there! This is my little blog project where I am trying to learn more about health, wellness and living a balanced life, while also sharing a bit of my silly side as well. By "silly" I mean sarcastic. And by "a bit" I mean way too much. Sorry about that.♥ - Anna

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