9 Signs You Need To Eat More Protein

by Pamela Ng of web portal Urban Remedy
HEALTH  |  December 16, 2017
  • The importance of protein
    1 / 10 The importance of protein

    While watching what you’re eating, take note of these signs that might suggest you need more protein in your diet. After all, protein isn’t all bad – it contributes to a healthy metabolic rate, keeps us sufficiently sated, and the list goes on. (Scroll through the gallery to find out what the signs of deficiency are!)

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  • You take fewer bathroom trips
    2 / 10 You take fewer bathroom trips

    Enzymes are proteins that help to digest food in the body. Protein deficiency will result in decreased enzyme production, lowering the efficiency of digestion in your gastrointestinal tract and contributing to an otherwise unpleasant experience in the bathroom.

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  • Your brain is constantly fogged
    3 / 10 Your brain is constantly fogged

    Proteins can be broken down into amino acids which are used by neurotransmitters that help increase concentration and focus. Thus, protein deficiency can limit the potential of our cognitive ability and cause adverse effects on your productivity. If you’re looking for an afternoon pick-me-up, go for some nuts instead of chips.

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  • You feel lethargic
    4 / 10 You feel lethargic

    Instead of carbs, protein is the true nutrient that keeps us alert and helps us burn calories. This is because proteins stimulate the orexin network in the brain to help increase our metabolism and reduce sleepiness.

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  • You get suboptimal sleep
    5 / 10 You get suboptimal sleep

    This explains the lethargy, too. Without sufficient protein, the blood sugar level will fluctuate even throughout the night, eliciting night cravings and even making you feel restless. Try a pre-bedtime snack of Greek yoghurt – the protein keeps you happy while the calcium promotes restfulness.

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  • You feel muscle soreness
    6 / 10 You feel muscle soreness

    The amino acids in protein are essential for repairing damaged tissue and strained muscles. A lack of protein will reduce the body’s ability to heal itself, which can lead to the persistence of muscle aches and soreness. This is why it is common for people to grab a protein-rich snack after exercise, as it helps the body to repair and reduce the likelihood of muscle soreness.

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  • You’re constantly stressed and hungry
    7 / 10 You’re constantly stressed and hungry

    A meal that’s rich in protein has the advantage of lowering cortisol levels and reducing the hunger hormone known as ghrelin. Having regular meals with adequate protein amounts should be enough to keep you content throughout the day but if you’re not, then you may have found your culprit.

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  • You feel anxious and moody
    8 / 10 You feel anxious and moody

    Amino acids act as building blocks for producing chemicals that help control your mood. Some examples of these chemicals are the hormones dopamine and serotonin, which increase positive feelings like calmness and excitement. Acetylcholine is also one of the neurotransmitters that are produced to help prevent depression.

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  • Your bones take longer to heal
    9 / 10 Your bones take longer to heal

    Protein is required for bones to effectively absorb calcium in order to increase bone metabolism and density. Thus, a diet low in protein can cause bones to heal slower for patients with bone weakness, bone fractures, and osteoporosis. Research has also shown that a diet rich in amino acids can help to treat age-related muscle-loss.

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  • You fall ill frequently
    10 / 10 You fall ill frequently

    Amino acids in proteins are essential for strengthening the immune system, which ultimately results in a lower tendency to fall ill and faster recovery. For example, glutamine is an amino acid that speeds up the healing of wounds and improves the immune system. To make up for any protein deficiency, whey protein is a good choice as it has antimicrobial and anti-inflammation properties, and can help to improve metabolic functions.

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    A version of this story first appeared in The Finder.

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