Did you ever wonder how important proteins are to the human body? Let’s just say that proteins are the fuel that our body runs on. Proteins are considered to be the most important of all the nutrients that the human body needs. Proteins contribute to the growth of healthy tissues and cells, helps boost metabolism, builds muscle mass and immunity, controls blood sugar levels, creates hemoglobin and fights bacteria thus protecting and nourishing the body as a whole. Makes us wonder that is there anything that proteins cannot do?
Let’s move on to the next question: What exactly are proteins? Proteins are large biomolecules, or macromolecules, consisting of one or more long chains of amino acid residues. A good, healthy and balanced diet is the most vital source of nutrients. Meat, eggs, dairy, and fish are very rich when it comes to nutrients.
Now, for the final question: Are you protein deficient? Well, if you see the broader perspective, everything that you eat has some protein in it so your body does get proteins from time to time but it is not always sufficient.
Therefore, one way to know if you are getting sufficient protein is your body weight. For each pound of body weight (0.8 grams per kg), the recommended daily allowance (RDA) is 0.4 grams of protein. This translates to 66 grams of protein per day for an adult weighing 165 pounds (75 kg).
However, if you’re protein deficient, it will reflect in your body and affect your day to day activities. Here are some signs that will tell you that you need some more protein:
Unable to sleep well: When low on protein, your body craves carbs and sugar. This craving will wake you up every couple of hours thus interrupting your sleep cycle.
Slow metabolism: All enzymes are proteins and serve as a catalyst for metabolic reactions. Thus, low protein equals to slow metabolism.
Trouble losing weight: Due to the reduced rate of metabolism, protein deficiency makes it difficult to lose weight.
Fatigue: With nothing substantial to burn during physical activity, protein deficiency leads to fatigue and overall low levels of energy.
Diabetic symptoms: Protein regulates the blood sugar levels in the body and therefore, protein deficiency can increase your risk of diabetes.
Mood swings: Low blood sugar can lead to mood swings which can possibly lead to anxiety and depression.
Low immunity: Proteins form antigens which fight bacteria. Thus, in the absence of protein, the immune system is more vulnerable to diseases and infections.
Loss of muscle mass: Your muscles reserve protein and in the case of protein deficiency, the body tends to take protein from skeletal muscles to preserve more important tissues and body functions which results in loss of muscle mass.
Let us leave you with a tip: Pay attention to what your body is telling you. It is the key to better health and a better life!
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