Why is Protein Important? Here are 9 Ways it Benefits the Body
The health benefits of fat and carbohydrates are debatable. However, nearly everyone agrees that protein is essential. Most people consume enough protein to avoid deficiency, but some individuals would benefit from consuming significantly more protein. Numerous studies have shown high-protein diet aid in weight loss and metabolic health. Here are nine scientific reasons to eat more protein.
- Makes your stomach feel full:
Protein is by far the most filling nutrition. It makes your stomach feel fuller while eating less. This is due in part to protein’s ability to lower levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin. It also raises levels of peptide YY, a hormone that makes your stomach feel full. These appetite suppressing effects can be quite potent. If your goal is to lose weight or belly fat, then you should consider replacing some protein with your carbs and fats. Making your potato or rice serving smaller while adding a few extra bites of protein-rich food can help.
- Improves muscle mass and strength:
Your muscles’ primary structural component is protein. As an outcome, eating enough protein aids in the maintenance of muscle mass and promotes muscle growth when strength training. If you’re physically active, lifting weights, or trying to gain muscle, you must consume enough protein. Keeping your protein intake high can also help prevent muscle loss during weight loss.
- Reduces food craving:
A food craving is distinct from ordinary hunger. It is not only your body that requires energy or nutrients but also your brain. Cravings, on the other hand, can be extremely difficult to control. The best way to overcome them may be to avoid them in the first place. One of the most effective preventative measures is to increase your protein intake.
- Enhances bones:
People who eat more protein have better bone mass preservation as they age and are less likely to develop osteoporosis or fractures. This is especially important for women, who are more likely than men to develop osteoporosis after menopause. You can help prevent this by eating plenty of protein and staying active.
- Helps in lowering your blood pressure:
High blood pressure is a significant risk factor for heart attacks, strokes, and chronic kidney disease. Interestingly, increased protein consumption has been shown to lower blood pressure. Increased protein reduced systolic blood pressure by 1.76 mm Hg on average and diastolic blood pressure by 1.15 mm Hg in 40 controlled trials. A high-protein diet not only lowers blood pressure but also LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglycerides.
- Boosts metabolism:
Eating can temporarily increase your metabolism. This is because your body requires calories to digest and utilize the nutrients in foods. This phenomenon is referred to as the thermic effect of food (TEF). In this regard, however, not all foods are the same. Protein has a much higher thermic effect than fat or carbohydrates 20-35% vs. 5-15%. A high protein intake has been shown to significantly increase metabolism and the number of calories burned. This can result in an additional 80-100 calories burned per day.
- Aids in weight reduction:
Many people who increase their protein intake tend to lose weight almost immediately because a high-protein diet boosts metabolism and results in an automatic reduction in calorie intake and cravings. Protein can also help with fat loss during calorie restriction. Most people find it much more difficult to maintain their weight loss. A small increase in protein consumption has been shown to aid in weight maintenance. Consider making a permanent increase in your protein intake if you want to lose weight.
- Assist Your Body to heal After Injury:
Protein can help your body heal after an injury. This is understandable given that it is the primary component of your tissues and organs. Several studies show that eating more protein after an injury can help speed up recovery.
- Helps you age gracefully:
One of the effects of aging is that your muscles weaken gradually. The most severe cases are known as age-related sarcopenia, and it is one of the leading causes of frailty, bone fractures, and decreased quality of life in older people.
Eating more protein is one of the most effective ways to prevent sarcopenia and reduce age-related muscle deterioration. Staying physically active is also important, and lifting weights or doing resistance exercises can help tremendously.
A higher protein intake can be beneficial to many people’s health, but it is not necessary for everyone. Most people already get about 15% of their calories from protein, which is more than enough to keep them from becoming deficient. However, in some cases, eating much more than that (up to 25-30% of calories) can be beneficial. Make sure you’re getting enough protein if you want to lose weight, improve your metabolic health, or gain muscle mass and strength.
As significant sources of protein are found in dairy, poultry and meat products, it could be hard for Vegans to get the right amount of protein. Origin Nutrition offers a solution for such vegans in the form of their Vegan protein powders available in different flavors. If you are vegan, you know where to head for your daily dose of protein.