8 Health Benefits of Eating More Protein
I love protein! It is one macronutrient that I’m always telling my clients to eat more of. So what does this mean and why do we have to include it at every meal? There are so many reasons as to why you should eat more protein but I’ve limited it to 8:
Improve Your Mood
Protein is needed for your neurotransmitters to function properly. You may be thinking, what are neurotransmitters? They are the brain chemicals that communicate information throughout our brain and body. Examples of these are dopamine and serotonin that calm us and help us to have a positive outlook.
Many people who are lacking in key amino acids/protein start experiencing weakness, moodiness and increased anxiety or signs of depression for this reason. Because protein helps stabilize glucose in your blood, it also prevents mood changes, irritability and cravings that can occur due to fluctuating blood sugar levels.
Improve Your Muscle Mass
Most of us associate protein with increased muscle mass but it’s also necessary for supporting tendon, ligaments and other body tissue. Protein is very important after exercise as it helps repair the damage that can be done from heavy physical activity. It also helps with muscle recovery.
Boosts Metabolism and Increases Fat Burning
The body uses energy (calories) to digest and make use of the nutrients in foods. This is referred to as the thermic effect of food (TEF). Protein has a much higher thermic effect (20-35%) than fat or carbs (5-15%). Protein also increases satiety, keeping you full for longer, therefore, reducing the need to overeat.
Reduce Cravings and Late Night Snacking
Your neurotransmitters pop up again and this is because protein is needed for dopamine which is our ‘reward’ system. Protein also balances blood sugar levels so you don’t get the ‘energy dip’ and reach out for refined carbohydrates or lollies.
Maintain Strong Bones
Yes, we need calcium and other nutrients for strong bones but not many people know that we also need protein. A diet high in protein whole foods can heal broken bones, prevent bone weakness, fractures and even osteoporosis by increasing calcium absorption and helping with bone metabolism.
Healthy Skin, Hair and Nails
Your hair, skin and nails are made of protein so it makes sense to eat protein!
Repair the body after injury
We all get injured some time in our lives. Protein helps your body repair after it has been injured and speeds up recovery. Protein consists of amino acids which are the ‘building blocks’ in our body’s tissues and organs.
Promote Healthy Brain Function and Learning
Your neurotransmitters appear again here. The brain requires a steady supply of protein in order to keep your concentration, focus and energy levels up.
Look out for my 10 high protein foods and a few recipe ideas in a few weeks’ time.