How Important is Protein in Your Diet?

Protein is an important part of every diet as it serves not only as fuel for cells but also plays an essential role in the creation and maintenance of cells.

You might have seen videos or read articles about the daily consumption of protein to stay fit and healthy. You may even have noticed the rise of protein supplements in the market nowadays.

If you are just starting on a healthy diet and want to know more about proteins or already know about the benefits of protein but want to know more about it, we have compiled all the useful information that you need to know about protein in this article.

From the importance to sources of protein, we have it all covered for you to have that knowledge that can benefit your health.

Let’s go ahead and take a look at the key information that surrounds protein.

Why is Protein Important

Why protein is important in your diet

Protein is important because it is the basic structural and functional unit of all cells in our bodies.

They provide the structure, support, and function of our muscles, skin, and organs, and can even act as enzymes or hormones.

Proteins are made up of long chains of amino acids that are essential for cell growth, repair, and maintenance.

How Much Protein Does Your Body Need

How Much Protein Does Your Body Need

Daily consumption of protein is recommended for everyone but the amount of intake can vary depending on activity levels.

Athletes have different protein needs than office workers. Several other things can affect how much protein your body needs but you can do a quick calculation as follows:

Your weight in pounds x 0.36 = Needed Daily Protein in Grams

For a more accurate calculation that will have you choose the activity level, you can also go to a DRI Calculator to calculate. You can also visit your doctor for recommendations on your daily protein intake.

Benefits of Protein

Benefits of Protein

Protein has a lot of benefits to the body. The following are the positive effects of protein on overall health:

Weight Loss

Protein is an amazing partner for weight loss. Protein consumption makes you feel fuller and reduces hunger levels with less food.

A high protein diet improves the function of weight regulation hormones, aids in faster metabolism, and promotes fat-burning resulting in weight loss.

Muscle Mass and Strength Increase

Protein increases muscle mass and helps develop better muscles. If you are strength training, a high protein diet can help you see better results as it helps in muscle repair and growth.

Even if you are not working out, having more muscle mass has its benefits like reducing the risk of injuries, improving metabolism, and providing support to bones.

Reduced Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

A high protein diet helps reduce insulin resistance, a condition that can lead to type 2 diabetes.

Protein also helps regulate blood sugar levels and has a positive effect on glycemic control.

Amino acids present in protein also help prevent the progression of diabetic nephropathy which is kidney damage caused by diabetes.

Reduced Risk of Heart Disease

Protein has an inverse relationship with heart disease. A high protein diet helps reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases by reducing bad cholesterol levels and blood pressure.

It also helps increase good cholesterol levels and lowers triglyceride levels, all of which are important in maintaining a healthy heart.

Better Bone Mass

People who eat more protein have better bone mass and a reduced risk of developing osteoporosis.

Amino acids present in protein help increase bone density and reduce the loss of calcium from bones.

Protein also helps with the repair and maintenance of damaged bones.

Reduced Risk of Cancer

A high protein diet is associated with a lower risk of developing cancer.

Protein has an anticancer effect as it helps the body repair damaged cells and supports the immune system.

It also helps regulate cell growth and prevent the uncontrolled growth of cancerous cells.

Helps in Body Recovery After Injury

Protein helps the body recover after an injury as it is the main building block of muscles, bones, skin, and blood.

Amino acids present in protein help in the repair of damaged tissues and the production of new ones.

Protein also helps reduce inflammation and pain associated with injuries.

What are the Best Sources of Protein

Best Sources of Protein your body can get

Protein can be found in both animal and plant sources. Animal sources are generally considered complete proteins as they contain all the essential amino acids.

Plant sources are incomplete proteins as they lack one or more of the essential amino acids. However, combining different plant sources can provide all the essential amino acids.

The following are some of the best sources of protein:

Animal Sources

  • Beef – One 3-ounce serving of beef provides 25 grams of protein.
  • Chicken – One 3-ounce serving of chicken provides 23 grams of protein.
  • Pork – One 3-ounce serving of pork provides 22 grams of protein.
  • Fish – One 3-ounce serving of fish provides 20 grams of protein.
  • Eggs – One large egg provides 6 grams of protein.

Dairy Sources

Plant Sources

  • Beans and lentils
  • Grains like rice, corn, and wheat
  • Seeds
  • Nuts

Supplements

There are a lot of trusted protein powders and pills for protein supplements that you can find on the market. Make sure you are buying from a legit source.

Protein supplements are a convenient way to increase your protein intake. They are especially useful for people who have a hard time getting enough protein from diet alone.

For vegans who are looking for the best plant-based protein supplements, there are a variety of choices in the market too.

Protein supplements can also be helpful for athletes and bodybuilders as they help in muscle recovery and growth.

Conclusion

Protein is an important nutrient that has a lot of benefits for the body. Make sure to include protein in your diet from both animal and plant sources. You can also opt for protein supplements to make sure you are getting enough of this nutrient.

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Article by Sylvie

Hi, my name is Sylvie and I am an enthusiast of health and fitness. I love spending time outdoors and traveling in my free time. I grew up in France and moved to the United States a few years ago. Ever since then, I have been passionate about learning more about American culture. I am currently majoring in business administration with a concentration in marketing. I love writing (hence why I am here) and sharing my experiences with fellow readers!