So much information is thrown our ways these days in the form of nutritional advice. Often we are bombarded with much conflicting advice and differing options on what exactly our bodies need for optimum health and vitality.
So, when it comes to protein, indeed a hot topic, how many of us are aware of how much we are consuming and if we are getting enough or not. I would always stress that we are the experts on how we feel and one of most empowering things we can do in our lives is to start observing and listening to what our bodies are telling and showing us. Noticing where things are out of balance, making small changes and noting the difference is the best way to move towards our own personal ideally balanced diet.
5 signs of protein deficiency
- You need protein for healing and so one of the most obvious signs is wounds that take a long time to heal. This includes muscles and bones too. Protein is needed for bone metabolism and also for the uptake of calcium and so a lack can also be a factor in osteoporosis.
- Insomnia. If you aren’t sleeping well this could be due to unstable blood sugar levels caused by poor food choices, especially late in the day. Carbohydrates require a lot more insulin then protein does. Eating protein with meals lowers and slows the absorption of sugars. Also Proteins help with the the synthesis of hormones such as seratonine. Often poor sleep is linked with low levels of seratonine which is released by the body to promote a calm, relaxed state.
- If you are feeling anxious and moody or have trouble concentrating or taking up new information this could be due to low levels of key hormones. Amino acids are the building blocks for neurotransmitters which control your mood. Along with seratonine for general happy vibes, Dopamine is important for promoting excitement and the drive to get up and go. Epinephrine (otherwise known as adrenaline) has been shown to be important for long term memory.
- You struggle keeping up with an exercise regime. Protein is key for supporting exercise, not only during, for sustained energy and motivation, but also afterwards for muscle and tissue repair. A deficiency can lead to fatigue, muscle wasting and even fat gain if the body is not fed adequate levels.
You put on weight easily even whilst eating ‘healthy’. If your body isn’t receiving enough protein it feels starved, and so will cling onto any food that can be converted into body mass. Protein promotes the feeling of fullness to a greater a effect then fats or carbs so they can prevent overeating and snacking. By stabilising blood sugar levels, muscle retention is increased which burn a lot more calories then other cells plus cravings are reduced.
According to the USDA, the recommended daily intake of protein for adults who are at an average weight and activity level is:
- 56 grams per day for men
- 46 grams per day for women
The recommended dietary intake (RDI) for protein (measured in grams per kilogram of bodyweight) is 0.8g/kg. So, a 70kg person needs 56g of protein (0.8 x 70) per day.
This is just the a small part of the information i wanted to share about protein. In my next post I will focus on the importance of complete protein. What it is and why it’s so key, especially for non-meat eaters and vegans……. stay tuned!
New post UPDATE: Complete protein and why, as a vegan, I use a protein powder