7 Signs You Might Need More Protein
Protein is an essential nutrient that plays a vital role in building and repairing tissues in the body. It is important to make sure that you are getting enough protein in your diet to maintain your overall health and well-being.
However, many people may not be aware that they are not getting enough protein in their diet, which can lead to a number of health problems.
One of the most common signs of not getting enough protein in your diet is muscle loss. Protein is essential for building and repairing muscle tissues. Without enough protein, your body may start breaking down muscle tissue to use as a source of energy.
However, there are seven other lesser-known signs that you may not be getting enough protein in your diet.
1. Constant Hunger
Protein is a macronutrient that helps to keep you feeling full and satisfied. If you are not getting enough protein in your diet, you may find yourself feeling hungry more often, even if you are eating enough calories. This can lead to overeating and weight gain, as well as other health problems.
2. Brittle Nails and Hair
Protein is essential for healthy hair and nails. If you're not getting enough protein, you may notice that your hair is thinning or falling out, and your nails are brittle and prone to breakage.
3. Fatigue and Weakness
Protein is necessary for the production of enzymes, hormones, and other important molecules in the body. If you're not getting enough protein, your body may not be able to produce these molecules, which can lead to feelings of fatigue and weakness.
4. Weak Immune System
Protein plays an important role in supporting a healthy immune system. It is needed to produce antibodies that fight off infections and other harmful substances. If you are not getting enough protein in your diet, your immune system may become weakened, making you more susceptible to infections and other illnesses.
5. Slow Wound Healing
Protein is important for the growth and repair of tissues, including the skin. If you're not getting enough protein, your body may not be able to heal wounds as quickly, which can lead to infections and other complications.
6. Swelling and Fluid Retention
Protein plays a role in maintaining the balance of fluids in the body. If you're not getting enough protein, you may experience swelling in your hands, feet, or other parts of the body due to fluid retention.
7. Slow Recovery from Exercise
If you are not getting enough protein in your diet, your body may not be able to recover properly after exercise. Protein is essential for repairing and rebuilding muscle tissue that is damaged during exercise. Without enough protein, your body may not be able to recover as quickly, leading to muscle soreness, fatigue, and a decreased ability to exercise.
If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, it may be a sign that you need to increase your protein intake. Good sources of protein include lean meats, fish, eggs, dairy products, whole grains, beans, and nuts.
National Institutes of Health. (2019). Protein. MedlinePlus. https://medlineplus.gov/protein.html
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American Heart Association. (2021). Protein. https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/nutrition-basics/protein
Harvard Health Publishing. (2021). Protein. Harvard Medical School. https://www.health.harvard.edu/nutrition/protein
Gaine, P. C., Pikosky, M. A., Martin, W. F., & Bolster, D. R. (2018). Effects of dietary protein on the immune system. The European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 72(3), 278–282. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41430-017-0013-3