Is a Lack of Protein the Reason For Your Health Symptoms?
Are you bloated after every meal and constipated more often than not?_x000D_ _x000D_ Have you noticed your nails breaking easily, your hair growing in thin and slowly, and a few extra pounds creeping up on your waistline?_x000D_ _x000D_ Not getting enough protein in your diet may be the reason why. Regardless of whether you’re vegan, vegetarian or a meat-eater, it’s possible to have an insufficient amount of protein in your diet. And when you’re lacking protein, your body will let you know with specific symptoms typically related to your digestive, nervous or endocrine systems. Believe it or not, even the most health conscious eater can still be protein deficient._x000D_ _x000D_ What Protein Does For You_x000D_ _x000D_ Protein is a macronutrient made from amino acids, often associated with bodybuilding because it helps build lean muscle mass. But protein isn’t just for bodybuilders. We all need protein in our diets to for our bodies to perform specific functions such as digestion, fighting off illness and disease, hormone function, tissue repair and brain function. You are made from protein. From your red blood cells to your brain and muscles, protein makes up all parts of you that isn’t bone or water._x000D_ _x000D_ For this reason, protein has been described as “the lego of life” by the Memory Foundation, for being the building block of our existence. Without protein, your body wouldn’t be able to digest food you eat, create antibodies to fight off disease, build and repair muscle or grow hair. As you can see, protein is much more than a muscle building tactic: it’s essential to our survival._x000D_ _x000D_ Other Signs of Low Protein in Your Diet_x000D_ _x000D_ We’ve touched on digestive distress and hormone related functions such as hair growth and midsection weight gain. But there are several other signs your body will give you when you’re not getting enough protein in your diet such as:_x000D_
- Intense Sugar CravingsProtein helps stabilize your blood sugar levels and provide you with steady energy throughout the day. When you aren’t receiving enough protein in your diet, your blood sugar levels are all over the place and your energy levels can rapidly fluctuate (which often happens with vegetarians or vegans who rely primarily on starchy carbohydrates). To get your energy levels back up, your body will send signal cravings for more sugar or carbs, creating a vicious cycle. _x000D_
- You Experience Frequent Colds or FlusSince protein is needed to create the antibodies that help your immune system fight off illness and disease, protein deficiency can be to blame if you’re sick all the time. _x000D_
- You Have a Hard Time Focusing or ConcentratingStable blood sugar levels are needed for focus and concentration. If you have a lack of protein in your diet, you’re more likely to get small bursts of energy from carbohydrates that only last an hour or two before the brain fog or exhaustion sets in. _x000D_
- You Never Feel Full After EatingIf you aren’t feeling full after eating, check in to see how much protein you’ve had throughout the day. Carbohydrates are the quickest food to digest, which can increase your appetite. Protein takes much longer to empty out of the stomach, allowing your appetite to feel satiated for 3-4 hours at a time, if not longer. _x000D_