Chances are, you're sick and tired of hearing how important protein is in your diet. You've heard the whole spiel about how eating protein is going to help you lose weight, and how protein is important for building muscle and burning fat, and blah, blah, blah. When it comes down to it, though, do you really know why protein is so critical? Why is protein so important in your diet? The impact that protein has on your body is actually fundamental when it comes to healthy living.
Just like fats and complex carbohydrates, protein is what experts call a "macronutrient." Your body needs a considerable amount of protein every day in order to function properly. While we are capable of storing fats and carbs in our body, we are actually not equipped to maintain a storage of protein. This means that the protein you consume that is not utilized is expelled, and you need to continue to replenish your levels in order to stay healthy.
It's crucial that you get enough protein through your diet, because your body relies heavily on the amino acids that make up protein in order to thrive. There are four main reasons why you should incorporate protein into your meals:
- Protein makes up a portion of every single cell in the body. Believe it or not, your hair and nails are constructed primarily out of protein molecules. Getting enough protein helps keep those nails nice and strong, and gives your hair volume and texture.
- Your body utilizes protein in order to build and repair tissues. For instance, when you work out, the physical stress creates little tears in your muscles and tissues. Protein works to heal and rebuild those minute wounds.
- Protein promotes the creation of enzymes, hormones and other essential chemicals in your body. For instance, the amino acids (building blocks of protein) are responsible for the creation of the human growth hormone. Learn how to balance your hormones here.
- Protein is vital when it comes to nurturing bone growth, muscle development, cartilage regeneration, skin health, and blood distribution throughout the body.
While you might not notice the indispensable effects of protein in your body, there are a variety of ways a high-protein diet will affect you on a daily basis. It can speed up your recovery after you work out and help you maintain your energy levels throughout the day. It can aid you in developing lean muscle growth and keep you from losing muscle tone. It can also help you remain at a healthy weight, and can curb your hunger to avoid any dangerous cravings.
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If you're searching for some ways to add protein to your diet, then look no further! Check out these high-protein foods that will definitely benefit your diet:
- Almonds and walnuts
- Lean meats (chicken, turkey, lean beef, fish)
- Greek yogurt
- Whey protein
- Pumpkin seeds
Shake those images of body builders chugging protein shakes from your mind. Protein isn't just for people who are trying to bulk up or gain weight. It is imperative that we supplement our diet with a healthy amount of protein. To see how much protein you should eat every day, click here! For more information, check out these sources: Detour, WebMD, Livestrong.com, and Authority Nutrition.