Why protein is important

You might eat it every day, but do you really know how important protein is for so many of your body’s functions? People often watch their fat intake or sugar or carbohydrates, but it’s also important to make sure you’re getting enough protein.

So why is protein so important? Here are 5 compelling reasons why you should make sure you’re getting enough protein each day.

1. Building and growth – Every cell in your body contains protein. It plays a key role in:

  • Creating and maintaining your cells, tissues and organs
  • Building bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, hair and nails which are made up mostly of protein
  • Enzymes that are used for digestion  
  • Growth and development especially in children, teens and pregnant women
  • Building lean muscle (which we all want right?) and reducing muscle loss

2. Repair & recovery – Protein in your diet helps your body repair cells and make new ones. Protein is used to produce new tissue for growth and to repair damaged tissue. It helps speed recovery after exercise and/or injury which is why so many athletes include protein supplements as part of their post workout recovery.

Protein is important to help speed recovery after exercise or injury and build lean muscle

3. Oxygenating blood – Red blood cells contain a protein that carries oxygen throughout the body. The more red blood cells you have, the more hemoglobin is available to move oxygen through your body. This helps supply your entire body with the nutrients it needs for energy, growth and repair.

4. Keeps you feeling full longer.  Your body uses carbohydrates as its first source of energy and reserves protein for growth, development and repair. Protein takes longer to digest and remains in the stomach longer, making you feel full longer. It’s a ‘slower burning fuel’ so when you include protein with each meal, it helps keep you feeling satisfied throughout the day and can help curb hunger, cravings and keep your blood sugar more stable

5. Regulate. Protein plays an important role in hormone regulation, especially during the transformation and development of cells during puberty and menopause. Eating protein provides your body with amino acids that are used to produce specific hormones, like estrogen, insulin, and thyroid hormones. For more information on how protein affects your hormone balance, check out this great article.

Healthy food high in protein.

Good sources of protein

Animal based proteins are found in meat, chicken, turkey, eggs and fish and plant-based proteins such as quinoa, chia or hemp seeds, sprouts, chickpeas, lentils.

For more information on how to make sure you’re getting enough protein in your diet, how to incorporate protein into your day and great recipes, subscribe to my Newsletter and keep an eye out for my regular blogs!

As always, if you have any questions or if I can help please get in touch.

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