Carbohydrate, protein, and fat are all major nutrient components to maintain a healthy, well-functioning body. Every single nutrient plays an important role, however, most people might not be consuming them in the same amount every day. Some might have diet high in carbohydrates, and consuming less protein and fat. Those kind of tendencies might cause an imbalance in your body. For example, protein plays a major role in maintaining our body tissues, like muscles and hair. On this week's journal, we will be explaining a few reasons why you should be consuming more protein in your diet and its benefits. Read on!
Improves muscle mass
Proteins are major muscle component, and consuming it adequately improves your muscle mass. Protein consumption also supports maintenance of ligaments and tendons, especially if you routinely exercise, as protein helps muscle recovery after an intense physical activity. This is one of the reasons why it is recommended to consume protein when you're trying to create muscles. Having stronger muscles, as a byproduct of strength training and protein consumption, can also help with weight loss and aid your cardio sessions. The stronger your muscles, the longer you may be able to run. This benefit also stretches up to your older age, as the muscles may weaken with age. Therefore, more protein intake is needed to reduce age-related muscle deterioration.
Helps you feel full for longer
While consuming proteins might not reduce your body fat right away, it does help in curbing your appetite and making you feel satiated for a longer period of time. This can help you consuming less calories than you would normally have. Some research have also shown that a diet high in protein can reduce food cravings and tendency to have a late-night snack in men.
Balances blood sugar level
Carbohydrates provide sugar needed for the body to be converted into energy. However, simple carbohydrates may also cause a rapid rise in blood sugar levels, and sugar crash afterwards. While this doesn't mean you need to abstain from carbohydrates completely, consuming it on a reasonable portion may help balance your blood sugar levels. if you're looking to have a more sustained energy release, consuming more protein might help, as it takes longer to break down in the body than carbohydrates.
The energy obtained from protein helps keep your insulin levels stable and ensuring a slower release of glucose from the bloodstream. Proteins won't give you sugar crash, making it the ideal nutrient for those who tend to have energy slumps throughout the day, as well as helping you to prevent development of type 2 diabetes. Replacing high-carb and sugary snacks with protein can also help maintain heart health, as it may lower triglyceride and LDL cholesterol in your body when cooked in a healthy way (e.g. not fried).
Speeds up metabolism
The act of eating and digesting food can help boost your metabolism for a short while. This happens because your body uses calories to digest and make use of the nutrients in foods, known as thermic effect of food (TEF). If you're consuming proteins, the benefit may double, as protein has higher thermic effect compared to carbohydrates or fat. Studies have shown that high protein intake significantly boost metabolism and increase the number of calories you burn, for up to 80-100 calories.
Healthier skin, hair and nails
As the essential building block of skin, hair and nails, a diet high in protein is necessary to maintain radiance and elasticity of your skin. Protein deficiency may cause the skin to look tired and experience signs of aging faster. Likewise with hair and nails, thinning and dull hair, as well as brittle or easily broken nails are signs that you might need to up your protein intake.
Keeps the Bones Strong
Not only beneficial for muscles, proteins also plays a big role in maintaining your skeletal structure. You may experience lesser bone density and slower regeneration process with age. This may happen as early as age 30, so it's certainly important to consume more protein as you age. Researches show that there's a strong connection between proteins and calcium. Proteins from both animals and plants are equally beneficial to aid calcium retention and maintain bone mass, leading to stronger bones and prevent risks of fractures and osteoporosis during your latter years.
Improve brain function
Lastly, proteins are also a major aid for brain health. Its benefits include building and maintaining functions of neurotransmitters in the brain, aid long-term memory, and improve concentration. The brain needs amino acids to function properly, and foods rich in proteins provide that vital component.