For males, protein is often synonymous with body building and gym/sports performance. However, there are even more important usage of this crucial nutrition. One of its most vital roles is to support immune function, as a number of researches have shown that a deficiency in protein can significantly lower immune function and increase susceptibility to infectious diseases. Therefore, on this week's journal, we will be explaining a few reasons why you should be consuming more protein to protect your body from getting ill and support overall health.
Why is it important to consume protein?
There are three food components you should consume every day in order to stay healthy: carbohydrates, fats, and protein. The latter is rich in amino acids (glutamine and arginine) which are essential nutrients to regenerate cells in your body, including building antibodies and promotes the synthesis of glutathione required for a strong immune system.
Protein is also useful for building and maintaining muscles, assists in hormone production, balances blood sugar, as well as supporting healthy skin, hair and nails. However, the body is unable to store protein, unlike with carbs and fat. Therefore, you need to make sure to fulfill your protein intake every day.
The role of protein in aiding the immune system
If we're talking about prevention of illnesses from bacteria and viruses, the main thing that should be of our concern is our immunity. During this pandemic, a lot of actions are being taken to prevent contamination. Washing hands, for example. However, it is more important for our body to get more nutrition intake, in order to nurture the immune system and prepare the guards up before you get sick.
One of these crucial components include protein, which can aid in building and repairing cells and tissues in the body. Protein also has a role in building antibodies, which are utilized by white blood cells to fight off microorganisms (bacteria and viruses) that may invade the body. Studies have shown that a deficiency of protein in your diet can lessen the concentration of amino acids inside your system, thus causing shortage of antibodies and making you more vulnerable to ilnesses. Besides, protein deficiency can also make you weak and show symptoms of fatigue.
What sort of protein should you be consuming?
As mentioned earlier, fulfilling daily protein needs is crucial to ensure a well-running immune system and muscle development. Therefore, eating a variety of protein-rich foods can play an important role to achieve a healthier body. Aim to consume at least 75 - 90 grams of protein per day.
Eggs, red meat, poultry, and an array of fishes including salmon are good protein sources. Also, these food items are rich in vitamins and minerals, including zinc, which is beneficial to speed up wound healing and help the immune system to work properly. If you prefer a vegetarian diet, there's no reason to skimp on proteins, as you can consume various nuts, seeds, and beans to help fulfill your protein needs.