It's no secret, we're huge fans of protein (which we proved in this post), and with good reasons! 7 to be exact. Known as the "building blocks of life," these powerful molecules run the show and are responsible for basically every bodily process. Which makes them pretty dang important to your diet, and your existence.
Here are the 7 amazing things about protein and why you need it in your diet.
1. Balances your metabolism
This can get pretty science-y, but in a nutshell: Protein y replacing carbs and fat with protein, you reduce the hunger hormone and boost several satiety hormones. Even simpler nutshell: protein tells your brain you're fuller, carbs and fats don't.
2. Helps you lose weight
Protein has a high thermic effect, aka how much energy if takes your body to break down and process food. When your body is working to break down the food it's burning calories, meaning you burn more when you eat protein!
Protein: 20-35% of calories burned through processing
Carbohydrates: 5-15% of calories burned through processing
Fats: 0-5% of calories burned through processing
3. Increases your immunity
Someone with a protein deficiency is usually sick, very often. Unable to produce proteins called antibodies efficiently, your body can't fend off unwanted germs and bacteria. This allows us to easily catch colds and viruses, however big or small, and recover slowly.
4. Repairs muscles
Exercise causes micro tears in our muscles–being sore–and its protein's job to repair those tears with amino acids, which equals muscle growth and #gains. If you're not getting protein into your body post workout, you will stay sore. For a long time, and ain't nobody got time for that.
5. Facilitates cellular function
Proteins are quite literally the building blocks of your body, without them, your cells would be weak and unable to do their job. For example: fortifying your vital organs, strengthening your skin (which prevents signs of aging), supporting healthy eye function, and so much more!
6. Strengthens your hair and nails
Your hair and nails are literally made of protein. So, when it's missing from your diet, the end result is weak, breakable hair and nails that don't grow well. This is a good indicator of a diet lacking in protein. Up your protein and watch your hair and nails get strong and shiny!
7. Regulates hormones
Hormones aren't just responsible for keeping mood swings under control, these chemical messengers keep many processes in the body functioning normally, such as insulin production and your blood sugar levels. Without protein, your whole body would be out of whack.
Hopefully this article sheds some light on the many benefits of having adequate amounts of protein in your diet. It's not just for body builders and elite athletes! For some great plant based protein sources, check out this article from Nutrition Stripped.