Proteins are essential nutrients that keep your body going. They are polymers made up of amino acids, which are important molecules needed for the different biochemical process in the body.
Protein is an integral part of every cell in your body.
The body uses this nutrient to build, repair and replace worn-out tissues; produce enzymes, hormones and other body chemicals; and also help build bones, muscles, skin, cartilage and even blood.
Unlike other nutrients like fat and carbohydrates, your body does not store protein.
So, you need to consume protein-rich foods from time to time in order to give your body a good supply of this essential nutrient.
It is worthy of note that, protein can be gotten from a variety of sources, including eggs, meat, fish, soy, beans, legumes, and nut butter etc. Upon digestion, proteins are broken down into amino acids.
It is recommended that you get about 10 to 30 percent of your daily calories from protein. Also, the recommended dietary allowance for grams of protein than an adult needs daily is as follows:
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- Women (ages 19 to 70+) = 46 grams.
- Men (ages 19 to 70+) – 56 grams.
If your daily dietary intake of protein does not meet the recommended amount, it can affect all our body chemical processes as well as your body parts.
This article highlights the 10 common signs you are not eating enough protein.
1. Muscle Weakness
If you experience sudden muscle weakness or pain, it could be a sign that you are not eating enough protein.
Protein can be used as a fuel for your muscle, so your muscle will suffer when you lack enough protein.
Lack of protein can be a concern, especially in aged men. Men typically may experience loss of muscle mass due to aging and they lose even more protein if they are not eating enough protein via their diet on a daily basis.
If you don’t have sufficient protein, your body breaks down protein-rich tissues for muscle usage.
The initial effect of low protein intake is muscle wasting, which is accompanied by increasing weakness.
What’s more, protein also plays a vital role in how your body absorbs other essential nutrients, such as calcium, iron. These nutrients are essential for overall muscle and joint health.
2. Frequent Food Cravings
Another common sign of insufficient protein is frequent food cravings.
Sweet craving is especially more common in people who are not getting the recommended amount of protein.
You may also experience sweet cravings even after eating something sweet. This occurs because you are taking in less protein and you are probably eating a diet high in carbohydrates and/or sugar in return.
This may lead to a sudden spike in your blood sugar level and make you feel hungry more frequently.
Also, protein takes a longer time to digest, which makes you feel full longer. This, in turn, regulates your blood sugar levels and helps you control your food cravings.
It is worthy of note that protein-rich foods are sometimes higher in calories than carbohydrates, but they are better at increasing satiety.
This implies that protein-rich foods help prevent snacking between meals.