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Adding More Protein to Your Plate
Protein is a key component to a healthy and balanced diet. If you’re struggling with weight loss, feeling tired all the time, and going through the motions in a busy routine each day, you may not be getting enough protein in your menu.
There are plenty of delicious and simple protein rich foods that you can add to any meal, such as lean chicken, tuna, nuts, cheese, or some whole grains. On average, men need about 56 grams of protein per day and women need 46 grams.
Here are 12 reasons why more protein could benefit you.
12 Reasons to Add More Protein to Your Plate
#1. Less Hunger
The first reason to increase your protein intake each day is to help you feel less hungry. For most people, it can be tough to hold out between meals and stay away from the vending machine or refrigerator. Once you start adding enough protein to your diet, you’ll notice a surprising new sensation, feeling full. Then, you won’t be as tempted to make a poor snack choice before dinner or in the late morning after breakfast.
#2. More Energy
Your body’s energy levels can also benefit from protein. It’s common for people who aren’t getting enough protein in their diet to feel sluggish in the afternoon and exhausted at night. Eating foods rich in protein can help restore that depleted energy and give you more fuel to finish tasks at work and take care of things at home as the day nears to an end. Protein packed snacks, such as Greek yogurt, hard boiled eggs, or lean cheese can help you keep going into the night.
#3. Quicker Fat Loss
Protein may also help individuals who need to lose a few pounds. Research has shown that protein helps improve the function of some of the body’s hormones that help regulate weight and appetite. Scientists have found a link to a high protein diet and big weight loss. Hormones that regulate appetite and fullness change when you increase your protein intake. This way, you can help make your body work for you instead of against you.
#4. Faster Metabolism
The link between higher protein and weight loss is further supported by studies connecting protein to the body’s metabolism. Your metabolism helps dictate how your body burns the calories you eat into energy. Those who are blessed with a fast metabolism can eat more without worrying about putting on the pounds. People who struggle with their weight may have slower and inefficient metabolisms. Protein can help improve metabolism by giving it a beneficial boost.
#5. Stronger Muscles
Even if you’re not a bodybuilder, you should be thinking about building your muscles. Building strong, lean muscles can help keep you looking great and feeling strong and energetic. To make muscle, your body needs the right fuel, protein. Eating the proper amount of protein each day and performing strength exercises can help you develop a lean and supple body.
#6. Improved Brain Power
Another great reason to increase your diet’s protein levels concerns your brain. Most people don’t think about improving their brain power over time, but you can give yourself a little boost by eating more protein. Studies have shown a strong connection to eating plenty of protein and increases in brain development and function. Pregnant women, especially need plenty of protein during their baby’s gestation to make sure their little one gets enough fuel for a healthy brain and body.
#7. Sturdier Bones
Protein is also one of the key ingredients to stronger and healthier bones. As you age, your bone health and density may deteriorate, leaving you vulnerable to painful fractures or injury. Elderly people are especially at risk of breaking major bones, such as hips or legs, if their bones are weak. This is why it’s essential to supplement your diet with protein, even if you’re years away from retirement. Stronger bones today may help protect your body in the future.
#8. Sounder Sleep
If you have trouble falling asleep each night, it may be smart to check your protein levels and make sure you’re getting enough. Boosting your protein can help increase the levels of tryptophan, an amino acid that helps you feel sleepy, in your diet. Try blending a tasty whey protein shake a few hours before bed to give yourself a more peaceful night of rest.
#9. Reduced Blood Pressure
Your cardiovascular health can also be impacted by the amount of protein you eat each day. Some studies have found links between high protein diets and lowered blood pressure. For those who have had to fight hypertension with medication and lifestyle changes, adding more protein can also be another tool to regulate blood pressure and keep it at optimal levels.
#10. Easier Recovery
Getting injured, whether it’s from sports or a fall during your regular routine, is never convenient. When you’re hurt, it may be more difficult to get things done, work, or take care of children or family members. You can help yourself get back to normal faster if you focus on the power of protein. Protein has been found to play a beneficial role in the body’s recovery from injury or illness.
#11. Healthier Skin
Your skin also benefits from a protein-rich diet. If you’re not happy with how your skin looks because of fine lines, premature aging, and sun damage, you may be able to help turn back the clock a little by eating more protein. A diet rich in protein helps support your body’s production of collagen, which is the key ingredient to healthy, youthful skin.
#12. Longer Life
Most of all, eating plenty of protein has been shown to help people live longer, happier, and healthier lives. It’s important to make smart choices when you’re planning your daily meals, and consider placing protein above everything else. A protein rich diet could potentially help you stay trim, strong, energized, and ready for almost anything.
The Bottom Line
Protein should be the key ingredient in all of your meal planning for you and your family. Think beyond the typical grilled chicken for dinner and go for some other types of protein sources to help give your body the fuel it needs to thrive each day.