Author: Renu Puri
Protein is the building block of life, the cornerstone of muscle building, and a boon to weight loss. Not just that, protein provides energy to the body and helps regulate hormones. The benefits are innumerable, no wonder why fitness enthusiasts rave about it. It is the most pivotal part of your diet and its deficiency should never be overlooked.
Chances are if you stumbled upon this blog, you want to confirm if you are getting enough protein from your diet. Not to worry, our team of the best dietitians in Delhi NCR have listed some signs and symptoms of protein deficiency. Keep in mind that this is just a guide to give you a general idea of whether or not you might be going through a deficiency, however, the ultimate diagnosis should be done by a medical professional.
Whenever we hear the word ‘Protein’, a mental picture of a buffed-up body builder gulping down raw eggs along with his whey protein shake or something similar comes to mind. This is due to our preconcieved notion that protein is only needed by people who work out or build muscles. However, this is far from the truth. Every single person on the face of the planet requires a daily dose of protein. Although the recommended daily allowance is different for men and women, protein is required by everyone to function. For people aged between 19-50, protein requirement for the male body is 56 grams per day and 46 grams per day for a female.
Before we talk about health and dietetics, let us first get you familiar with what protein really is. Proteins are molecules that contain essential amino acids that are required by our body. Protein, as we know it, helps with muscle building while also ensuring that your bone health is good, your metabolism is well boosted, and your weight is at an ideal number. So, whenever you incorporate any type of protein into your diet, you are letting your cells absorb those amino acids that will help you sustain multiple bodily functions.
Protein is found in a lot of foods, in fact, we have done a dedicated blog on Top 15 high protein foods that will help you gain muscle so do check it out if you are looking to amp up your protein intake.
Protein deficiency is no joke. It is a prevalent issue that affects millions of people around the world for centuries now. We have to start taking it seriously to ensure that people look out for the symptoms and treat them as soon as possible. When you don’t have enough protein in your diet, your body takes a massive toll – Weak muscles, brittle bones, and compromised immunity are just a few conditions out of the many present. Not just for adults, if a child does not have optimum amounts of protein in his/her diet, it can lead to serious developmental issues that will be a part of their being for life.
Let’s just leave out health for a quick second and talk about the social and economic impact of protein deficiency. When people have a protein deficiency, it is very hard to carry out day to day tasks like going to work or attending school which in turn leads to limited opportunities in life and plateaus an individual’s growth.
Protein is great for the human body. This essential macronutrient is absolutely critical for our bodies to thrive and function properly. We all know that it is the building block of our tissues, including muscles, bones, and organs, and is essential for growth and repair. Protein is required to build and repair tissues that have been damaged or are in need of growth, especially if you're an athlete or are physically active. That is why you must have seen a lot of gym enthusiasts spiking up their protein intake to build muscles and repair any wear or tear that could have happened during their workout sessions.
The benefits, however, are not just limited to our muscles and tissues. Protein is also responsible for producing enzymes, hormones, and antibodies, which are extremely pivotal for regulating our day to day bodily functions, breaking down food, and fighting off infections and disease. And it would truly be a shame if we side lined one of the key advantages of a protein rich diet – the energy production and metabolic benefits of protein. Whenever we consume any type of protein in our diet, our body breaks it down into amino acids that can then be used to produce glucose or ketones which our body uses as fuel.
Protein is also great for people on diets as it ensures that you feel satiated and full. It exudes qualities that can aid in reducing those unwanted hunger pangs and encourage feelings of fullness. A high protein diet for a lot of people can truly be a game-changer if they want to achieve their fitness goals in a quick time frame while keeping their overall calorie intake in check. Go to any medical professional or registered dietitian in the world, they will encourage you to incorporate adequate protein into your diet as it is extremely important for good bone and metabolic health.
There are so many advantages of protein that if we start to write them down we would not have any space to explain the actual signs of deficiencies! All in all, Protein is needed to repair and grow our tissues, produce essential hormones and enzymes, give us optimum energy, as well as maintain healthy bones. So, please don't overlook the advantages of protein in your diet and ensure that you and your loved ones are getting sufficient of this power macronutrient to keep your body functioning at its best.
If you are experiencing muscle wastage or observing that your muscles feel weaker than before, it is time to get it checked by a medical professional followed by a certified nutritionist. As we have already stated above, protein is made up of amino acids which is the reason why protein is called the ‘building block of life’ because it helps build muscles in your body. If you are feeling like your muscles are getting weaker, it might be due to protein deficiency. Although there are no fool proof ways to truly see if your muscles are getting visibly weaker, you might get an inkling through decreased energy levels, strength, weight, and even how your body looks.
This one may come as a shocker to all of you but yes, protein deficiency can often mask itself in the forms of mood swings. So yes, if you are getting annoyed at the breathing sound of your significant other and snapping off at people because of some pet peeves you have, it could either be PMS (if it is, you do you sister!) or protein deficiency. :D Irritability is one of the key signs of low protein in your body. It is important to have a balanced diet and incorporate enough protein to keep your mood elevated throughout the day. It is not just going to be good for you, but also for the people around you.
If you have a protein deficiency, your body goes into a reserve to save up whatever protein it has left in fear of running out completely. It is justified, I mean it is a natural mechanism that happens to everyone – you, me, your grandmother, your nephew, literally everyone! The initial signs to look out for if you speculate that you may have a protein deficiency are brittle nails that break off very easily and hair that look dull and lackluster. In a lot of cases, apart from losing the shine of the hair, it can also stop growing completely till protein is replenished. This again is due to our body going into a protein reserve. It is essential to look out for such symptoms and check with a medical professional to avoid further complications.
In a lot of severe cases of protein deficiency, you will experience drastically slow healing. What I mean by that is that you would not be able to repair injuries and wounds at the pace that you were able to previously. If we get injured, doctors recommend us to increase the protein levels in our diets and encourage us to eat a lot of protein rich foods. This is because protein can help heal our wounds and injuries faster. However, we strongly advise against self diagnosis and recommend that you should check with a medical professional followed by a registered dietitian to truly know what exactly your specific protein needs would entail.
See, it is totally alright to see your hunger levels fluctuate. I mean let’s be real – if you have made delicious Shahi Paneer and Lachcha Paratha for dinner, you may eat another round of serving for the taste. However, if there is Ghiya ki Sabji and Rice, you may not even fill up your plate to your regular portion size. This is not what we mean to say here, what we mean to say is that if you can’t seem to be satiated despite how much you ate, be it proper meals or snacks, then you may be suffering from a protein deficiency. Since proteins get digested much slower than carbs, you need to make it a habit to include protein rich sources in your meals.
Anaemia can happen because of protein deficiency. Shocking right? Well, it happens because our body requires certain proteins to produce healthy red blood cells. When an individual does not have an optimum amount of protein in their diet, their body may not produce enough of the proteins necessary for red blood cell production. Iron is an essential component of haemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen to tissues and organs. Without enough iron, a person can experience a decreased number of red blood cells or lower amounts of haemoglobin leading to anaemia.
It’s always great to think of taking charge of your health. However, figuring out the amount of protein your body needs will be totally dependent on your body weight, activity levels, and fitness goals. As body weight is a vital factor in recommending the optimum protein intake for each day, recommendations will be given with regards to the gram-per-kilo ratio, as a rule of thumb. That is why, if you want to sort your daily protein intake or get access to a muscle-gain diet, you need to seek professional guidance.
From nutrition guidance to customized meal planning to motivating you, we do it all. Our registered dietitians in Delhi NCR take into consideration your body type, ailments, and goals to help you build muscles naturally through a protein-rich diet chart.
Ready to bid adieu to your protein deficiency? Join us on our mission to ensure people get proper awareness and education about nutrition and its benefits.
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