Everyone knows that it is important to eat a healthy diet; however, most people fail to maintain one. People succumb to unhealthy foods, which are often sugary and fatty, because they taste good. These foods provide little nourishment. On the other hand, foods that are rich in protein have great health benefits, and they taste good. Here are 10 benefits that you can experience by adding protein to your diet.
Lifestyle Benefits of Protein
Proteins allow people to live a healthy, yet fun, lifestyle.
- Eat Tasty Foods: Many foods that are high in protein are delicious: nuts, meats, fish, eggs, beans, peas and others. Not only are these well-liked foods, but they also can be prepared in a variety of ways. Any taste profile can be pleased with these foods.
- Eat a Variety of Foods: Most diets are oriented around the restriction of certain foods. Sugary or fatty foods may be eliminated. Diets that seek to increase a person’s protein intake look for additional foods, which are high in protein, which could supplement the diet. The goal is to increase the variety of healthy foods eaten.
- Feel Full: Protein leaves people feeling fuller than starches. Anything that does not have protein can often benefit by adding a source of protein to it: Peanut butter can be spread on a piece of toast, and protein powder can be added to a glass of milk. These protein supplements will provide a greater contentment than the bread or milk alone would.
- Have Energy: Proteins are probably the best source for energy. A gram of protein is loaded with calories that can immediately be used, but that will last for hours. Unlike fats, proteins do not need to be converted to another form, before they can be used. Unlike sugars, proteins provide a sustained energy source.
Health Benefits of Protein
Athletes and non-athletes alike rely on proteins for the nutrition they need to lose weight and build muscles.
- Lose Weight: People have used diets that are high in protein, in conjunction with exercise, to lose weight. On protein diets, people tend to eat less, because they feel full. Studies published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and the Journal of Nutrition have shown that protein-rich diets can help people lose weight.
- Build Muscle: Proteins have the energy needed to build muscles. Athletes rely on protein for the energy needed to increase muscle mass. During a workout, little tears are made in muscles. Proteins are needed to repair these tears, which results in the strengthening of the given muscle.
- Tone Muscle: People who are not athletes still can benefit from adding protein to their diet. Often people struggle to lose final five pounds before their goal. Proteins can help people lose those last few pounds by firming up their muscles and reducing their body fat.
On a molecular level, proteins are needed for many cellular functions.
- Repair Cells: Proteins are known as the body’s building blocks, because they are required to build every cell. Every type of cell was constructed with proteins, and any damaged cell, such as a burst blood vessel, is repaired with proteins.
- Create Chemicals: The body relies on a wide variety of chemicals to function; many of these chemicals are created from proteins. Antibodies are a key component of the immune system. Enzymes act as catalysts for chemical reactions. Hormones send messages to the brain. Proteins are needed to create all of these.
- Move Fluid in Cells: When people drink a glass of water, the water flows the esophagus, which is essentially a tube, and into the stomach. Cells do not have such a tube that can transfer water between them. Instead, they build proteins that attract water through cellular walls.
Proteins are some of the most beneficial molecules that people can consume. Foods that are rich in proteins are healthy, and they provide molecules with needed chemicals. Best of all, it is easy to incorporate protein into any lifestyle.
Author Bio: Wayne S. writes for Iron Science Protein, a manufacturer of quality sports nutrition supplements ranging from pure whey protein to creatine.