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Warning Signs of A Protein Deficiency You Shouldn't Ignore

In case you missed the memo, protein is pretty important for your health.

Nutritionists sometimes tend to have varying opinions on the best diets to try and what classifies as a superfood, but all generally agree that everyone should be getting sufficient amounts of protein in their diet, regardless of their current health status, including weight, age, and gender.

Considering that protein can be found in so many different foods naturally, you'd think it would be easy to get enough protein each day without any struggle. Unfortunately, protein deficiency is one of the most common health issues facing people today, especially those of us who choose a vegetarian or vegan dietary lifestyle.

If you're unsure where you stand when it comes to your protein intake, learning about the warning signs of a protein deficiency will better equip you to handle it should the problem ever arise. 

General Malaise

Feeling off? Maybe you don't know exactly how to describe it, but it might include symptoms such as mental fogginess, physical fatigue, or weakness in the muscles. If you find your concentration or physical strength seems to be more degraded, a lack of protein in your diet may be to blame. This is because protein balances your blood sugar levels, which are responsible for maintaining energy. Protein also helps build up your muscles, so without enough of it, your muscles may actually start to shrink over time. 

Strange Cravings

When your body is lacking a particular nutrient, it will try to clue you in to what it needs. Unfortunately, sometimes these clues come in the form of weird cravings. When it comes to a protein deficiency, you may begin to start craving more sweets than normal. Since protein is responsible for regulating blood sugar levels, it makes sense that your body will start to crave the quick energy fix that something sweet like candy can provide to raise glucose (and therefore energy) levels. It's also very common to never feel completely full no matter how much you eat if that food doesn't contain enough protein. 

Hair Loss

One of the more unusual signs of protein deficiency is hair loss. While it's not necessarily drastic in nature, if you start to notice that more hair gets left behind on your hairbrush in the mornings, you may have evidence of a lack of protein in your diet. 

Image used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of insatiablemunch

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