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The Amazing Benefits of Protein

By Emily Lindholm

Protein, a macronutrient, is a nutrient that humans need a lot of.  Why?  Protein is amazing!  Studies have shown the connection between protein intake and energy levels, weight loss, and muscle mass. 

No matter what type of lifestyle we are living, getting a sufficient amount of protein is vital.  Here's why.

Helps to Sustain Appetite and Hunger Levels

If you are someone who tends to have an insatiable appetite, check your protein levels.  Protein helps us to keep our hunger levels balanced and gives us the feeling of being satisfied.  Out of all the macronutrients, studies show that protein tends to be the most filling.  

Protein reduces the hunger hormone called ghrelin. Ghrelin travels from the gut, through the bloodstream, to the brain, letting the brain know that it's hungry.  At the same time, protein increases our levels of peptide YY, which is a hormone that tells our brain when we are full.  

Boosts Metabolism and Helps With Weight Loss

Protein has a high thermic effect, which is the increase in metabolic rate after eating food.  Protein's thermic effect is much higher than that of other macronutrients, such as fat and carbohydrates.  This is why eating a diet higher in protein and lower in carbohydrates may help a person to lose weight.  

Increases Muscle Mass

We all know that athletes and bodybuilders eat a diet high in protein.  Protein is a muscle builder.  Reports say that eating protein within 45 minutes of working out will help to support the muscle tone that was built during that time frame.  Just after a workout, protein helps your body produce the amino acids necessary for muscle repair.  

Regardless of the amount of time you spend each week working out and strength training, protein is important for the muscles.  It is the building block of the muscles and will help to keep the body strong. 

Benefits the Body as We Age

As we age, our muscles weaken.  We can help to support our muscles as we age with a sufficient amount of protein.  This will help to support the body as our metabolism slows and it becomes more difficult to keep our muscles strong.  It is possible to stay strong as we age by staying active, and protein will help us to sustain our activity levels.  

Helps Repair the Body After Injury

Since protein helps to form the building blocks of our organs and tissues, it is important while recovering from injury.  Having enough protein while recovering from an injury can even speed up the healing process, studies have shown.  

Be sure to get an adequate amount of protein for your body, you can multiply your body weight in pounds by 0.36.  This will give you an estimated amount of protein in grams that you should be eating daily.  Be sure to use your judgment, especially if you are sedentary most of the time or extremely active.  Speaking to your healthcare provider will give you the best answers about how much protein to take in each day.  

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Tucson, Ariz..

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