6 Warning Signs of Protein Deficiency
“It’s not what you eat! It’s about what you absorb!”
Where do we get protein? And how much protein do we need every day?
Protein is an important aspect of our body that we need to maintain. In fact, hair and nails are mostly made of protein. Your body uses it to build and repair tissue. You need it to make enzymes, hormones, and other body chemicals. It is an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood.
When people shift for a vegan diet, they unconsciously develop protein deficiency without even noticing. The truth is, protein deficiency is a common problem among vegetarians, dieters, athletes and body builders. A severely restrictive diet, lack of knowledge about nutrition, and even poverty or lack of food can all contribute to protein deficiency.
Protein is the building block of the body, and the deprivation of it ultimately leads to the body’s inability to function efficiently.
Here’s a very easy process in order to know the amount of protein that you need every single day!
- Take your weight in pounds.
- Divide it by two to get the grams equivalent – this is the amount of protein you need per day.
- Divide that number into your three meals and two snacks!
For example, if you weigh 100 pounds, you would need about 50 grams of protein per day. If you weight 170 lbs, you would need to have about 85 g of protein per day. Divide this amount of protein across your meals.
If your diet is lacking in protein, your body tend to utilize the protein stored in your body tissues. It’s so important to know whether you are protein deficient. Only then you will be able to act on the matter when you are aware of your current state.
6 Warning Signs of Protein Deficiency:
1. Puffy Cheeks
Puffy cheeks actually highlight a protein-carbohydrate imbalance. Puffy cheeks are actually a result of swollen salivary glands (parotid glands). Swelling can happen at any stage of the illness. This can be characterized by sagging that forms the shape of a moon.
2. Swollen Eyes
Protein deficiency can lower the amount of plasma protein protein in blood, and this couples to a condition called oedema. This decrease in plasma protein can be caused by a liver problem, which is responsible for the storage of iron. If iron cannot get to the bone to help the production of hemoglobin, then anemia is triggered. This is where swelling begins.
3. Swollen Hands
Aside from the face, swelling can also extend to other areas in the body.
You might think that muscle performance is the only thing affected when you are protein-deficient. But this is not the case. It extends to the appearance and sizes of the muscles as well. Why?
If your body cannot find the protein that it needs from your diet, it sources out the protein from other areas in the body. And the proteins are founds in muscular linings, not in fats. That is why your hands can get swollen because the body utilizes the protein found in the tissues in the area.
As a result is edema, which is the collection of fluid under the skin. Protein has a crucial role in maintaining the water balance in the body, and without it, the body may store water improperly.
4. Thinning Hair
While genetics can be an important factor to consider in the thinning of hair, protein deficiency can also be a reason for this. They say that hair and nails are important points to note whether you are protein-deficient. When your hair start to split or fall, it’s time to check whether you’re getting enough protein from your diet.
When you’re not having enough protein, your body goes into a ‘conservation state’. It stops sending valuable protein to nourish hair and nails.
5. Brain Fog/Lethargic
Protein deficiency can also affect our overall state. This can also be an offshoot result of low energy, inability to handle stress, and moodiness. Protein is there to stabilize the sugar levels that we have in our body. Protein deficiency decreases the mental alertness and its ability to respond actively to a stimuli.
6. Dry/Flaky Skin
Lack of protein causes the skin to dry and break out in rashes. Consequently, the skin becomes more prone to sunburns.
Extreme fatigue, low energy levels, general tiredness and many symptoms are signs of protein deficiency.
You can use the health and fitness app, MyFitnessPal. When you log into it, you can take a look at the protein intake that you have, carbohydrates, fat content, including the nutritional content.
A protein-rich diet can do a lot to solve a problem on protein deficiency. If you are protein deficient, you need to aim for a 40-30-30 body component division – 40% of protein, 30% carbohydrate and 30% fat. Fitlifer, there are a lot of healthy protein sources out there in the market. Some of our favorites our beans, nuts, grains, quinoa, and even vegetables like spinach and broccoli.
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