5 Ways Protein Benefits Your Mental and Physical Health

You are probably used to hearing about which foods have the highest amount of protein or reasons why a protein-packed breakfast is so important, but did you know that protein can give your brain a boost too? Fitness Magazine reported that the amino acid tyrosine found in protein makes you more alert and attentive, and that’s just one of many benefits.

  1. Keeps you satisfied for longer periods 
    Meals and snacks that are high in protein will help you to feel fuller for longer. As opposed to consuming food that is high in fat, protein stimulates a reaction from the stomach notifying your brain that you are full, according to Fitness Magazine. That’s why starting your day off with a breakfast high in protein will help you in the long run, preventing you from reaching for that unhealthy snack just a short while after finishing breakfast. Recommendations for incorporating it into your morning meals include adding 2 tablespoons of peanut butter to your oatmeal, adding an ounce of cheese to your eggs or adding 1 egg to your piece of toast.
  2. Helps you to lose weight
    According to Women’s Health, protein speeds up your metabolism and helps you burn more calories. In comparison to the limited percentage of calories you burn from foods that are full in fat and carbohydrates, your body burns 30 percent of the calories from protein. Studies have also shown that by continuing your regular fitness routine and increasing your intake of protein, you may even loose a few pounds of fat. If you are interested in losing weight, you should ensure that your source is lean protein such as white meat without the skin.

“When it comes to protein, quality trumps quantity.”

    1. Builds muscles and repairs muscle tissue
      Since amino acids, which make up protein, are the building blocks of muscle, getting enough in your diet will help you become stronger. These amino acids also work to repair and rebuild muscle tissue that is damaged during exercise.According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, the amount of protein needed varies depending on health and age. The daily recommendation for the average adult is two to three servings of foods that are rich in protein. Yet this is an instance where quality trumps quantity. The focus should be on the types of protein that you are eating, rather than how much you are consuming. Incorporating a moderate amount of protein at each meal is just fine. Loading up on protein won’t keep you any fuller than an average size portion.
  1. Lowers your blood sugar
    Protein can lower your blood sugar but it depends when you are consuming it. Fitness Magazine reported that researchers at the Weill Cornell Medical College found that eating vegetables and protein first and carbs second could lead to up to a 37 percent decrease in blood sugar. When incorporating lean protein into your dinners, be sure to focus on what you are eating first. For vegetarians, beans, low-fat dairy products and tofu are great options for getting protein.

Salmon is a great source of lean protein.

  1. Provides you with important nutrients 
    Overall, proteins are essential for growth and development as they are the building blocks of life. This is especially true for young children, adolescents and pregnant women according to the NLM. Containing all of the B vitamins, protein is a specifically great source for vitamin B-12. Protein also helps to keep your hair and nails growing strong and healthy, provides you with energy, and signals your brain to be more engaged. Essentially, maintaining a diet with healthy amounts of protein will make you feel good across the board.

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