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Signs that You May Be Deficient in Protein Consumption

Sunday, July 9th 2023 10:00am 6 min read
Dr. Jessica Peatross dr.jess.md @drjessmd

Hospitalist & top functional MD who gets to the root cause. Stealth infection & environmental toxicity keynote speaker.

Protein is an essential nutrient that plays a vital role in numerous functions in the body, including building and repairing tissues, synthesizing enzymes and hormones, and maintaining a healthy immune system. Despite the importance of protein, many people do not consume enough in their daily diet. Here are ten signs that you may not be getting enough protein in your diet.

Feeling weak and fatigued

One of the most common signs of not consuming enough protein is feeling tired and weak throughout the day. According to a study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, inadequate protein intake can lead to a decrease in muscle strength and mass, which can result in feelings of weakness and fatigue (1). Protein is essential for building and repairing muscles, and if you’re not getting enough, your muscles may not be able to function properly. To ensure that you are getting enough protein, aim to consume a minimum of 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day (2).

Constant hunger

Protein is an essential nutrient that helps to keep you feeling full and satisfied after meals. If you’re not consuming enough protein, you may find that you’re constantly hungry and reaching for snacks throughout the day. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that consuming a higher protein diet can help to reduce feelings of hunger and increase satiety (3). If you’re struggling with constant hunger, try increasing your protein intake by including protein-rich foods such as lean meats, fish, eggs, and legumes in your diet.

Slow recovery from injuries

Protein is crucial for the healing process of your body, and if you’re not getting enough, you may find that you’re slow to recover from injuries or illnesses. A study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition found that consuming adequate protein can improve recovery time from injuries and surgeries (4). If you’re recovering from an injury or surgery, make sure that you are consuming enough protein to support the healing process.

Weak immune system

Protein is also important for maintaining a strong immune system. If you’re not consuming enough, you may find that you’re more susceptible to infections and illnesses. According to a study published in the Journal of Nutritional Immunology, protein plays a crucial role in the immune system by helping to produce antibodies and immune cells (5). To ensure that you are getting enough protein to support your immune system, aim to consume a variety of protein-rich foods, including lean meats, fish, dairy products, and plant-based sources such as legumes and tofu.

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