Proteins are important nutrients for the whole body because every structure in the body contains protein. Our body doesn’t store the protein, unlike the carbs and fat. Therefore, we should eat protein each day.
The daily protein intake depends on your sex. Any male between 20-70 years should eat 55g of protein, whereas any female between 20-70 years should eat 45g of protein per day. When you don’t get enough protein for a long time your body will start to show some signs that will alarm you that you are protein deficient. Here are the most common 10 signs that you should watch out for.
1. Decreased Immunity
Our immune system needs protein to function well. When the body lacks protein it becomes immunosuppressed because the white blood cells can’t make those molecules that the body needs to form cytokines, antibodies, and interleukins, all of which fight infections.
2. Brittle Hair
The hair contains a protein called keratin. When we don’t eat enough protein, the structure of the hair changes. It becomes brittle and prone to damage. The colour can also change. When the protein is out of balance the pigments of the hair can become lighter than the usual hair colour.
3. Fluid Retention And Bloating
The blood contains a type of protein called albumin. When there is not enough protein, there is a decrease in the levels of albumin. When this happens the fluids from the blood vessels go into other body parts and those people feel bloated and experience edema.
4. Muscle Fatigue
The muscular system is the biggest system of protein structures. When you don’t eat protein you will slowly lose your muscle mass because the muscles will start to atrophy. You might notice that you are becoming more weak and fatigued.
When you eat foods that contain a lot of carbs and simple sugars you will make your blood sugar spike up and your body will release the hormone insulin. When this happens you will have cravings for more and feel tired. When you eat protein, the body needs more time to process it, which means it releases insulin slowly and your energy stays up.
6. Weak Nails
The nails also contain keratin, just like hair. The same will happen to your nails if you don’t eat protein. They will become thin and brittle, and also more prone to fungal infections.
7. Impaired Sleep
When your body lacks protein you will face difficulties falling asleep. However, when you increase the intake of protein you will surely improve your sleeping habits.
8. Lack Of Concentration
Our brain is made of neurotransmitters that need protein to do their function. When your body lacks protein the balance of the neurotransmitters will be disrupted and that will result in lack of concentration, troubles learning, and irritability.
9. Erratic Mood
The mood is also regulated by the neurotransmitters that our body makes from amino acids. When the body lacks protein we experience mood swings.
10. Irregular Menstrual Cycles
The receptors and hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, and DHEA that regulate the menstrual cycle are also made of protein. When your diet is poor in protein you will notice changes in your menstrual cycle.