From the hair on our heads down to our muscles, protein is an essential building block for the cells in our bodies. The average person needs about 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight, and that's just the minimum. Most of us can easily hit this requirement with a varied diet but if you're following a strict regimented diet that compromises on foods like white meat, eggs, seafood etc etc, you might just want to know the long term effects of what a lack of protein can do unto your health and body.
1. You get more sugar cravings
With a meal that has mostly carbohydrates and very little protein, carbs will tend to digest faster and cause your blood sugar to rise. The rise will soon be followed by a drop, igniting a craving for more sugar. Your meal should have a good balance of both so that your blood sugar changes become more gradual.
2. Your hair starts thinning out
Surprise, surprise! Our hair is made up of protein (termed keratin) so safe to say, consuming enough protein is essential for hair growth. The last thing we would want is for our hair to start thinning or falling out because of that strict diet we're currently on.
3. You often find yourself exhausted
In the long course of not eating enough protein, your body will break down your muscles to make up for the lack of protein, that can lead to loss of energy and even muscle weakness and pain. This would definitely pose as a disadvantage to your workouts, affecting your stamina and progress.
4. Your skin and nails become weak
Your nail and skin cells also heavily depend on protein to grow. Eventually, you find your nails getting weaker to the point of breakage and skin becoming flaky.
5. You fall sick easily
An important building component of our body's immunity is protein. That directly affects how often we fall ill because of our lack of protein consumption.
6. You wind up with swollen feet
Protein also play a part in keeping fluids in our body from accumulating in tissues, usually formed in our feet and ankles - also known as fluid retention or edema, a condition of swelling.
This article was first published on Shape.com.sg