Protein is used primarily for growth, health, and body maintenance. It is essential for living organisms as it gives us energy, keeps our tummies satisfied and helps our bodies recover from illnesses.
We need enough amount of protein to be able to breakdown, assimilate and digest it into amino acids that are needed by our cells to function effectively.
Noticeable Symptoms Of Protein Deficiency
Brittle And Dry Hair, Skin, And Nails
Registered dietician Katey Davidson says that:
“Our skin, hair, and nails are made primarily from a protein called keratin, which requires protein from your diet to produce. If you don’t have enough keratin in your system, your skin, hair, and nails will suffer. ”
Moreover, she added that:
“Collagen is another important protein. It relies heavily on the amino acids proline, glycine, and lysine for its production.”
These amino acids can be found in certain protein-rich foods such as eggs, salmon, and Greek yogurt.
Hair loss can be experienced a few months of not eating protein since the body will shut down hair growth to preserve its protein stores.
Frequent Muscle And Joint Pain
We may experience muscle pain or weakness as a sign that our muscle or joint fluid is breaking down to supplement calories instead of using protein in building cells, tissues, and muscles.
Always Catching A Cold
Protein is one of the building blocks of antibodies, which is produced by our immune system to fight bacteria and viruses. A decrease in protein can greatly affect the way our immune system works.
Once our immune system is compromised, it can lead to frequent illness, difficulty recovering from injury, and worsen symptoms of sickness such as long symptoms of a common cold.
Having Trouble Sleeping
Tryptophan is beneficial in the production of a hormone called serotonin, which is converted by the body into melatonin at night. This melatonin regulates wakefulness and sleep. Therefore, inadequate levels of melatonin can result in difficulty in falling asleep at night.
The amino acid tryptophan can be found in proteins such as those present in turkey breast. By ensuring that our body gets enough of it to make serotonin, we can have a good night’s sleep.
Since protein plays a part in keeping fluid from accumulating in tissues, deficiency from this micronutrient can lead to edema or fluid accumulation, especially in ankles and feet.
Always craving for foods and the need to snack out often between meals may be due to a high-carb/sugar and low-protein diet. Consumption of protein-rich foods even outs blood sugar highs and lows.