Why Do We Need Protein In Our Diet – Are You Getting Enough?

Have you ever wondered why do we need protein in our diet? It is because Protein is one of the macro nutrients that are essential for life as we know it. We need to consume protein as it not only provides the main building blocks for our bodies to be able to function properly, but also plays an important role in the building of lean muscle and reduction of fat.

why do we need protein

The official recommended daily protein requirement for a female is only 0.8g per kilogram or 0.36g per pound of body weight. Though this small amount may just be enough to prevent a deficiency in this important macro nutrient, the amount we actually need depends on many factors such as age, our state of health, activity levels and our fitness goals.

What is the Importance of Protein?

Protein is made up of amino acids that are used as the main essential building blocks for different parts of the body such as our muscles, tendons, skin and organs. They provide hormones and enzymes, assist our immune system and also provide energy when there are not enough carbohydrates present.

Not eating enough protein can result in all sorts of problems from trouble losing fat due to a slow metabolism, constantly being tired and lacking in energy to a poor functioning immune system just to start.

stressed female

How We Benefit From It Daily

Proteins support the immune system by making the anti-bodies that help fight viruses and nasty bacteria and other foreign elements that may attack your body’s defenses. Many protein rich foods also contain other valuable nutrients that can also help boost our immune systems.

Protein rich diets helps maintain constant energy levels throughout the day and therefore can help us sleep better at night. It is also a valuable food for the brain as it helps improve both our concentration levels and cognitive skills.

eggs are a great source of protein

Training Benefits

If you are participating in a regular strength training program to build more muscle then you need protein for your body to help repair itself after your workouts and to build a stronger leaner muscle mass.

If you’re trying to lose fat protein rich foods help as it takes longer for the body to break them down, this helps to raise your metabolic rate and keep you fuller for longer. Studies have shown that a high quality protein diet can result in fat loss and also reduce stubborn belly fat.

a healthy meal

How Much Do We Need?

Do you know how much protein you are getting in your daily diet and whether you are really eating enough of the valuable nutrient as most women don’t get the amount that they should in their diets.

We generally need more as we get older and if our aim is to become leaner and build muscle or lose fat then we will also need to greatly increase our daily protein intake.

There are many different macronutrient calculators available that will work out how much protein you need depending on your personal statistics, level of activity and end goal. Here are a couple you can try…

Bodybuilding.com Protein calcultor

The IIFYM macro calculator

 

yummy salmon dish

Protein Sources

Great tasting foods that you can include in your diet to increase your protein intake are;

    • All the dairy products such as eggs, milk, cheese and yogurt.
      Lean meats such as chicken breast, lean beef
    • Different fish such as tuna, mackerel and salmon – these are also high in the healthy Omega 3 fatty acids.
    • Then you have all the types of nuts and nut butters, plus oats and other grains, lentils, legumes, beans, tofu and qunioa, pumpkin seeds and broccoli…

beans are a great source of protein for vegans

Protein Powder

If you need more protein and often struggle to eat enough of it during the day, a great easy way of getting more is by using Whey Protein as well. Many people think that this is only to be used by bodybuilders and athletes, when in fact it’s a perfect addition to the female diet as most of them are also low fat and low calories.

There are many different types and varieties and flavours of great Whey protein powder on the market. I regularly add protein powder to my shakes and smoothies, sprinkle it in when mixing up a pancake mix and include it in baking.

I hope you found this information useful and that you do take a look at how much protein you are getting in your diet and see if you need to up your intake. If you have anything you’d like to share or questions to ask then please leave a message below.

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