Almost everyone can agree on the importance of protein. Because of this, cases of protein deficiency are very low. Protein benefits the body in many ways and is very crucial to good health. Biologically, proteins are made up of amino acids that join together in the form of a chain to form a larger compound. The work of proteins lies mainly in the cells.
Below are some ways protein benefits the body.
Growth and maintenance
The human body requires protein for the repair and growth of cells and tissues. The level of protein dependency varies based on your health and activity levels. Those recovering from an injury or illness require more protein, same with bodybuilders. In fact, bodybuilders go as far as getting extra protein from protein powders or supplements.
Control biochemical reactions
Not most but all enzymes in the body are protein catalysts that control thousands of biochemical reactions inside and outside the cells. The structure of these enzymes allows them to easily bind to other molecules present in the cell called substrate, which catalyzes reactions that are essential for metabolism.
Strengthen and give shape to cells and tissues
Proteins responsible for this include keratin, collagen, and elastin, which help develop the connective structures in cells and tissues. These proteins are mostly fibrous in nature. Keratin is the structural protein present in the hair, nails, and skin. On the other hand, collagen is present in harder tissues of the body such as bones, tendons, skin, and ligaments. Elastin is more flexible than to collagen. It allows tissues to return to their original state after being stretched or compressed. It’s present in the uterus, lungs, and arteries.
Improves the immune system
Protein benefits the body by helping with antibodies’ build-up and strengthening the immune system to fight off infections. These protein antibodies are vital in the human system. Without them, bacteria and viruses would be free to multiply and spread diseases. Once the human cells produce an antibody against a particular disease, it’ll never forget how to make them. This is the reason why we heal faster from infections after the first few times. In addition, eating proteins when afflicted with any disease or infection gives the immune system a fighting chance against such disease or infection.
These are the basic importance of proteins to the body. Below are the benefits of having enough protein in the body.
Reduces hunger levels
Studies show that proteins are particularly filling. They reduce the level of the hunger hormone, ghrelin. At the same time, they increase the level of peptide YY, the hormones responsible for making you feel satisfied. These are one of the powerful effects of protein. Because of this, it is best to replace carbs with protein if you’re willing to lose weight. Increasing protein intake helps reduce total calorie intake and weight by 30% in just a few months.
Increases strength and muscle mass
Protein is simply the building block of all muscles present in the human body. Eating enough protein can help maintain muscle mass and increase it during exercising sessions. Muscles mainly comprise proteins. Taking lots of protein also maintains muscle mass during weight loss efforts.
The human body uses calories from food to disgust and uses nutrients in foods. This is known as the thermic effect of foods. Eating generally boosts metabolism for a short while. Note that the rate varies with foods. Protein intake has been shown to significantly boost metabolism, which increases the number of calories burnt.
Lowers blood pressure
High blood pressure is the leading cause of heart diseases, heart attacks, strokes, and kidney diseases. A high intake of protein has been shown to reduce the body’s systolic and diastolic blood pressure. In addition to lowering blood pressure, it reduces triglycerides and cholesterol levels.
Speeds up the healing process
Protein helps the body repair cells, tissues, and organs after getting an injury. This makes sense as the building block of the human body is protein. It’s best to eat more protein after injuries to help speed up the healing process.
Although it’s healthy to eat lots of protein, it doesn’t necessarily apply to everyone. Most people derive about 15% of calories from the protein they consume, which is enough to avoid a deficiency.