In my last article I looked at protein and touched upon some of the ways it benefits your body. Today I want to expand on this topic and discuss some of the health benefits protein can provide in greater detail.
1) IT BUILDS, MAINTAINS AND REPAIRS CELLS:- Protein is referred to as your body’s building blocks for good reason. As you grow your body needs protein to construct every single cell including your bones, your muscles, your skin, your vital organs and your blood vessels. When you are fully grown your body still needs protein to maintain all these cells and also to replace any cells that fall off such as hair, nails and skin. Protein is also required to repair any cells that become damaged. For example, if one of your blood vessels burst or one of your bones break protein is required to repair them.
2) IT IS USED TO PRODUCE IMPORTANT CHEMICALS:- Your body uses protein to produce a number of important chemicals. Antibodies are built using protein and are a key part of your immune system which helps your body fight disease. Enzymes are also constructed from protein and act as a catalyst for many important reactions in your body including digestion. Protein is also used to create hormones which act as chemical messengers in your body and stimulate a specific response from certain cells.
3) IT REGULATES IMPORTANT BODILY PROCESSES:- Protein is not just used by your body to produce cells and chemicals. It also regulates certain important processes in your body. One example of this is fluid balance. Your body’s cells cannot move fluid directly. Instead they produce proteins which attract water. These proteins can then be sent out to areas where fluid needs to be absorbed allowing a fluid balance to be maintained throughout the body.
4) IT HELPS YOUR BLOOD CLOT:- Your body also uses protein to prevent your wounds from bleeding continuously. When your skin gets cut and starts to bleed your body responds by producing fibrin, a stringy protein that forms a clot. Once the fibrin has clotted your body then produces another protein, collagen which forms scar tissue and permanently heals the cut.
5) IT CAN ASSIST WITH WEIGHT LOSS:- Not only does protein perform all the important roles listed above but it can also be a great food choice for people who are trying to lose weight. First, it has a greater thermic effect than carbohydrates. This means that by eating protein you burn more calories during digestion and boost your metabolism. Secondly, studies suggest that protein can suppress your appetite. Although more research needs to be done into exactly why protein has this effect, this study suggests that the amino acid leucine has a major influence on appetite.
As you can see the importance of protein cannot be underestimated. Not only is protein responsible for producing every structure in our body but it also plays a key role in many processes including blood clotting, fighting infection and maintaining optimum levels of fluid. Protein has received much recent praise in both bodybuilding and weight loss circles and after writing this article it is easy to see why. Without protein your body cannot build, maintain or repair cells and this can cause a number of health problems. Therefore, you should try and ensure that you get sufficient levels of protein with each meal and give your body what it needs to grow and function properly.
Now I want to hear your thoughts. Are there any more protein benefits missing from this article? Do you agree with all the points raised? Let me know by leaving a comment.