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Why Protein Is Essential for Maintaining Good Health

Welcome to the world of protein! In this article, we'll break down the basics of this essential macronutrient, why it's crucial for your health, and how to make informed choices about your protein intake.

healthy foods focusingon protein

What is Protein?

Way before it became known in mainstream culture for helping you lose weight and making your body look great, it was known as the most powerful nutrient in the world in the bodybuilding and strength training world. Protein is one of the three macronutrients (the other two being fats and carbohydrates), and it can reduce your appetite, boost your metabolism, and change several weight-regulating hormones. Proteins are essentially long chains of amino acids (essential organic compounds).

People can produce certain amino acids but need to get others from food. Protein is like the body's Lego set, consisting of 20 amino acid building blocks. Nine amino acids are essential, meaning we must get them from our diet. Our bodies can produce the remaining 11. These essential amino acids come from both animal and plant sources. Leucine, isoleucine, and valine, or BCAAs, are necessary for muscle health and growth. They're like the foremen in the muscle-building construction site. Consuming insufficient amounts of protein daily can lead to certain health problems, including low immunity, muscle, bone, and joint pain, mood swings, poor concentration, low energy levels, diabetes, a sluggish metabolism, and more.

There are numerous sources of protein, but they are most often found in animal products. However, certain vegetables, legumes, and nuts also contain considerable amounts. In addition, there are vegan sources, like tofu and tempeh.

113 high protein foods for healthy weight management

How Much Protein Do You Need?

For a sedentary person of healthy weight: Aim for 0.4 – 0.6 grams of protein per pound.

When losing weight: Protein helps you burn calories and maintain muscle during weight loss. A bit more protein is beneficial.

Building muscle: To build muscle, strive for around 1 gram of protein per pound.

Active individuals: Those involved need 0.5 – 0.65 grams per pound.

Older Adults: Seniors should aim for 0.45 – 0.6 grams per pound to stay strong.

Recovering from injuries: Higher protein diets aid recovery.

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Debunking the Myths

Protein is an essential macronutrient that plays a vital role in maintaining a healthy body. However, there are several myths surrounding protein that can be misleading. One of the most common myths about protein is that consuming large amounts of it can lead to increased muscle mass. However, the truth is that muscle growth is a complex process that requires not only consuming protein but also engaging in regular exercise. Another myth is that plant-based sources of protein are inferior to animal-based sources. Plant-based sources of protein such as beans, lentils, and tofu are excellent sources of protein and can provide all the necessary amino acids needed for a healthy body. Lastly, it is a myth that protein is only important for athletes or bodybuilders. Protein is essential for everyone, regardless of their activity level, as it helps maintain and repair tissues, produces enzymes and hormones, and supports a healthy immune system.

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The Upshot

Here's everything you need to know about protein. It's an essential building block for your body, which is crucial for muscle growth, recovery, and overall health. You can use the guidelines we've shared to determine your protein needs, choose high-quality sources, and ignore any unfounded fears related to a high-protein diet.

Let us know in the comments how you plan to make protein a more significant part of your diet!

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The information in this post is being provided to you for educational and informational purposes only. It is being provided to you to educate you about women's wellness and as a self-help tool for your own use. It is not a substitute for medical or health advice from a professional who is aware of the facts and circumstances of your individual situation. This information is to be used at your own risk based on your own judgment. For the full Disclaimer, please click here.

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